Sunday, March 01, 2015

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Wow, it's been a while. Lots of cobwebs. And dust. Gotta love the dust. Makes things into an archaeological dig for those who can't really commit to the outdoors.

Moving on? Yes, let's.

Molly and the Ghost. Yup, you heard me. Molly and the Ghost. Sounds like some stupid sit-com from the 60s transported to the 80s for a pastel-toned makeover. Actually, the movie kind of is that. In a weird way. Not sure if it is good or bad weird.

To be honest, it doesn't really matter. I would like to say that it inspired me to do research into the occult. I would be delighted if I could tell you it opened my mind in ways I never knew were possible. I would love to scream that it made my heart dance in child-like joy.

That would be lying. It did none of those things. It DID help me go to sleep on 3 different occasions. I'll mark that as a benefit.

Yeah, I'm just meh with the movie.  

Molly is a pretty, well-to-do lady married to successful but stoic husband. One day, at her parents' request, Molly is suddenly faced with a new house guest,  Susan, her adopted sister. Susan settles right in and begins stealing money and jewelery. If that isn't enough, she then tries to seduce Molly's husband.

I'll give this movie two things: 1. It has two very lovely ladies in the roles of Molly and Susan; and, 2. Ron Moriarty (Molly's husband) is either blind, gay, or the most impressive actor ever as he never, EVER seems to express any attraction to either as he goes through the motions with them. BOTH OF THEM!!!

Maybe someone broke into their classic stash of 'ludes and dosed his ass. Who knows.

Next thing we know, Susan is trying to kill Molly by hiring killers. The first one flops, but, after a totally 80s musical montage of Susan reading every mercenary magazine on the shelf, she finds one that is just the ticket. So, she tears the family photo of Molly and herself in half (that's about as emotionally deep as it gets which is why you don't see this on the Lifetime Channel) and casually sends the wrong half of the photo to the hired killer.

Let's do a quick reality check here. You want to bump off your sister. You have a photo torn in half with one side Molly and one side yourself. You put the WRONG half of the photo in the envelope.

You had one simple task, and you fail. Not a simple internet friendly oopsie in which a skateboarder slams his balls into his throat on a rail. Not a social misstep like posting In A Relationship at the same time your loved one changes his status to Free Agent.

You sent the wrong picture. You deserve whatever happens. Stupidity must die. She does as the assassin steps in and strangles her. Susan is dead.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the film. Not by a long shot.

Susan is offered a full pardon in the afterlife and all the cake and milk she can swallow. Susan offers up a rather blunt "Fuck off!" and opts to haunt the earth just to drive her sister and brother-in-law ape shit. 

Here is one of the sections they could have trimmed down. Susan shows up in mirrors, TV, thin air...everywhere. At least she just makes death threats. Much classier than singing "I'm Henry The VIII, I Am" until you want ice picks in the ears. After enough tomfoolery, Molly and Jeff (her husband) realize the answer to all their troubles has been setting on their TV stand. A VHS copy of Ghostbusters! Pretty much the total highlight of the film, so treasure it. They bring in a local parapsychologist, and the whole thing is a very drawn out set up for a very campy bit of humor.

Can we get ON with the damned movie?!?!

Susan murders the hitman who killed her. Because of her own damned fault she sends her own photo, and since she is dead, the killer, who did what he was asked to do, gets stiffed for $5,000. And she KILLS HIM! Someone is a tad bit of a bitch.

Finally, Susan just flat possesses Molly. Would have been better and easier to have done this at the freaking beginning. Just saying. Okay. Apparently, Molly is forced to wear Susan's ghost while Susan turns Molly into a sexual all-night Stop-N-Go for every guy in view. 

The only way to switch back is to make Susan (in Molly's skin) unconscious. This leads to wild plans on how to knock Susan out. Maybe you could just wait for her to go to sleep, but I'm guessing there isn't much dramatic tension going that route.

Actually, that is the core problem with Molly and the Ghost; no dramatic tension to make you want to stick with it. Don't get me wrong. The film is fairly well put together. Technically, it is sound. It just has no human element. When your story depends on your audience caring about the characters, you live or die by the human element.

I find this odd because the director, Don Jones, has a decent track record. Schoolgirls In Chains is one of his best. That film had a detached quality that seemed to make the "schoolgirls" more pitiful, as if they weren't human. Maybe the detachment is just part of his style. Or maybe he was just slapping Molly and the Ghost together to complete a contract. Of course, there is nearly 20 years between the 2 films, and this movie was made at the end of the 80s.

Nope. Giving it too much slack. 

Molly and the Ghost is watchable but just barely. It's a ghost story with no spirit. Recommended ONLY if you just have to watch every movie directed by Don Jones and/or every movie with the name Molly in it. Sadly, I'm aiming for the former with only a slight interest in the latter.