Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Entity

The Entity Directed by Sidney J. Fury, Starring Barbara Hershey (1982).

This movie from 82 has aged well in the era of the #metoo movement. Think about it, a ghost or demon with the power to sexually assault a female, get away with it and because there’s no traces of anyone, it makes the victim look bat shit crazy! It’s terrifying! I’m obsessed with this allegedly true tale so much that I even bought the novel by Frank De Felita and was captivated by it. It's based on Doris Bither case, which happened in Culver City, Ca, which apparently was never solved. Barbara Hershey delivers one of her most incredible acting performances as protagonist Carla Moran, De Felita's pseudonym for Doris. I even found the book at a thrift store and was thoroughly entranced by the source material.

 Carla (Hershey) is not only repeatedly raped by the spectre, while in the bath or in front of her frightened boyfriend played by Alex Rocco, but in front of her kids as well. This movie is ghastly, eerie and fucked up! The sense of dread and fear never lets up, at least for me. From the perspective of the outside, Hershey’s character seems like a wacko and all of these disturbing events could only exist in her mind at first, but the audience witnesses all these frightening attacks as well and we believe the victim. Later on, the entity reveals itself to others around her, but the most frightening aspect of this film is that no one can stop this nightmare. Right now I see it as an allegory of Republicans destroying every facet of normalcy, it continues on with no signs of stopping and it’s sickening. If this were released in theaters now, I’m convinced that the patriarchy, in the age of Trump would side with the sexual predator ghost as the real victim!

if that's what's going on in 2018, leave me in the 80's.

Carla is on edge and helpless to defend herself from an invisible sexual demonic force. I get this unnerving reaction, the Charles Bernstein score really ramps up the tension. In Poltergeist, you buy the laughable premise that a haunted house is dominating a family’s suburban safe haven and its commitment to their ultimate destruction resonates so much so, that it works. You must buy the premise of both films to work.

the vile Orange vagina reminds me of something presidential.

Carla gets bruises all over her body from the vicious sexual attacks. Stan Winston created the indented breasts that rise and appear as if they’re being squeezed against her will. Ron Silver who plays the doctor doesn’t really believe her and chalks it up to hysteria. He does prescribe her anxiety meds and tells her to take a bath, but how can she feel safe, when that’s exactly where the last encounter occurred.

Gawwwd I just shit my britches!

When the demon visits her, there’s a chugging nightmarish guitar chord or banging on piano keys, it’s unnerving. Carla mentions in one scene that she hooked up with a motorcycle riding juvenile delinquent who was abusive in order to get away from the clutches of her religious father, this ex-boyfriend is possibly the demon that’s haunting her now. The most terrifying scene occurs when her family is right next to her and the ghost zaps her son and breaks his wrist. David Labiosa who played the son, later on had a substantial acting role as the busboy who lost his job in that one Seinfeld episode. One of her daughters is played by Amy Ryan, the girl who has the demonic pig ghost imaginary playmate from the Amityville Horror.

Jambi the Genie from Peewee's Playhouse cameo.

None of the white men, smoking cigars who psycho analyze her believe Carla Moran and they think she’s just an orgasm junkie. Yeah that's right, just like that Buzzcocks song!
Ron Silver’s character equates Carla’s insanity to Medieval creatures driven by the fear of sex instilled through her ridged father’s extreme religious values. It’s all so Freudian and the concept of powerful women seen as conjuring up demons goes seems in league with witch burning films at least to me.

Another aspect that this one shares with the aforementioned Tobe Hooper ghostie is the concept of paranormalists (or ghostbusters) horning in and solving problems or in this case making them far worse. They really exploit her and sadly this movie portrays the main character as the perpetual victim. This group of ghost hunters seem very desperate to find a real case of a haunting. I see this as exploiting the wave of psychic phenomenon that was rampant in the 70s. My fav. scene is where they attempt to lure the ghost into a web of nitroglycerin trap with Carla as the bait, so they can freeze it!

the Intelevision version of the Entity had really cool graphics.

This film really strikes a chord with me, it’s freaky, scary and mind blowing. More people should see it and it should be re-released with extras. Sadly, there's only a barebones DVD and it's not available to stream anywhere.

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