I watched a bit more of 28 Days Later tonight.
Turned it off after a few minutes, the same as I did yesterday.
I was thinking about what movies have really spooked me out over the years. If course, there was the 1972 classic low-budget film The Gargoyles, which I remember as being scary, yet cool. There was something about the way that the monsters moved that was surreal, yet even more terrifying, at least I thought so as a six-year-old, watching it on the big black and white TV upstairs in the old house, way past my bed time…
A few tears later, in 1976, I saw Burnt Offerings, with Oliver Reed and Karen Black. All I remember from that was being terrified by the Chauffeur, played by Anthony James.
Yet there was another one that always haunted me, terrified me at the time, but I had no idea what it was. It had to do with the lead character going to some kind of resort or home or something and discovering that there was a woman buried on the grounds. The person, who I remembered as being Brian Keith or maybe Brian Denehey, tried to get others to believe that there was someone buried alive, but couldn’t convince anyone.
A year or two ago, I found myself thinking about that movie again so I searched the Internet Movie Database and went through all the movies for both actors. No luck, so I filed it back into the place where I keep dark and disturbing thoughts to keep me up at night…
Yesterday, after a bit of Googling, I finally found it. 31 years later. It was The Screaming Woman, an ABC made-for-TV movie from 1972, starring Olivia de Havilland, not Brian Keith, as I had remembered it. Funny how your mind can work – I’m probably the first person ever to confuse Mr. Keith and Ms. de Havilland. (A bit of local trivia – Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo.)
So anyway, back to the movie…
A wealthy former mental patient goes home to her estate to rest and recuperate. While walking the grounds one day she hears the screams of a woman coming from underneath the ground who has been buried alive. Her family, however, refuses to believe her story, and sees the incident as an opportunity to prove the woman’s mind has snapped so they can take control of her money.
Doesn’t really sound so bad now, but it was probably the creepy music they used to play in those things.
I hear it runs now and again on latenight cable – could one of you in the US with a TiVo take a look for it?
So… Since it’s so close to halloween, think back. What movies stick with you as being the scariest? What scenes come to mind when you’re spooked late at night and you’re headed to the basement with just a candle to investigate a strange noise?
Yuka, would yours still be Joshuu sasori: Dai-41 zakkyo-bô (Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41) which we both had a chance to see again recently?