Shadow Chasers: Season 1, Episode 1

Shadow Chasers: Part 1 (14 Nov. 1985)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Mystery
6.4
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Dr. Jonathan MacKensie, professor of anthropology at Georgetown Institute of Science & Technology is 'persuaded' to take over the directorship of Dr. Moorhouse's newly established ... See full summary »

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Title: Shadow Chasers: Part 1 (14 Nov 1985)

Shadow Chasers: Part 1 (14 Nov 1985) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Dr. Jonathan MacKensie
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Dr. Juliana Moorhouse
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Stella Pence
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Jordan Kerner
Bobby Fite ...
Billy Pence
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Wick
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Mary Komatar
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Melody Lacey
Suzy Gilstrap ...
Randy
Bart Burns
Robert Winley ...
Henry Jones
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Miss Matlovsky (as Yuliis Ruval)
Deborah Nishimura
Milton Murrill
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Storyline

Dr. Jonathan MacKensie, professor of anthropology at Georgetown Institute of Science & Technology is 'persuaded' to take over the directorship of Dr. Moorhouse's newly established Paranormal Research Unit to investigate unexplainable phenomena, starting with reports of poltergeist activity in a little town in northern California. Once in Fartham, his reluctant investigation leads him to a dark cemetery and a fateful meeting with Edgar ('Call Me Benny, Edgar's Just For the Press') Benedek, who is also prowling around the tombstones on the scent of the same story. Although the flamboyant, self-aggrandizing author (and infamous tabloid reporter) immediately grates on Jonathan's nerves, he recognizes that Benny is considerably more experienced in the investigation of paranormal phenomena than he is (or ever wishes to be) and a partnership is born. The inhabitants of Briarwood Road feared their neighbor, Robert Pence, a professional occultist who claimed to derive his dark powers from his ... Written by Mary Bloemker <maryb@aol.com>

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Fantasy | Mystery

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14 November 1985 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Hermione Baddeley's final filmed role. See more »

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Compete silliness
1 January 2004 | by (El Cajon, California) – See all my reviews

The first thing to remember about this film is that it is a spoof on the serious ones based on the subject.

Geological scientist from the George Washington Institute are in the small Californian town of Fartham studying earth movements. Suddenly flares begin to go off and fires start. The locals believe it is a ghost who is rampaging.

Back in Washington DC, at the Institute, Dr. Jonathan MacKensie(Trevor Eve) is giving a lecture on anthropology. His most important concern is whether he will get a grant to continue a research project. The Dean over his department, Dr. Juliana Moorhouse(Nina Foch) knows she can bully him. She tells him that Mackensie is the new head of a new department which investigates the unexplained and paranormal. She makes MacKensie a deal. If he looks into a couple of the cases she has chosen, she will give him the grant for his research project.

So MacKensie heads to Fartham. He witnesses the Fartham entity in action as it blows up cans of paint and burns symbols into the houses of the people on Briarwood street. In searching a cemetery he comes across the grave of Robert Pence. Pence is a local who had been delving to closely, according to the locals, into the occult. He is killed in the process of conducting an incantation. MacKensie also meets, Edgar "Benny" Benedek(Dennis Dugan). Benedek is a free lance writer who specializes in the paranormal. He also writes for a tabloid magazine. MacKensie is completely unaware of this side of Benedeks investigations until he is informed by Dr. Moorhouse. Moorhouse reluctantly gives MacKensie permission to use Benedek as an assistant. Together they discover how Pence was killed and what is causing the "hauntings".

This is a pretty straight forward predictable film, but there are some seriously funny moments. Hermione Baddeley is very funny as Mel Lacy, the "wall feeler" from Liverpool, who feels walls to find where the ghosts are hiding. In order for her to be in sync, she has to drink an old family recipe. This is not the usual alcoholic drink. It has boiled mice in it. There is a scene in a restaurant where MacKensie is eating a nice dinner and his privacy is invaded by Benedek who introduces him to a unigue dish from Eastern Europe. Chocolate ice cream, garlic and turnips.(I haven't gotten the courage to try that one yet.) In the middle of this scene, enters a young blond woman who is claiming her cash from Benedek and is obviously a prostitute, creating a very awkward moment, which is enjoyed by MacKensie. There are other moments that made me smile.

This is a very silly movie and probably deserves only 2 to 2.5 stars, but I enjoyed it and watch it when I can. All the actors did well, the directing and editing were great. I haven't seen the series, that continued from this pilot movie, but it didn't finish it's first 13 episodes, so it was probably pretty bad.

Like so many things in Hollywood, ideas get worked and reworked and 8 years later this idea got reworked into one of TV's most successful science fiction series, the X-Files.


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