Monday, January 9, 2012

Ghost Story




On Saturday, January 9th, 1982, my parents and I went to see Ghost Story at the Royal Theater on Polk Street.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it: Ghost Story is a mess of a movie, and even as an eleven-year-old, I was able to recognize that fact, which you'll see proof of in a moment. It's not very scary, way too reliant on gross-out effects, and basically a waste of the talents of four Hollywood legends. There is, however, one good thing in it: Alice Krige is suitably spooky and odd as the ghostly love interest. She almost makes it worth watching.

And what makes the movie's badness even more crushing is that it's based on the really, really great scary novel by Peter Straub. I'm pretty sure I didn't read the book until after I saw the movie, (and even recall writing a book report about it). I loved it, and have re-read it a few times since then, and I highly recommend it to any fan of horror fiction.

So, since there really isn't much to say about this one, (I did re-watch it on cable last year; it still sucks), I'll try and entertain with some historic images instead.

As I mentioned in my first post, along with my movie ledger, I began to keep a scrap book I called my "Genre Book," in which I kept clipped newspaper ads, movie reviews, and anything else pertinent to any horror, science fiction, or fantasy film that was appropriately "genre."


It didn't last long, but I did have some stuff about Ghost Story in it, including these two ads, (one has a list of NYC theaters showing the movie, so it must be from the Village Voice, which my dad read).


There's also a couple of capsule reviews. This is from the Chronicle's "Pink Section," and the Little Man is suitably asleep.



The other capsule review is from the zine "Trashola," which I was a big fan of. It was a self-published zine by a guy named Jim Morton, and you could find it for free around town at record shops and comic book stores. It was pretty awesome, and a big influence on me. (Click for larger size.)


(Jim Morton went on to contribute to the Re/Search Incredibly Strange Films book, and is still around, writing about movies and popping up on podcasts here and there.)

Also included in this scrapbook were a few of my own movie reviews. And yes, they are as embarrassing as you'd imagine movie reviews written by an eleven and twelve-year-old would be. I consider myself very brave for including this personal Ghost Story review here, so please refrain from any snide comments regarding my prose stylings and how they haven't improved much in thirty years. KTHX.


So, while the movie Ghost Story was a total disappointment, at least it inspired me to try and describe that disappointment in words, something it seems I continue to do on a semi-weekly basic 30 years later.

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