Poltergeist TV and Movie page

This page is devoted to Poltergeist, a tv series and movie trilogy in the genre of ghost stories, and subject of Poltergeist books. Here's a list of videos from the tv series, movies, and documentary videos, followed by this month's episodes on the Sci-Fi channel:

See below for description of all 3 movies, Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist 2: The Other Side (1986) and Poltergeist 3 (1988)
Poltergeist Report - Yuyu Hakusho
Paranormal, The: Poltergeists
Secrets of the Unknown - Poltergeists
The Unexplained: Poltergeist (1999)

TV Series description

The fervid battle between good and evil rages on, and humanity's only hope for survival is "The Legacy," an ancient society that fights malevolent supernatural forces of Hell. Exploring the paranormal is a team comprised of a brilliant researcher, a gifted psychiatrist, an adventurous ex-Navy S.E.A.L. and a charismatic professor.
Stars: Derek de Lint, Helen Shaver, Robbi Chong and Martin Cummins.

* Sci-Fi channel episodes of Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996 tv series)

03/06/2005 01:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST
03/06/2005 03:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST 3    
04/13/2005 11:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST 
  No episodes are currently scheduled
"Poltergeist: The Legacy" rejoined the Sci Fi Channel schedule starting in October 2001, and has been there off & on since 1999
Helen Shaver can also be seen from time to time as a superhero in this fine movie
Previous recent months
All at 3 am EST / Pacific, night of date shown unless noted)
02-APR-04  BLACK WIDOW   
09-APR-04 (5:00 AM) LULLABY   
16-APR-04  FEAR   
30-APR-04  TRANSFERENCE 
 7-MAY-04  THE GIFT   
14-MAY-04  SHADOW FALL   
21-MAY-04  LIVES IN THE BALANCE   
28-MAY-04  LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE
06/04/2004  FINDING RICHTER    
06/11/2004  MIND'S EYE    
06/18/2004  DARK ANGEL    
06/25/2004  THE DEVIL'S LIGHTHOUSE 
01/23/2005  2:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST    
02/06/2005  3:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST 3 
03/06/2005 01:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST and POLTERGEIST 3    
04/13/2005 11:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST    
05/22/2005 01:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST     
05/25/2005 11:00 PM (MOVIE) POLTERGEIST 3 
Note: the movie Poltergeist (1982) is on Cable occasionally -
Producer Steven Spielberg's chiller about a family whose home is invaded by supernatural forces: "Evil spirits abduct a suburban family's daughter, causing chaos and havoc." It turns out that Craig T. Nelson's boss built his snazzy new housing development on top of an old cemetery. He moved the headstones, but not the bodies, and Nelson's new house is built right on top of the graves of people in a doomsday cult who died in a cave with their leader.
JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson. Dr. Lesh: Beatrice Straight. Dana: Dominique Dunne.
114 min. Rating: PG for Strong Language, Adult Themes, Category: Horror
Director: Tobe Hooper, who also made "The Funhouse."
TNT Monstervision review & host segments available for both "The Funhouse" and for Poltergeist

Heather O'Rourke only made 3 movies in her short life, this one and the 2 sequels (following 2 descriptions are from TV Guide). Her sudden death prevented a Poltergeist 4. The other two were:

POLTERGEIST II  (1986)
Although an improvement thematically over the first film (the childlike awe of the original has been replaced by a very adult fear of impotence), POLTERGEIST II is terribly disjointed and dramatically unfulfilling. The forces of evil that demolished the Freeling house in POLTERGEIST have followed the family into this film in search of the blonde, blue-eyed little Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke). The Freelings have fled to Arizona to live with Gramma Jess (Geraldine Fitzgerald), who shares with Carol Anne the psychic ability to "see things others cannot see." Soon after Gramma Jess dies, a soft-spoken Indian named Taylor (Will Sampson) pays a visit to the family, explaining that he has been sent by the clairvoyant Tangina (Zelda Rubenstein) to protect them from any more evil spirits. Steve (Craig T. Nelson), now an alcoholic, resists further contact with the supernatural, but Taylor tells them that they must stay and fight off the evil power that is attempting to destroy them. When the family is visited by the deathly looking Rev. Henry Kane (brilliantly played by Julian Beck), the sunny skies turn dark and it is obvious that the enemy has arrived for Carol Anne.

Although the film moves along at a rapid clip, it is poorly constructed and haphazardly executed. Reportedly, several additional family scenes wound up on the cutting room floor, leaving the film to lurch from one special-effects sequence to the next with little character insight in between. The confrontation between the characters played by Nelson and Beck (the latter is the founder of the avant-garde "Living Theater") is the very core of the film, and its one redeeming moment. Despite his very brief appearance (filmed almost entirely in close-up) Beck's bone-chilling presence dominates the film. It is a tribute to Beck's considerable talents that in his all-too-limited role he manages to create an embodiment of evil so terrifying as to burn his image into the viewer's brain long after the rest of POLTERGEIST II is justifiably forgotten.
Famous Swiss painter H.R. Giger, creator of the monster in ALIEN, designed the "Vomit Creature," which is seen ever so briefly as it slithers across the floor. The special effects received an Oscar nomination.

POLTERGEIST III  (1988)
The second sequel to the hit 1982 haunted-house extravaganza is an erratic affair, containing some promising ideas and clever effects that, unfortunately, are haphazardly presented in a narrative so perfunctory as to be almost nonexistent. The brainchild of writer-director Gary Sherman (who had the project dumped in his lap by the studio), POLTERGEIST III shifts the focus of the series from the suburbs to the city, setting the action in a newly constructed, state-of-the-art high-rise complex in Chicago full of shops, offices, and apartments. Little blonde-haired Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) lives with her Aunt Trish (Nancy Allen), her Uncle Bruce (Tom Skerritt), and her teenage cousin (Lara Flynn Boyle). Carol Anne is enrolled in a school for highly intelligent but emotionally disturbed youngsters. Her therapist, the pithy Dr. Seaton (Richard Fire), attributes the poltergeists that have haunted Carol Anne's past to mass hypnosis caused by her suggestions. He ignores her protests that the ghost of the evil Reverend Kane (Nathan Davis) has located her.

Kane, however, has indeed found Carol Anne in the Windy City, appearing in mirrors and reflections and beckoning her "into the light." The little girl is frightened but knows no one will listen to her, so she keeps her mouth shut and tries to ignore the malicious ghost who won't go away. The movie works perfectly well as an excuse to parade a number of cleverly conceived and executed in-camera (live) special effects before the public. When the handful of truly remarkable tricks have passed, however, what is left behind is an incoherent mess filled with bad dialog, weak performances, unintentional humor, and some surprisingly dull scenes of poltergeist mayhem.
This was the final film for O'Rourke, who died just after its completion. POLTERGEIST stars seem to have been cursed over the years--Dominique Dunne, Will Sampson, and Julian Beck all died after appearing in installments of the series.

All three Poltergeist movies in a row were shown on Monstervision, but I didn't keep the host segments/review for 2 & 3. I do remember host Joe Bob saying that the evil 19th-century cult leader Henry Kane was clearly a copy of the Tall Man from that other famous horror series Phantasm. And that the cast of these movies has a strangely high mortality rate in real life. Makes you wonder. Oh yes, and that thing where Henry Kane follows them around the country ... doesn't that remind you a little of the way the shark in Spielberg's Jaws movies keeps following people geographically in the sequels? In Jaws the Revenge it even follows the family to Bermuda!

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