In observance of that autumn spell when we celebrate the primal, compulsive instinct of fear, Rainestorm once more highlights 31 days of spooky scares to season the eerie atmosphere of Halloween.
For those who tuned in last year, I subjected you to a daily dose of diabolical dread and devilish distress. Just as every good horror movie deserves an inferior sequel, I offer this follow-up of also-rans, not bads, and perhaps a couple of you’ve-gotta-be-kidding-mes.
What evil lurks: Insanely goofy by today’s standards. However, as a nine-year-old boy this was the most terrifying initiation into the world of horror that I could have expected. In 1979 a mini-series would span the same day across two weeks. That meant that after taking a terrifying beating with part one on Saturday, I went back for seconds the following Saturday. Did this movie scare me? Let’s just say I carried a cross around with me, day and night, every day for a week. As silly as it is now, Tobe-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-Hooper created a marvelous atmosphere of windy dusks, silent, lonely nights, drawn-out suspense, and a terrifying central vampire, Kurt Barlow. James Mason, really slumming it here, still delivers a deliciously evil and laid-back performance as Barlow’s human guardian.
Highlight from hell: The closing act of part one, in which a gravedigger (Geoffrey Lewis), transfixed by the coffin he is burying, jumps into the grave pit… you can guess what happens next.
Terrifying trivia: This is the first Stephen King mini-series after his debut film adapatation, Carrie.
Diabolical dialogue: “Throw away your cross, face the master. Your faith against his faith… Could you do that? Is your faith enough”
Shoddy sequel syndrome: Boy the things that one finds scary in boyhood… they’re downright laughable now. Specifically, Lewis’ contortionist vampire hissy-fit.