We’re excited to bring you the second part of our interview with Amanda from Made for TV Mayhem. In this installment, she shared her thoughts on some of the made for TV films we’ve covered here at B&S About Movies.
B&S About Movies: Here are some of the films we’ve covered. Do you mind sharing your thoughts on them?
AR: I really enjoy this one. It’s surprisingly subversive. It didn’t occur to me that this was a film with really deep feminist undertones until I read the review that Jennifer Wallis submitted for Are You in the House Alone? I mean, I got it, but not to the level she did. It’s a fascinating film. Also, it has great car stunts, so you can watch it for that too!
AR: I hate to admit that I’ve never seen this. I’ve had a copy for forever, but it just hasn’t reached the top of my “To Watch” pile. Not sure why.
AR: Here’s Gordon Hessler. He told me he directed this film in five days! It’s wonderful. So creepy. The artwork is amazing. And I don’t mean just the sculptures the male protagonist creates, but all of the artwork throughout the house is stunning. It’s almost distracting! This one is also pretty feminist, but it’s more overt. It’s also a lot of fun. Bette Davis is wonderful in it as well.
AR: One of my favorites. This film really digs deep into the anxiety of the changing family unit in the 1970s. The childless couple and Richard, the man they take in, are both so desperate to create a traditional family unit that they end up destroying each other. It’s not a horror film in the conventional sense, but it’s extremely unsettling. The novel is just as good.
AR: Speaking of trying to maintain a traditional family unit! All the Kind Strangers does have some issues. Mostly with how it portrays the South as an unforgiving space clinging to a conservative ideology, which is a stereotype, but ultimately, it’s very effective. Also, John Savage is just amazing in it.
AR: This is an oddball one. I think it’s a little too slow for its own good, but there’s something really interesting at play with the ghost. So, for me this movie is about how houses absorb our memories, but everyone in the house will remember events differently. There are so many versions surrounding the death of a young woman in the house that the ghost itself can’t actually remember who murdered her. It’s really a pretty interesting idea wrapped up in a slightly misguided film. But it is thought-provoking.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
AR: Absolutely one of the best films ever, and one of the first TV movies I ever saw. I love how quietly creepy it is, and those little monsters are terrifying! Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a classic for a reason. The ending is… oh man, I’ve never gotten over it.
AR: Oh gosh, Satan’s School for Girls is so much fun. There’s not a lot going on here, it’s just a straightforward devil worship kind of thing, and I love it. The female ensemble is amazing, and it’s so cool to see Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd in a movie before they were both Angels. Also, Roy Thinnes is my husband.
AR: Another favorite. Gargoyles is the first movie I can remember where I wasn’t scared by the monster. I was drawn to them, and I wanted to see them survive. Those feelings of fascination and empathy would carry over when I started watching Godzilla films, but this was the first time I remember rooting for the beast. It’s a wonderful little movie. It does so much with so little, and Bernie Casey as the head Gargoyle is everything to me. This was one of those game changers I mentioned earlier. Such a gateway into horror and creature features for me.
AR: Oh my gosh, another classic! It’s all about that crazy Zuni Fetish doll, and it also gives Karen Black a really great arena as an actress. I think that the Millicent and Therese segment is predictable, but she’s so much fun in those roles! Still, I just go nuts for that dang doll!
AR: Such a favorite. I think Bad Ronald really goes to interesting places. It’s dark, and creepy. Plus, Scott Jacoby is amazing. He’s sympathetic but also scary. The novel makes Ronald much darker, and I appreciate the balancing act in this version, although I think the novel is really fantastic too!
AR: Confession: While I love the Night Stalker, I’m a bigger fan of The Night Strangler (and I love The Norliss Tapes even more than those two films!). I realize that The Night Stalker and its sequel are basically the same film, but there’s just something about the characters in Strangler that I’m drawn to. That said The Night Stalker is fantastic, and Skorzeny is absolutely terrifying. One of the great monsters of the small screen!
AR: I’m on a bit of a James Franciosa kick. I just sat down with Fame is the Name of the Game, and I got to see Tenebre on the big screen last year. Curse is one of my escapist go-tos. James is always wonderful, and he shares the screen with some great small screen faces, including Patty Duke, Donna Mills and one of my favorite character actresses, Roz Kelly. This one just has oodles of energy. And the spider-cam is a hoot!
Believe it or not, we have even more questions for Amanda! Come back and see what she has to say tomorrow. Make sure to visit her on Twitter and Facebook, too! And you can see all of the B&S About Movies TV movies reviews right here!