Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Cathode Ray Mission 14 - Ghost Story - The Dead We Leave Behind

A typical reaction to watching American Horror Story.

Ghost Story 1972-1973
S01E01 The Dead We Leave Behind

Ghost Story was a short-lived anthology series executive produced by William Castle. Each story was set around a haunting or some other kind of ghostly encounter. The first thirteen episodes were hosted by Sebastian Cabot as Winston Essex, a man with a mansion full of people who are ghosts(?) It’s not terribly clear from this first episode. Citing low ratings, Ghost Story would change its name to Circle of Fear and drop the host segments. It did not help; the show was not renewed.

The first episode stars Jason Robards as a park ranger and Stella Stevens as his bored television-obsessed wife. She has a reputation for sleeping around and the time these two have spent in an isolated cabin has not helped their relationship at all. They are constantly sniping and taunting one another. Things go too far when the park ranger accidentally kills his wife in a scuffle, He hides the body in a shed. Soon enough his wife is talking to him on their television set. She starts showing him dead bodies rising from the ground and approaching the house. The park ranger has to kill again, and his sanity is hanging by a string as he becomes convinced the dead are rising and looking for revenge.

This is a great little ghost story, the tension is evident from the opening moment and it only ratches up as things escalate. There is a palpable doom that crushes the characters and it ends on a spooky ironic note that would feel at home in an EC Comic.

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