If you’re going to decimate an evil, mirror dwelling sorceress, its best to do it in a hot red teddy! Just ask Susan Lucci! After a weekend of tortured nightmares and heated bodily possession, in the 1987 made for television fright fest Haunted By Her Past (AKA Secret Passions), that is exactly how daytime drama’s most famous diva eradicates the evil spirited temptress that has been torturing her character’s fragile psyche.
The character in question here is the usually mousy Karen Beckett. After taking a detour on her anniversary weekend with her devoted husband (John James) and her best friends (Marcia Strassman, Robin Thomas), Beckett winds up at a tiny inn that soon seems to tie into her violent (yet previous unknown) history. Beguiled into a closed off room at the establishment, she is captivated not only by its furnishings, but by the evil Megan (Finola Hughes), who resides in the wooden looking glass that dominates the space.
As often happens in the course of these potboilers, the more Karen falls under her spell, the stronger Megan grows. In one of the film’s most ludicrously fun moments, a poor manual laborer is sent flying to his death merely by the reflected menace of this century’s dead wraith.
This project also nicely glances back at film’s golden age by featuring the indomitable Madeleine Sherwood as the town historian. Best known as Sister Woman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the veteran actress provides subtle nuances to this traditional role. As the provider of much needed backstory, she is a revelation of economic fun.
Horror buffs will also be happy to spot Page Fletcher as the cad who causes Megan’s downfall in the movie’s flashback sequences. Fletcher, of course, was the titular character in the terror anthology series The Hitchhiker. Interestingly, his first film appearance in the slasher semi-classic Humungous closely echoes his role here. There, in the opening moments, his character violates a young woman, ultimately helping to creating the havoc raising beast that serves as the film’s unstoppable backwoods killer.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!