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"Circle of Fear" Touch of Madness (1972)"Ghost Story" Touch of Madness (original title)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Flawed but fun

8/10
Author: theoctobercountry
23 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ah, now here's a great ghost story; I love these tales where you can't quite figure out what's going on, where the tale will lead. Geraldine Page and Rip Torn (who were married in real life) were great as the seemingly befuddled (but sharper than they looked) caretakers of the haunted house. Though---seeing the state it was in, I guess they weren't too good at their job!

Because yes, this is a sure-enough ghost-filled house; you might even say that the house is haunted by its own past self. And since it was possessed by its own vision of its former splendour, I suppose it's no wonder that the elderly siblings ignored their housekeeping; if they could always see it through the lens of the past, in pristine condition, why bother to do any upkeep? Now, this isn't a perfect episode---not everything made sense; the script perhaps was a little sloppy. For instance.... if the pair meant to keep the murders a complete secret, why on earth would they put up fake tombstones in the back yard? Anyone who saw them would wonder about the deceased; if it weren't for the stones, I daresay the two murder victims would have been completely forgotten... Also, why was the cement-block wall in the cellar half-way broken down? You'd think the siblings would have made absolutely sure that the tomb was sealed up with the wall appearing as inconspicuous as possible.

And yes, I'm afraid I have to say it---those two blazingly-white skeletons looked as fake as could be. You could even see the seam in the one skull, where the top was fastened on. But wasn't it creepy when that boney hand started moving? Despite a few nitpicks, I really did enjoy this one; it's in the best classic ghost story mold, and I thought it was very effective. (Heh, I got a kick out of Janet holding that rat while thinking it was a cat.) And Geraldine Page did her usual excellent work here; it was a pleasure watching her.

(Oh, that song Page sings was quite lovely, called "Golden Memories" by Ian Jack. Does anyone know if it was written specifically for this episode?)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful Song

10/10
Author: pgsharrock
14 February 2017

The song "Golden Memories" in this episode was written by Los Angeles musician Ian Jack for producer Joel Rogerson. The singer in the episode is American singer Shelby Flint of "Joey" and "Angel on my Shoulder" fame. Flint and Jack recorded together in the late seventies. The soundtrack has now been expanded to a full song and recorded as a country track by Australian band Bone Halo. Release date is 26 February 2017 and it will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon and Google Music from that date. The episode itself resonates not only to that ghostly music, but also to Poe's "A Cask of Amontillado" in that a brick wall can have many secrets behind it. Combined with references to ancient rhymes/prayers and the suggestion of allegedly poisonous food and drink substances, it makes for a heady concoction of murder/thriller elements. Its very dark but somehow you can't help feeling some empathy for these addled old killers.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sinister Doings

7/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
14 November 2014

Lynn Loring stars as Janet, a young woman who has recently inherited an old mansion from her mother, who died in a mental institution. Living at the house already are her cousins Hattie & Jonathan(played by Geraldine Page & Rip Torn) who have let the place fall to ruin. Determined to clean it up, her cousins appear to be friendly, but in reality a hidden agenda is in play, as sinister doings are afoot when it seems the past & present get mixed up in the house, threatening to drive Janet insane, just like her mother... Despite a somewhat predictable plot with some loose ends, the fine cast and spooky atmosphere compensate, and the ending is still effective.

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