Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Let Me Tell You, Girls, This Was No "Bye Bye, Birdie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
If only. I had hopes for "The Bye Bye Man," from the moment I saw the poster. And the very opening of the film was one of the most arresting I have recently seen.
It opens in an ordinary suburban neighborhood, circa 1969. An especially suburban looking man steps out of his car, calling for his wife Jane, and son, Ricky. It takes several seconds to register he is walking to the house, gun in hand, uttering something about whether or not they told a name. Jane and Ricky get murdered, and the killer, Larry Redmon, blows his brains out.
This was promising. I thought this was some sort of John List redo, and that it was going to be an exploration of the mind of a family annihilator. Alas, my expectations were too high.
As soon as the film moves to the present, we get the dumb, hormonal college kids, living in a mysterious, off campus house that may or may not have been the house we saw earlier. This is the first of a lot of things that are not made clear. Soon, noises, mysterious markings, drawings, and inscriptions of "Do not think it. Do not say it." in geometric patterns appear.
When Elliot, the more enterprising of the group, goes to look up what is going on, at the library, he discovers Larry Redmon had killed his parents when he was a teen. When asked why he did it, Larry answered, "The Bye Bye Man made me do it." This is some evil spirit that inserts itself into the psyche of the more vulnerable, after a time, he will eventually come, with his hound watch dog. Too bad the canine did not get more screen time.
Actually, it seems like a reboot of "Candyman" where, if the word is spoken directly into the mirror five times, Candyman comes. Sound familiar????????????????
Pure junk, darlings! But, when it comes to horror, you know I will sit through just about anything. This movie was based on a chapter called "The Bridge To Body Island," by Robert Damon Schneck, in an anthology book of urban legends he wrote, entitled, "The President's Vampire." It is too bad such liberties were taken with the story. The original is, first of all, set in New Orleans, a perfectly Gothic setting. The Bye Bye Man starts life as an abandoned albino child, forced to grow up in squalor, tormented by peers, in 1920's New Orleans. He becomes blind, acquires a seeing eye dog who does his bidding, and evolves, into a serial killer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sounds good to me. Hey, I want to read this book.
The big surprise of the movie is the old lady playing Larry Redmon's mother, who has survived it all, and who goes up in flames like Miss Havisham! When she first came on the screen, I thought it might be Judith Roberts, repeating her signature turn as Mary Shaw, or something like it. Yo know who it was, darlings???????????? An altogether aged Faye Dunaway, who looked like she had half her face missing, but, pro that she is, gave this crap her all. Too bad this will not do for her what "Friday The 13th" did for Betsy Palmer! Faye Dunaway! Can you believe it? A girl has to work!
But, I am telling you, girls, do not watch this tripe! Allow me to save you the trouble.
Now, if any of you out there want to film that New Orleans story, that could be worth a look!
Once this movie is done , it can be kissed "Bye, Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"