Helen Hayes’ wounded eyes resonate with such sadness on the Alter-Ego episode of Ghost Story, an early ‘70s horror anthology series, that she proves, without a doubt, that anyone at any age can experience the damaging effects of bullying.
Here, as the kindly Miss Gilden, a respected grade schoolteacher on the eve of her retirement, Hayes finds herself a victim of the demented antics of the evil doppelganger of one of her favorite students. As the child systematically destroys her reputation and turns all her beloved charges against her, Hayes vibrates with a haunted sorrow that provides the program’s emotionally connective glue. Nicely, a penultimate twist provides her character with a little affirmative revenge, producing a satisfying and contented sigh from all viewers.
That Hayes, an Academy Award winner and one of the most respected theater artists of her generation, applied such heart and depth to a one-off genre television appearance proves what a complete and dedicated performer that she was. Others can surely learn from her humility and grace.
Until the next time, 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!