THE DONNY & MARIE SHOW / October 1977 Halloween Episode

For the final episode of VHS Rewind’s October 2015 / Halloween scare fest, we wanted to present a special Halloween treat for our listeners, with a mighty Marvel Two-In-One crossover event featuring our sister podcast, More Bad Apples (which, for the uninitiated, focuses on all things related to the first family of music, The Osmond Family, with a heavy emphasis on the two talented members of that family, Donny and Marie).

Alas, this may have turned out to be more trick than treat.

Episodes of The Donny & Marie Show can usually be counted on to deliver some good, solidly cheesy fun and entertainment. In particular, holiday-themed episodes generally feature the show firing on all cylinders and pulling out all the stops.

This Halloween episode is, on the whole, a lackluster affair.

Which isn’t to say there isn’t a lot to discuss.

Oh, poor Kristy McNichol and her unresolved feelings for Donny.

 

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Oh, what they do to poor Shirley Hemphill!

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Was Billy Crystal ever fucking funny? Besides RUNNING SCARED (1986), I mean?

Can Donny deliver a credible version of the song “Turn The Beat Around”?

Hmmm, maybe there is a treat waiting for you listeners after all.

We hope you will rest your trick-or-treat bags for a little while and spend some time with VHS Rewind’s hosts, Mark & Chris, as they revisit this surreal episode of The Donny & Marie Show.

And we hope you all had a very Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

Ghost Story (1981)

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Some supernatural revenge should be visited upon the filmmakers for this travesty of a film.

We at VHS Rewind feel that Peter Straub’s novel, Ghost Story, upon which this film is (shall we say, loosely) based, is one of the great horror novels of all time. It has the scope and heft of one of those bricks produced by Stephen King (Salem’s LotItThe Tommyknockers; etc.) but is much more literate and creepy and atmospheric.

VHS Rewind is only too happy to dedicate our latest episode discussing why this film is a damn shame, a missed opportunity of epic proportions, from top to bottom.

The raping of Straub’s novel is just the first (albeit the most egregious) of the movie’s sins. Then there is the unforgivable error of casting Craig Wasson: why did people cast this utterly talentless individual? This is the man who would go on to single handedly destroy Brian DePalma’s BODY DOUBLE (1984). An actor with less charisma (and, apparently, a smaller dick) would be very hard to find.

 

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We are VHS Rewind were relieved to discover Craig Wasson seems to have stopped getting work after 2006. Is it us or does Craig Wasson look like a bastard cross between Bill Maher and Robert Englund (with none of the talent of even Mr. Englund)?

And what of the famed Chowder Society? For an old-timer like myself, it is great to see this quartet of octogenarians (the great John Houseman; the great Fred Astaire; Douglas Fairbanks Jr (I guess he was great, but who was he?); and Melvyn Douglas (I guess he was great, but who was he?) but neither the director (John Irvin) nor the screenwriter (Lawrence D. Cohen) do these actors any favors.

VHS Rewind is also only too happy to expound (and at length) upon the virtues of the film’s one shining star: actress Alice Krige, who plays the sexy-as-all-get-out vengeful ghost.  This is meant as a compliment but Ms. Krige’s copious nudity is surpassed by her acting here: she does portray an especially menacing supernatural entity.

We hope you will join VHS Rewind for this seance where we wish evil retribution upon the filmmakers responsible for 1981’s GHOST STORY.