Saturday, April 16, 2016

Witchboard


Fooling around with a Ouija board proves to be a dangerous decision for a carpenter, his girlfriend, and former friend, all of whom encounter the harsh realities of dealing with spirits from the beyond...

**½


A memory returned to mind when I was about to watch Witchboard (1986) for the first time in quite a while (2006). When I was a kid in the 80s, this film was on the lips of my friends and cousins. My cousin, living with my grandmother and uncle, had a Ouija board and we snuck it into another room and commissioned a spirit to cut on a vacuum cleaner! We sure thought for a minute there it made a sound, when unplugged in the closet. Alas, it was kids goofing around on a holiday family gathering.

Oh, don't worry...its perfectly safe.

Supposedly a child spirit named David talks to Brandon Sinclair (Stephen Nichols), and he shares this with a former girlfriend, Linda (Tawny Kitaen) and former childhood friend, Jim (Tod Allen) at a party held by them at their house. Linda and Jim are an item which perturbs Brandon to say the least. A Ouija board is brought to the party by Brandon, and a conversation about atheism and evidentiary spirits leads to him convincing Linda to participate in a "calling". Jim's dismissal of it all pisses " David" off and anyone close to him is bumped off! Soon Linda is possessed...and pregnant! Or she believes due to the morning sickness and nausea. But the swearing is an indication something is bad wrong because she doesn't typically use foul language. The strained relationship between Jim and Brandon endures some hardships but the common ground of Linda's welfare reinforces the need to get along. Brandon talks of Linda's secret addiction to the board, mentioning that obsessive use of the Ouija typically indicates entrapment by whatever spirit exploits her attraction to it. It is soon believed that someone is being used as a portal for the evil spirit to gain access to the living realm. But is it actually David or perhaps another homicidal spirit entirely?

Calling in an eccentric medium with her own brand of "psychic humor", Brandon hoped to get rid of the obnoxious spirit, but what if Linda is a target...not the portal?

Kathleen Wilhoite as the medium could have been a minor footnote in the film, but her approach to the character, giving her a bubbly energy, applying a peculiar sense of humor and unique delivery really leaves an impression. Ultimately this is just another victim of the hatchet spirit serial killer, but to lend the film a distinct personality and not be immediately forgotten, Wilhoite deserves credit. She also loses herself in the punkish, pop new wave look, and the character with it gives the film more than kooky murder victim... she is defined and fun.

Those of my generation might have mothers who watched soaps, and Days of Our Lives has remained a lasting legacy that was threatened a few years ago of being cancelled. Stephen Nichols has Patch, a rugged, flawed, edgy character whose heart was softened by a woman he met in the city of Salem. I think he left the show and popular character for the movies, and Witchboard was one of them. In fact I remember this reputation the film has with those familiar with Nichols due to his Days character gasping when a hatchet hits him in the face. As Brandon, Nichols presented him at the beginning as this intellectual snob, but there is more to him, so at least he gets to expound on that. The jealousy towards Jim because of his love for Linda drives him. So reluctantly he joins forces with Jim, a product of alcoholic parents, and the two decide to learn of David's history by going to his place of origin. This trip has the two addressing their rift and trying to adjust to the woman that comes between them.

Jim's unbelief and Brandon's sincere concern in regards to the Ouija is at the heart of the film's chiefest conflict. Jim having issues expressing anything is called into question by Brandon. He is emotionally malfunctional. Malfeitor, the villain of the film, focuses intently on tormenting Jim, and in doing so, ironically, causes a revaluation of what is important.

Funnily enough, I had a lot more to say about this than I initially thought. In its time, Witchboard was a cult film desirable by kids like me who scraped together some cash just to rent it or negotiate a borrow with a friend who might have it on VHS. I watched this on STARZENCORE Suspense so it is getting rub on premium channels which is a good sign it will not exist on the periphery as an obscure piece of cable nostalgia. Tenney, director of Night of the Demons and Witchtrap, left his mark on the memory of 80s horror fans, with Witchboard perhaps his most famous film. Quigley fans might disagree, though. Tenney would return to direct the sequel in the early 90s.

Kitaen is known as the babe getting all worked up near the hood of a car in a Whitesnake video. Her possessed Linda trying to kill Jim at the end is perhaps unintentionally funny instead of its intent to bring a gulp to the throat. She's still very easy on the eyes, with all the Red hair, a mane I respond to, most definitely.


TTFN [ta-ta, for now]

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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.