2 September 2016

POLTERGEIST 2: THE OTHER SIDE/THE FLY 2- TWO TERRIFIC HORROR SEQUELS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.




POLTERGEIST 2: THE OTHER SIDE/THE FLY 2: TWO TERRIFIC HORROR MOVIE SEQUELS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.

POLTERGEIST 2: THE OTHER SIDE. (1986) BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG. DIRECTED BY BRIAN GIBSON. MUSIC BY JERRY GOLDSMITH. CINEMATOGRAPHY BY ANDREW LASZLO.
STARRING CRAIG T. NELSON, JOBETH WILLIAMS, HEATHER O'ROURKE, OLIVER ROBINS, ZELDA RUBINSTEIN, WILL SAMPSON, JULIAN BECK AND GERALDINE FITZGERALD.

THE FLY 2. (1989) BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY GEORGE LANGELAAN. DIRECTED BY CHRIS WALAS. MUSIC BY CHRISTOPHER YOUNG. CINEMATOGRAPHY BY ROBIN VIDGEON.
STARRING ERIC STOLTZ, DAPHNE ZUNIGA, LEE RICHARDSON, JOHN GETZ AND JEFF GOLDBLUM.

POLTERGEIST and THE FLY were two of the biggest and best horror movies of the 'Eighties, if not of all time. Who can forget the evil spirits whisking away the pretty little blonde-haired angel Carol Anne Freeling through her television set, of all things, or the handsome genius scientist Seth Brundle accidentally mixing his DNA with that of a fly to create the nastiest mutation ever to sully God's green earth...?

We the viewers certainly can't. To us, these films are unforgettable. They characterise the very best of 'Eighties horror and we fans watch them again and again and again without ever getting bored. Sequels to either film were never going to reach the dizzy heights of the original movies, but I must say that the two sequels we're talking about now were pretty decent efforts. Shall we take a closer look, my pretties? Yes, we shall...!

POLTERGEIST 2 is a really enjoyable movie that falls down badly in the last five minutes, which is a shame because that's when you really need things to hold together. The original family, the Freelings, have moved to Grandma's house, only to find that the evil spirits who targeted Carol Anne in the first film have come back to haunt her again through her little pink toy telephone. For shame, spirits...!

This time around, the Freelings have pocket-rocket psychic Tangina Barrons back in their corner once more, plus her friend Taylor, a native American shaman. Taylor is big and burly and positively super-cool, the kind of guy you'd want rooting for you if you had the devil on your tail.

That's exactly the Freelings' problem. The devil is on their tail, in the form of a ghostly preacher called Henry Kane who wants Carol Anne and who has fiendish connections with the corpse-ridden foundations of the Freelings' old home, the one which disappeared.

That's a pretty tricky one to explain to your insurance company, by the way. 'Whaddya mean, the house just vanished into thin air? Houses don't just vanish, gosh-darn-it! Y'all expect us to believe a cock-a-mamie story like that...?' You can see where there might be a problem...!

Anyway, Tangina, Taylor and the Freelings (they sound like a 'Sixties pop group, don't they...?)  have to join forces to ensure that the truly nightmare-inducing Henry Kane (the Beast) doesn't get his ghoulish mitts on Carol Anne. The special effects are top-notch once again but the ending is a disaster. It's cheesy beyond belief and sadly wouldn't frighten a kitten. That's my only complaint with an otherwise great sequel which is well worth your time.

I really enjoyed THE FLY 2 as well, although in a million years it couldn't be as good as the original and the Son of The Fly could never equal his father. Jeff Goldblum as sexy scientist Seth Brundle positively crackled with vitality, energy, sex and passion. His was a performance that could never be repeated. It was his personal best. Once you accept that, and don't expect the sequel to attempt to duplicate the original in any way, you can relax and enjoy this pretty darned good follow-up.

Seth's Brundle's son has been born, incidentally killing his mother Ronnie in the process. An
orphan now, the boy, who's called Martin Brundle, is being brought up under observation in a strictly scientific and clinical environment in the place that houses Bartok Industries. Anton Bartok, the boss of the company, was the one who financed Daddy Fly's teleportation experiments. See?

Now he 'owns' Baby Fly and he raises him knowing that he will one day be smarter than the one who sired him. That's pretty damned smart, as I think you'll agree. In fact, when Baby Fly is five years old, albeit with the body of a twenty-five-year-old male due to his Accelerated Growth Syndrome, the unscrupulous Bartok gives him the job of repairing Daddy Fly's telepod machines.

It looks like Bartok thinks he can pretty much take over the world if he can only get these miraculous machines working properly again. He also knows that poor Martin will soon start to turn into a fly like his father did and he doesn't care one iota. He just cares about his precious machines and the wonderful money-making schemes he can cook up with them at his disposal. The dirty rotter...!

Can Martin use the telepods to cure himself of the Curse of The Fly, or will Bartok get his wish and get both Martin and the famous telepods back under his control? Only time will tell, film-folks.

Martin has a girlfriend-helper in this film, just like his Daddy did. They even have sex, which is weird as, technically, Martin's only five years old in the film...! Eeuw. John Getz reprises his role as Stathis Borans, the man whose life was pretty much unwittingly ruined in the first film by The Fly. He's funny to watch as he sarcastically recounts his association with Seth Brundle which effectively ballsed up his life forever. There's a little clip of Jeff Goldblum from the original film in there too, which is a nice nostalgia-inducing touch.

The special effects are excellent as well, though obviously they couldn't hold a candle to the work done on Jeff Goldblum's deteriorating face in the original film. That face gave me nightmares when I watched the film for the first time back in the 'Nineties. This film probably isn't really scary at all, but it's a good interesting watch and the bits about Martin's poor doggie were sooooo sad. I'm a real sucker for a shaggy dog story...!

Sequels are always tricky to make. The odd time, you get one that's as good as or even better than the original. All the sequels to PSYCHO were excellent, and AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION kicked the ass of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR somewhat, in my humble opinion.

The two sequels we've been discussing don't even come close to outshining their original films but they're still great fun to watch. I recently had a terrific 'sequels' night for myself of which these two 'Eighties movies were top of the bill. Add 'em to the to-watch list. Trust me, they're cool...!

     AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com





No comments:

Post a comment