May 17, 1990 |
About six years ago, a friend of Ernest Joselovitz's told the playwright about the terrifying experience of a rural Tennessee family in 1816. It had to do with a poltergeist. "Most poltergeists are really just annoyances," Joselovitz says of the spirits who manifest their presence with doors opening and closing, objects flying through the air and windows breaking. What made this poltergeist different - and interested him - was that a family death had been attributed to the spirit.
March 8, 1997 |
POLTERGEIST: THE LEGACY. 8 p.m. tomorrow, Showtime. Since "Hill Street Blues," Daniel J. Travanti has found some of his best work in the strangest places - as a guest star on Showtime's revival of "The Outer Limits. " That series' success led to another spinoff into the supernatural, "Poltergeist: The Legacy. " When "The Legacy" begins its second season tomorrow, it is with Travanti as a cast member. The season opener, introducing Travanti as the boss of the Legacy paranormal-investigation agency, gets the season off to an excellent start.
May 22, 1990 |
The "devil" of The Devil and All His Works is anti-Semitism, and playwright Ernest Joselovitz endeavors to show how that evil can poison both a society and the lives of its members. The premise, although valid and full of dramatic potential, isn't made particularly cogent or theatrically compelling by the play, which is receiving its premiere at the People's Light and Theater Company in Malvern. Setting his play in 1895 Vienna, Joselovitz tends to oversimplify the anti- Semitism in the society, and he confuses the personal ramifications of anti-Semitism by giving prominence to a window-breaking poltergeist and Freudian analysis.
May 8, 1988 |
In the summer of 1986, Twentieth Century Fox found itself with a movie that had suddenly lost its market. It was called Spacecamp, an innocuous fantasy about teens accidentally launched on the space shuttle, and it was released several months after the Challenger disaster. To no one's surprise, this unintentionally macabre exercise in art imitating death quickly succumbed at the box office. Its shots of the NASA shuttle roaring into orbit collided with the all too painful memories of a national tragedy.
September 29, 1986 |
Making Contact is a dispirited and incoherent movie about the next world that has no place in this one. Anyone who can make the slightest sense of it is surely destined for a just reward in the hereafter. The villain of the piece is a ventriloquist's dummy, who, having command of two expressions and the ability to move his head, easily makes off with the acting honors. But before you blame the actors for this, just try saying, "I once read that such phenomena occur during puberty" as though it were a line of natural dialogue.
February 12, 2009 |
A hallmark of the "Friday the 13th" series is that none of the movies make much sense. That's certainly true of the fancy (by franchise standards) new remake/sequel hybrid, which takes place at a vacation home next to the notorious Camp Crystal Lake. That's right: a vacation home next to Camp Crystal Lake, site of some 4,000 horrific unsolved murders. Is there a less desirable piece of real estate in America, outside of Amityville? At least the cursed homeowners who bought in the "Poltergeist" development were largely unaware they had built atop a burial ground.
August 21, 2008 |
FIRST CLAY AIKEN and now this: Ricky Martin is the father of twin boys. The former Latin pop star had the children via a surrogate mother - "She Bangs," but it's still unclear if Martin does - and the babies were born a few weeks ago, according to a statement from his reps. "The children, delivered via gestational surrogacy, are healthy and already under Ricky's full-time care," said the statement. "Ricky is elated to begin this new chapter in his life as a parent and will be spending the remainder of the year out of the public spotlight in order to spend time with his children.
January 21, 1986 |
If nothing else, Troll raises some questions hitherto untouched by Hollywood. To wit: Will a film whose most droll troll looks like a cross between Norman Mailer and former Philadelphia City Councilman Harry Jannotti have horror fans cowering under their seats or simply rolling in the aisle? And can a movie that boasts such florid non-sequiturs as She: "It's a mushroom"; He: "I told you I was a good student" survive its own dialogue, not to mention a dwarf reciting Spenser's Faerie Queen in a dreary monotone?
May 26, 1988 |
The parents of Heather O'Rourke, child star of the Poltergeist movies, filed suit against San Diego's Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Superior Court there yesterday, alleging that an incorrect diagnosis caused the 12-year-old's death in February. The parents' attorney, Sanford Cage, said doctors at the hospital misdiagnosed O'Rourke's condition as a disease affecting the lining of the bowel and treated it with drugs, instead of identifying it as a congenital blockage of the bowel that "a relatively simple operation . . . would have cured.
July 20, 1993 |
When the very first movie audiences saw the image of a locomotive coming at them, they screamed and covered their faces. Today, a decapitation hardly raises an eyebrow. To keep up with the shock-cinema sweepstakes, Hollywood seeks to break ever more outrageous taboos. The latest involves assaults on children. It takes a lot to give today's sophisticated audiences that thrill of fear and loathing, that sensation of hitting the wall of one's own tolerance. Carnage, the degradation of women, machine-gun blasts of foul language and sexual oddities have had their day. Now Hollywood has latched onto something that still has the power to jolt even the most jaded moviegoer - putting children in peril.