Holy spooky friend outside your window! David Soul helped deliver the scares to generations with his leading role in the 1979 television version of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. Thankfully, Soul also knew that exactly what it took to calm a fright, as well – a big steaming pot of black bean soup!
This silly ditty, co-written by Soul, was featured as the B-Side of his hit single Don’t Give Up On Us Babyand was featured, prominently, on his successful self-titled solo album. Meanwhile, eagle eyed terror fiends will be pleased to note that beautiful television regular Lynne Marta is Soul’s duet partner here. Marta, Soul’s real life paramour at the time, starred in the rarely seen shocker Help Me…I’m Possessed. But, she is probably best known as pretty songbird Jo, whose would-be rapist is castrated by the strange creature haunting the sands in the 1981 drive-in classic Blood Beach.
So, until it’s safe to go into the sound studio again…SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Hm-m…Anyone know the lyrics to Pharrell Williams’ Happy? Supposedly based on a (hard to track down) real life story, 1992 television film Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive definitely ends on a downbeat note of death, corporate greed and despair.
After commissioning a new house to be built on some renovated property, a middle aged couple is soon faced with some dangerously mysterious activity in their new abode. These unexpected tricks range from the silly (a continually flushing toilet) to the spooky (a granddaughter’s preoccupation with some vengeful spirits) to the life threatening (a daughter’s strange cancer outbreak). When the matriarch discovers that their new residence (and all those around them) were built on a burial ground, she tries to sue. When that doesn’t work, she decides to (unlawfully) dig up the bodies in her backyard – with very tragic results.
Lead with bravura assurance by television horror queen Patty Duke (She Lives, Amityville: The Evil Escapes, Whatever Happened to Rosemary’s Baby?), this combination of Poltergeist and Lifetime weepie features plenty of familiar faces including Starsky and Hutch‘s David Soul, The O.C.‘s Kelly Rowan and Generations‘ Jonelle Allen. None but Duke are given much to do. But as Duke’s husband and equal in the battle, David Selby gives a subtle, restrained performance – ultimately proving he is one of the more underrated actors of his generation.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Indeed, one of the prime attractions of 1983 television psycho thriller Through Naked Eyes is watching fresh faced Pam Dawber (Mork and Mindy, My Sister Sam) explore her darker nature. As a magazine writer who begins spying on David Soul’s somber musician after an accidental sighting, Dawber makes her intrusive obsession seem plausible and (almost) innocent while simultaneously acknowledging its more erotic undertones. Meanwhile as a couple, she and Soul (Starsky and Hutch, Salem’s Lot), who brings a steely, far off intensity to his role, click while still coming off like one of the tube’s odder pairings.
Of course, a deranged murderer throws some complications into the couple’s budding romance. Roaming the halls of the pair’s apartment complex, this mysteriously assailant has knifed a senior citizen, a residential employee and a deaf mute – and it looks like Dawber’s Anne may be the next victim. A misguided police detective is convinced that Soul’s William is the killer – and when Anne believes him, her life truly enters the danger zone.
Director John Llewellyn Moxey (The Night Stalker, No Place to Hide) was a master of television terror and he helps his leads supply a layered complexity to their interactions. There is also a bit of vague suspense and the afore mentioned brutality to keep things interesting. The reveal of the killer is a non-event, but those who appreciate such films as Eyes of the Stranger, Someone’s Watching Me and even (in a dramatic stretch) Rear Window should enjoy themselves here.
What might be most interesting, though, is the league of Chicago based actors (where this was lensed) who fill out the supporting and minor roles, here. Performers like John Mahoney, Ted Levine and Dennis Franz obviously went onto bigger things but anyone familiar with Midwestern theatrics should delight to the presence of such boards treading stalwarts as Amy Morton and Annabel Armour, as well.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan