THE GHOST DANCE (1980)
Article 5114 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Peter F. Buffa
Featuring Julie Amato, Victor Mohica, Henry Bal
What it is: Historic evil (meaning it’s not quite ancient)
When an archaeological dig on an Indian reservation finds a body, evil is unleashed and people begin to die.
Let’s face it – at heart this is a “mummy’s curse” type of movie, only with Native American legends standing in for Ancient Egyptian ones; the basic modus operandi is the same. I admired the first few minutes in that they were effective at setting a mood without a word being said. However, it’s followed with one of those night sequences which are so dark that it’s nearly impossible to make out what’s going on. Then the characters start talking, and you notice the acting isn’t really up to scratch, and a rather tired hangdog air takes over the proceedings. The movie then plods through the usual paces, though there is a creepy moment or two in the mix. All in all, the movie comes across as tired and over-familiar. The oddest thing to me, though, was to realize that they body they dug up was from the 1890s, which seems an entirely too recent period of history for archaeological exploration.