The Original Poltergeist (1982) Teaser

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Halfwit, May 10, 2019.

  1. dougotte

    dougotte Vague Waste of Space-Time

    Washington, DC
    Thanks, Vidiot. But, the only thing about Casella's recollection is: that scene where "he" is tearing off his face does not have Casella in it. That's obviously a manikin w/ someone's hands tearing off the face. The hands might be Spielberg's; I don't know. Did his brain mix up his memories that soon after filming?
  2. Yep, Tobe made some good, bad and interesting films on his own none of which look or feel like this one. If one wants to call it a collaboration, that’s fine. This reminds me of the controversy with Hawks and Nyby for “The Thing From Another World” except that, IMHO that was more collaborative with Hawks essentially tutoring Nyby on directing a film But all of the classic Hawks elements are there.
    Vidiot likes this.
  3. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident


    Fascinating. The simple fact that it’s SO DAMN GOOD tells me it was directed by the master not some b-horror movie schlocker.
  4. PTB

    PTB Active Member

    Los Angeles
    Well, it seems like Casella has changed his tune, or there was a lot more to the production than your memories are telling you. These are exact quotes from Martin Casella taken in recent years:



    He's one of the main and most explicit sources I've come across for debunking the rumors. There's other sources, but his and Oliver Robins, who plays the young boy, have done the convention rounds.

    These are the same old nuggets that have been tossed around over and over again, those quotes from Fenton, Nelson, and Williams as old as the film itself. There is so much more evidence and stories out there, I think merely talking about quotes that were explicitly farmed by scandalmongers for articles posted before the film was even released (the first article brewing rumors was published DURING the first week of shooting - how can anyone fairly evaluate the roles people played on a film set when only 5% of the film had been shot?).

    Mike Fenton - a casting director. Has no idea what is happening on set. Nelson and Williams are being as truthful as they can be - Hooper did a lot. He was Spielberg's foremost collaborator, and the film would not be the same without him.

    As I mentioned, Hooper edited a cut of the film and was willing to hand it over to Spielberg to oversee the scoring and sound mixing. He was a strong producer, but that does not discount the directing job Hooper did.

    It sure sounds like you have a dog in this hunt. Your idea of slander is to present the same misconceptions that we've had for years without trying to find out if there's any greater nuances to the story, nuances that your sources clearly hardly care to get into either. As I said, an ILM person is not who we should be going to to litigate Hooper's essential work on the film. How about we address the evidence I'm putting forward, and that no one knows to a greater extent what happened on that set? This "open secret" thing between superficially-minded Hollywood people has been the smug means by which Hooper's work can be scrubbed from a film that simultaneously every single actor on the set can speak to Hooper's clear role. It's the desire to Spielberg hero worship first and foremost and tear down a person who was never lionized by the industry. And it's ********.

    Yes, this is true, it was a mannequin.

    I'd say it shares many similarities to "Salem's Lot" and "The Funhouse." Even "Texas Chain Saw" has the frenzy and crazed camera movements similar to "Poltergeist." Spielberg never made a film that looks like "Poltergeist" again when he started working with Alan Daviau, is that proof Spielberg didn't contribute to "Poltergeist"? Meanwhile, Hooper's "Lifeforce" is a wide-angle infused, classical Panavision-looking film with a lot of spectral optical FX and swirling lights. Hooper probably took advice from Spielberg, but unlike Nyby, Hooper had made three Hollywood features by that point and one three-hour TV movie in the shooting schedule of a single feature. I don't think he needed too much advice on anything, besides the effects scenes.

    That's... ungenerous. You are entitled to that opinion, but "Poltergeist" is way schlockier and less kinetic than anything Spielberg ever made. Maybe that tells you something.
  5. While it may not look like something Spielberg might have made post “Poltergiest”,Spielberg hasn’t made another horror film now he has made other films with elements of horror to be sure. There’s plenty of camera tricks that are Spielbergian that appear in the film that refer to things he did before in “JAWS”, “Close Encounters” and “Duel” the three films that are closest to “Poltergeist” in tone.

    WhileTobe did direct big budget films for other studios later, “Poltergeist” was his first “A” picture so speak. I would also point to editing and working with the composer as a job that normally a very involved director would do (although there are plenty that supervise editing without taking a credit or let the producer cut the film but those days were largely long gone by then).

    This isn’t to take anything away from Tobe either—of all the films he made or has credits on, this is the one that feels,the least like a Tobe Hooper film. “Salem’s Lot” is a bit different because the producer tended to be king on TV more so than the director or writer. Part of that conventional look is due more to the format and Hooper toning down the material for TV (and the producers/writer working that angel as well). Certainly Hooper became a sharper, more accomplished and slicker Director with time- meaning many of the rough edges evident in his first two features were gone—but the film certain plays as a cross between the two with Spielberg’s “voice” more dominant IMHO.

    Spielberg’s role as a producer many times crosses over into the directing realm as well and those that work with him as a director (Frank Marshall for one) demonstrate sensibility that is clearly influenced by Spielberg’s work.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  6. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I think that's a very apt comparison.
  7. PTB

    PTB Active Member

    Los Angeles
    Please visit my Twitter showing Poltergeist is not so far off from Hooper’s sensibilities as people may like to think: Poltrg_Thoughts Images (@poltrgthts_imag) | Twitter

    That said, let me repeat, Hooper DID edit the film. He was not uninvolved in the editing.

    In my opinion, Hooper’s voice is dominant. Spielberg does not have the sense of architectural framing, nor would he make a movie with as many lulls and slow pacing as this film, not to mention

    If we can stop ignoring the fact that I’ve shown Martin Casella, one of the main actors of the film, said Hooper was the “one in charge,” that would be great. Craig T. Nelson has also always been in full support of Hooper’s integral role determining the look/feel of the picture.
  8. ries

    ries Forum Resident

    never understood the big hoopla about who directed what, its pretty clear this is a Spielberg film.
    Vidiot and Ghostworld like this.
  9. PTB

    PTB Active Member

    Los Angeles
    It’s not clear, and I wish people grappled with reality more. Spielberg would have overloaded this with unneeded science and slapstick, a la every film he’s ever made. Hooper made it a film for adults. This is my opinion, but at least I’m not stating absolute facts as absolute without any further thought.

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