Episode 104: Poltergeist (1982)

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They're here! The guys go into the light on this week's podcast with Tobe Hooper's 1982 spooky haunted house film, Poltergeist. The film's directorial credit has always been shrouded in mystery, and it certainly does have producer Steven Spielberg's fingerprints all over it, but no matter whose name we slap on the poster, it's a fun, scary time. The movie has everything you'd ever want in a horror experience: questionable parenting from Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams, a creepy kid, a clown doll come to life, buckets and buckets of goo, and Zelda Rubenstein as a quirky exorcist spouting paranormal mumbo jumbo that also happens to be 100% accurate. In this podcast episode, the Bit Players talk about the incredible relationship and chemistry of Steve (Nelson) and Diane (Williams) Freeling, how the entire film gets kicked up quite a few notches when Tangina Barrons (Rubenstein) enters the picture — with jammed frequencies and all — and, of course, the controversy surrounding the authorship of the film. Though it feels like a Spielberg picture through and through, there's something dark and twisted there that can only be Hooper, and the guys talk about the pros and cons of each of those faces of the film.

Featuring "Star Spangled Banner" by Jerry Goldsmith

03:40 Number-Crunching
12:04 Poltergeist Introduction
13:40 The Lack of a Legacy
16:30 Comparisons to Stranger Things
17:00 Family Life in Poltergeist
20:00 The Film's Authorship
27:00 E.T. and Poltergeist's Running Threads of Suburban Family Love
30:00 Tangina Barrons
35:50 The Tough Decisions of the Family/JoBeth Williams' Performance
39:30 Any Reservations?/Final Thoughts
46:10 Clark's Corner: Recast, Porno Version, Shared Universe
58:48 Ratings

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