Haunted (1979)

HAUNTED (1979)
Article 3080 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-22-2009
Posting Date: 1-19-2010
Directed by Michael A. DeGaetano
Featuring Aldo Ray, Virginia Mayo, Ann Michelle
Country: USA
What it is: Ancient Indian shaman curse movie….maybe…

A small Arizona town suffers from a curse brought on by an Indian woman who was falsely executed by the townspeople. When a woman shows up who might be the reincarnation of the Indian woman, a crazed caretaker after some hidden gold decides he must kill her.

One of the first scenes in this bizarre horror movie has the phone company installing a phone booth in a cemetery. Why? Well, despite the fact that you’ll be asking that question (as well as most of the other characters in the cast), no answer is tendered, and that’s just the type of movie this is. Other weirdnesses include an organ-playing blind woman (played by Virginia Mayo), a series of wooden sculptures, and a series of microphones installed on a roof. It’s directed by Michael A. DeGaetano, who gave us UFO: TARGET EARTH, and you can tell; as in that movie, the story doesn’t make much sense, the dialogue is weirdly artificial, and you’ll be left scratching your head by the end of the movie. And, like UFO: TARGET EARTH, for some reason, I can’t quite bring myself to the point of just dismissing the movie as a ludicrous piece of crap; there’s something oddly hypnotic about his work, and some of the location photography is beautiful. It’s rating on IMDB is very low, and that’s to be expected; it’s marketed as a horror movie, and those expecting a good scare will really come up frustrated. In truth, I’m not sure what it is; there’s a chance its bizarre feel is a side effect of incompetence rather than of any intentional design. Still, if DeGaetano is a bad film-maker, at least he was an interesting one as well.

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