Going On Haunted Honeymoon

  • videoarchives
  • January 10, 2023

Things are getting spooky on the Video Scare-chives BOO-dcast! We’re dusting off the cobwebs of the Video Vault for a discussion of Gene Wilder’s Haunted Honeymoon: Quentin, Roger & Gala reminisce about classic radio serials, and explain how this film is and isn’t like Ghostbusters. Today’s episode also includes the next part of Gala’s interview with Roger on the history of Video Archives. I’ve got film facts, posters and VHS covers in today’s Counter Talk, so let’s get into it…

Last week I promised to talk more about Julia star Sylvia Kristel’s life and career, which was full and fascinating, but also a little sad. The Dutch star became a model at 17, and nearly landed Maria Schneider’s role in Last Tango In Paris, but eventually broke out internationally in 1974 thanks to the French softcore film Emmanuelle (from a director with the too-good-to-be-true name Just Jaeckin). This led to many more films that cast her in the sexy seductress role, like Jaeckin’s adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

The “porno chic” film trend that made Kristel a star eventually became a millstone for her, though, as she struggled to break out of her sexpot typecasting. The decade after Emannuelle was an endless series of near-miss opportunities for her; she turned down roles in Blade Runner, Dune, Body Double and Blue Velvet, narrowly missed out on becoming a Bond girl in Moonraker, almost got Margot Kidder’s role in Superman, and despite her friendship with Sergio Leone, lost out on getting cast in Once Upon A Time In America (for the part that went to Tuesday Weld). When she did appear in a movie that hit, like 1981’s Private Lessons, she received little of the profits.

Kristel passed away in 2012, after years of addiction and destructive relationships with older men. I hope we get a chance to do another Kristel film on Video Archives, and highlight more of her overlooked filmography. (Maybe Quentin will be up for finally watching The Fifth Musketeer!)

Before I start talking about Haunted Honeymoon, after seeing this post from Twitter’s @_brickcritic, I can’t not show off this exclamation point of a Japanese poster for Busting:

As Gala referenced on this week’s episode, after Quentin and Roger watched Haunted Honeymoon for the podcast, they felt like there wasn’t quite enough to the film to make a proper episode segment about it. I’m glad they spent a few minutes talking about it, though, because for this radio nerd, the movie is a blast, a proudly antiquated throwback from Gene Wilder that resurrects the giddy spirit of the early spook shows. (I can’t believe Dom DeLuise got a Razzie award for his very funny performance, much less that they gave him “Worst Supporting Actress” - it’s gross on multiple levels.)

The VHS cover design for Haunted Honeymoon could not be more perfect - from Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner’s faces alone, you know exactly what kind of movie you’re in for.

The back of the box includes the very rare HBO/Cannon Video logo; HBO’s partnership with Cannon Films began in 1986 and ended in 1987, so that logo dates the release quite specifically!

Our Merch Spotlight this week comes from listener Darren Franz! He hosts a YouTube channel called Cinema Chat, and you can watch him talking about some Video Archives selections here. He also tells us, of the Demonoid one-sheet he’s posing with, “This poster was done by artist Kim Passey. The only other movie poster I could find that she has done was from the same year as Demonoid…it’s for Beatlemania.”

And that wraps up Counter Talk for this week! Next week, we’ve got a mammoth episode with three new films to discuss (including one we teased on a recent episode). Until then, follow us on Twitter and Instagram (check out the fan groups on Facebook and Reddit while you’re at it!), stop by our merch store, and keep listening to Video Archives!