Hello all, it’s a stormy morning as I write. It started about 2 or so this morning and hasn’t really let up. Mother Nature decided to show us what real fire works look like I guess. When I was playing in our sprinkler yesterday afternoon I was hoping for rain but didn’t know some was on the way! It should be cleared out in time for people to use their fire works and what not later….the damp ground will make it safer for them. We will be getting together with family for a cook out today but no plans to watch fireworks. Kyle and I were pondering over what happened to us in regards to those days of loving to watch fireworks and mutually agreed, “the magic is gone.” Yeah, we are kind of becoming fuddy duddies aren’t we?!! Well if you do celebrate with explosions this day, be safe (don’t be like those Central Park people!)
So yesterday afternoon I did one of my drawings and ran into the house and showed Kyle like I always do and said, “I wonder what movie we are going to see with this stuff in it?” Well he basically said, “challenge accepted” and started actively looking for movies with eyeballs and didn’t come up with anything we wanted to watch. Then, at random, he chose one of the films I had already put on our Netflix stream watch list, The Legend of Hell House, a thriller/horror film from 1973 and this is where my drawing and a film lined up. Turns out with this superpower of mine, lol, you can’t be deliberate. Like with any science experiment, the observer trying to force outcomes isn’t going to find the answers they seek….the chaos that is “random” seems to be best!
So here is how I perceive how the drawing and the film line up:
1) The Physicist Lionel Barrett tries to force his “science” into a situation that is beyond science and is of the spiritual and paranormal realm. His gadgets and machines do not produce nearly the volumes of evidence that young medium Florence Tanner and Barrett’s wife Ann do both in their minds and on their bodies.
2) The drawing has “crazy” eyes that oversee the scene I’ve drawn and this represents Emeric Belasco and his hold over the 4 characters of the film. The four characters are represented by the black “portal” cylinders (inspired when I drew them by something I saw about black holes possible being only 2 dimensional holograms). The characters of the film are “porous” in their own unique ways and permeable to the power of Emeric.
3) The other “eyes” that float are representatives of the the Dannie Belasco spirit (Emeric’s son) and the others trapped in the house. Notice how two of them are trying to “drain” the house represented by the circle? When I drew the circle, I was thinking of an alien body draining the earth and the eye underneath was me watching it. Well in terms of the film, towards the end, Lionel and Ann try to use their machine to drain the Belasco House of all of it’s energy while Ben Frederick (Roddy McDowall) can only watch. Florence, who is already dead by this point and warned them not to do this, has become part of the spirit energy in the house.
4) What strikes me as interesting about all of this is a theme that is in the book Valis, by PKD I’m reading. He asserts that God is crazy and where we exist in the timeline is where chaos has been restored to order. The crazy big eyes overseeing the Cosmos of ours is like that isn’t it? We perceive there is a divine being watching our every move while we living and dead drain the life force of the planet. All the while, he or she or “they” just watch us do it without interfering…free will. May because we are like dead stars that show up on film from billions of light years away? We’ve “already happened” and ceased to exist but we just don’t know it? Are we just two dimensional black holes? Holograms?
My superpower does seem to be more than just about predicting films sometimes. Silly….but not really!
Physicist Lionel Barrett is enlisted by an eccentric millionaire, Mr. Deutsch, to make an investigation into “survival after death” in “the one place where it has yet to be refuted”. This is the Belasco House, the “Mount Everest of haunted houses”, originally owned by the notorious “Roaring Giant” Emeric Belasco, a six-foot-five perverted millionaire and supposed murderer, who disappeared soon after a massacre at his home. The house is believed to be haunted by numerous spirits, the victims of Belasco’s twisted and sadistic desires.
Accompanying Barrett are his wife, Ann, as well as two mediums: a mental medium and Spiritualist minister, Florence Tanner, and a physical medium, Ben Fischer, who is the only survivor of an investigation 20 years previously. The rationalist Barrett is rudely sceptical of Tanner’s belief in “surviving personalities”, spirits which haunt the physical world, and he asserts that there is nothing but unfocused electromagnetic energy in the house. Barrett brings a machine he has developed, which he believes will rid the house of this energy.
Though not a physical medium, Tanner begins to manifest physical phenomena inside the house. When, after a quarrel with Tanner, Barrett is attacked by invisible forces, he suspects that Tanner may be using the house’s energy against him. Meanwhile, Fischer remains aloof, with his mind closed to the house’s influence, and is only there to collect the generous paycheck.
Ann Barrett is subjected to erotic visions late at night, which seem linked to her lackluster sex life. She goes downstairs and, in an apparent trance, disrobes and demands sex from Fischer. He strikes her, snapping her out of the trance, and she returns to herself, horrified and ashamed. A second incident occurs a day or so later; this time, she is awake but uninhibited due to alcohol. Her husband arrives a moment later to witness her advances to Fischer. He is resentful, and spurns Fischer’s psychic ability, claiming that “Mr. Deutsch is wasting one-third of his money!” Stricken by the accusation, Fischer drops his psychic shields but is immediately attacked.
Tanner is convinced that one of the “surviving personalities” is Belasco’s tormented son, Daniel, and she is determined to prove it at all costs. She finds a human skeleton chained behind a wall. Believing it to be Daniel, Tanner and Fischer bury the body outside the house and Tanner performs a funeral. Nevertheless, Daniel’s “personality” continues to haunt Tanner; she is scratched violently by a possessed cat. Barrett suspects that Tanner is mutilating herself. In an attempt to put Daniel to rest, Tanner gives herself to the entity sexually, but the entity brutalizes her.
Barrett’s machine is assembled. Tanner attempts to destroy it, thinking that it will harm the spirits in the house, but Barrett prevents her from doing damage. She enters the chapel, “the unholy heart” of the house, in an attempt to warn the spirits, but she is crushed by a falling crucifix. As she dies, she leaves a symbol written in her own blood. Barrett activates his machine, which seems to be effective. Fischer wanders the house afterwards, attempting to sense psychic energy; he declares the place “completely clear!” in astonishment. Violent psychic activity soon resumes and Barrett is killed.
Fischer decides to confront the house, and Ann accompanies him despite her misgivings. Decyphering Tanner’s dying clue, Fischer deduces that Belasco is the sole entity haunting the house, masquerading as many. He taunts Belasco, declaring him a “son of a whore”, and that he was no “roaring giant”, but likely a “funny little dried-up bastard” who fooled everyone about his alleged height. Even as objects begin to hurl themselves at Fischer, he continues to defy the entity, until all becomes still. A stained glass partition in the chapel shatters, revealing a hidden door.
Fischer and Ann discover a lead-lined room, containing Belasco’s preserved body seated in a chair. Pulling out a pocketknife, Fischer rips open Belasco’s trouser leg, discovering his final secret: a pair of prosthetic legs. Fischer realises Belasco had had his own stunted legs amputated, and used the prosthetics in a grotesque attempt to appear imposing. Belasco had the specially built room lined with lead, presaging the discovery of the electromagnetic nature of life after death.
With the room now open, Fischer activates Barrett’s machine a second time, and he and Ann leave the house, hoping that Barrett and Tanner will guide Belasco to the afterlife without fear.
Pamela Franklin as Florence Tanner
Roddy McDowall as Benjamin Franklin Fischer
Clive Revill as Dr. Lionel Barrett
Gayle Hunnicutt as Mrs. Ann Barrett
Roland Culver as Mr. (Rudolph) Deutsch
Peter Bowles as Hanley
Michael Gough as Emeric Belasco (uncredited)
Production began on 23 October 1972. The Legend of Hell House is one of only two productions of James H. Nicholson after his departure from American International Pictures — a company he had run, along with Samuel Z. Arkoff, since 1954. Nicholson died of a brain tumour in December 1972, before the film’s release in June 1973. Nicholson’s company, Academy Pictures Corporation, also released Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry through Twentieth Century Fox in 1974.
Matheson’s screenplay drastically reduced some of the more extreme elements of the novel, particularly the sexuality.
The external shots of the house were filmed at Wykehurst Park, West Sussex. Mr. Deutsch’s mansion in the opening sequence is Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. The interior shot of the long room is the palace’s library.
The role of Belasco was played by an uncredited Michael Gough, familiar to modern audiences from his role as Alfred Pennyworth in the Tim Burton movie Batman. His part consisted of a couple of recorded lines and an on-camera appearance as an embalmed corpse seated upright in a chair.
https://www.facebook.com/NikolaTeslaExplorers/?fref=nf – interesting page!