Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Bermuda Depths

I had been wanting to see The Bermuda Depths (1978) and finally bought the DVD.  The made for TV movie stars Leigh McCloskey, Carl Weathers,   Burl Ives and Connie Sellecca.  The producers are Rankin and Bass the same that brought all the stop motion animated holiday shows such as Rudolf.  This movie is live action and takes place in Bermuda.

Magnus returns to the island he grew up on trying to find out more about the mysterious death of his father many years ago.  While on the beach he meets Jennie who he soon remembers is the same girl he was friends with as a child and who used to play with him on the beach with a turtle they found since it hatched from its egg.  Jennie mysteriously always shows up swimming from the sea and there is an entire island lore about her having drowned decades ago in a sinking boat after she made a deal with the devil to save her and keep her alive. No one else except Magnus ever sees her except those doomed to drown in the sea.

The special effects are clearly done with models and the giant turtle looks like something out of the Land of the Lost.  This is a very quirky movie - a mystery, a romance, an action adventure and a creature feature.  The underwater scenes are beautifully shot and the music adds to the mysterious atmosphere of this movie. While not a masterpiece of the telefilm genre, it is a movie to enjoy on a weekend afternoon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Stranger Within

On a rainy summer day it was nice to stay inside and watch an old made for TV movie called The Stranger Within (1974) starring  Barbara EdenGeorge Grizzard and Joyce Van Patten.  Ann and David are the happily married couple until Ann discovers she is pregnant even though David had previously had a vasectomy.  That fact and the escalating strangeness of Ann's behavior soon cause a rocky marriage.  Ann starts craving way too much salt and black coffee and keeps the house cold and a mess.  She also starts speed reading through every book she can get her hands on.  We soon discover that her unborn baby is causing her to do these things.  What the baby turns out to be you'll have to watch to see.

I always like watching Barbara Eden in movies and she did a fine job acting at times crazed, erratic, and bizarre in this movie.  The setting in the sunny California hills contrasts with the shadow cast over their marriage and the coolness that permeates the film.  This is not the best Barbara Eden film from that period (see 'A Howling in the Woods') but it is an enjoyable escape on a rainy afternoon.