Autodidact: self-taught


Fun Films for October 2

by V. L. Craven

If gore and abject terror aren’t to your taste–if you only need a murky atmosphere and a castle to get you in the spooky mood, then here are a few films perfect for October.

Haunted Honeymoon is a classic. Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Dom Deluise and several others are members of a radio show called Manhattan Mystery Theatre. Since Wilder and Radner became engaged, Wilder has developed a stutter brought on by fear of matrimony after his mother’s death at her second marriage. A stutter and uncontrollable laughing or crying is a career killer for a radio actor who has finally caught a break.

But! A psychiatrist has a plan–to scare the bejeezus out of Wilder. Overloading the circuits, as it were. The couple is going to Wilder’s family home to meet everyone at the weekend and the psychiatrist plans to use the scary-ass atmosphere to ‘fix’ his problem.

Simultaneously, Aunt Kate–the matriarch of the family–has changed her will to benefit Wilder. This is supposed to be a secret, but of course someone finds out. Both of Wilder’s brothers need money desperately and have excellent motif for killing him and the women in their lives do, as well… how much of the creepiness is the psychiatrist trying to help and how much is someone trying to off the poor schlub in order to get his money?

Though the entire movie is great fun, this is my favourite part:

This was my first exposure to the concept of sound effects–you get to see how radio technicians work–and it holds up remarkably well for something I found enormously entertaining when I was eight. This one is good for the entire family.




Fun Facts: The woman who plays the wife of the magician, Jo Ross, played Camilla in a TV mini-series about Charles and Diana that was made in 1982.

Haunted Honeymoon was filmed at Knebworth House. Knebworth? Really? Look at this place:

‘Knebworth’ is the name of the spotty kid who got wedgied every day until he went to university, not the physical manifestation of ‘I have money and I’m staying right here’.

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