The Set of 400: #338 – My Favorite Remote Control Fight

Today! Because there is peace and serenity in the light –

Poltergeist (1982)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

Starring Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams (x2), Zelda Rubinstein, Beatrice Straight, Heather O’Rourke, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, James Karen, Dirk Blocker, Michael McManus

Written and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist was the rare horror film we watched a lot as children. Why? I can only guess it’s because of…the main character being a toddler? I don’t know. It’s a pretty horrifying movie for little kids, but I’m gonna ballpark that I’ve seen this movie fifty times, almost all of those on VHS in the late ’80s. And even though this came out the year before, I think as a kid I was convinced that monstrous thing that develops on the bedroom wall was the Sarlacc Pit from Return of the Jedi. So maybe that?

Any which way, it’s a pretty great movie, with just nightmarish visuals. Robbie gets attacked in his bedroom by not just an entire tree outside his window but also a killer clown doll! And that’s just Robbie! I wasn’t super focused on the details of why any of this was happening when I saw it back in the day – but thankfully Craig T. Nelson’s Steve screams it in that dude’s face toward the end of the film “You left the bodies and only moved the headstones!” Solved! Creepy! Remember that swimming pool hole filled with bodies? Carol Anne sliding across the kitchen floor? That guy peeling off his face in the bathroom mirror?? I was like seven years old! Gah!

It is also notoriously the most cursed film this side of The Conqueror (and that was more “cursed” due to poor location scouting) – Heather O’Rourke and Dominique Dunne both died in the decade, and the creepy bit of trivia surrounding Robbie’s Super Bowl poster is baffling to this day.

Seriously, why does he have a poster for a future Super Bowl in his bedroom? And SB XXII just happened to land the day before co-star Heather O’Rouke died six years later, in the same city in which that Super Bowl was held, the location of which had not yet been chosen in ’82??? How is that possible?!

Nominated for three Oscars – Visual Effects, Sounds Effects Editing, and Score – Poltergeist was acknowledged from a technical standpoint, but as for the plot, acting, and so on? Nope! And I’m not about to give awards for its wild cast member death prognostication, because that’d be a bit much, so how about Best Bird Funeral?

#358 Switch co-star JoBeth Williams does some heavy work as the stressed mom in Poltergeist, and thus joins the Two-Timers club! For those paying close attention, yes, I think it’s kind of a tragedy the lack of women in the Two-Timers club so far, too. I have no idea why this is, but hopefully it gets well remedied in the future. Was I just watching too many dude-centric comedies and action flicks all these years? Certainly a possibility! As of right now (more quiz prep here), we’ve got 65 Two-Timers in the association, but only 13 women! That sucks! And no Three-Timer ladies at all! Fingers crossed this ship gets righted soon!

Oh man, I forgot about the ghosts hurling her up on the wall! God, this movie was scary.

Coming tomorrow! All of my life – Saturday morning cartoons. The best –

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