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Peekaboo – Wonder Woman #29

June 15, 2010

The George Perez run on Wonder Woman was a long and successful one, but this issue was a bit of a mess.  There was a pygmy, human sacrifice, flashbacks within flashbacks, sorcery, and more general nonsense than you could shake a stick at.  Perez has never had much reknown as only a scripter (which he was in this issue), and it’s always been his detailed and crisp art that has brought him accolades.  Because of that I’ll let him pass for this ink and paper goulash.

I do like his cover, though.  Cheetah camouflaged by the jungle foliage gives the whole thing a Cheshire Cat vibe, which in turn calls to mind for me a scary movie from my childhood.  Back in the 70’s, before he found mega-success on the silver screen, Steven Spielberg was cutting his teeth in the world of television.  He did some series work (an episode of Columbo, for instance) and TV movies like DuelDuel has become a classic — I harken back to it every time a semi roars past me on the interstate — but he did another largely forgotten little flick called Something Evil.

A horror story, it starred the late, great Darren McGavin as an ad-biz patriarch who moves his family out to the country.  Most know McGavin as the grumpy, leg-lamp loving father from A Christmas Story and as the eponymous Kolchak: The Night Stalker, but if you ever get the chance, check him out in his old Mike Hammer series — it’s a fantastic little show.  But I digress.  Something Evil is an Exorcist-y tale, with possessed kids and books flying off shelves and all that sort of thing. 

I watched it again a couple of years ago and it doesn’t hold up well at all, but it terrified me when I saw it as a kid, mainly for one scene that was seared onto my memory like a cattle brand.  McGavin’s character is a bit skeptical of the whole “haunted house” business, right up until he examines some film taken at his house (his agency lensed a commercial on his property).  A technician finds a “flaw” on the film, and shows it to McGavin.  There’s something in the window of his home:

That scared the bejesus out of the younger version of me.  It still kind of does.

I saw this movie sometime in the 80’s when it was broadcast as a random afternoon movie.  It took me years to track down what its title was (where was the Internet Movie Database all of my life?), though I always remembered that one image.  If you want to watch this flick, don’t expect to Netflix it or order it off of Amazon — it’s never been released for sale.  That’s kind of hard to believe with Spielberg’s imprimatur, but those are the breaks.  You’ll have to catch it as a cable rerun or watch it on YouTube, which is where I took that screencap.

I know I kind of got off the “comics” topic with this rant.  I hope you’ll forgive me.  It’s just that Cheetah’s eyes brought back a ton of memories.  Scary ones.

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