This 1981 John Irvin picture constitutes an adaptation of Peter Straub's colossal, bestselling novel. The central plot -- shared by both book and film -- revolves around the four elderly members of the Chowder Society (Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and John Houseman), who gather in each other's drawing rooms each winter to sip cognac and spin elaborate ghost stories. The four men also share a dark secret far more unsettling than fiction -- a secret which has literally come back to haunt them, as well as their own adult offspring. Each man is visited by a hideous specter bearing the likeness of a young woman (Alice Krige) they accidentally killed 50 years ago when spurning her mischievous sexual advances. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
I read the book back when it first came out and thought it would be interesting this movie with Fred Astaire. Although true to the story, it lost something in translation to the screen, missing the psychological suspense at the expense of cheesy, theatrical horror. Why these chumps are targeted from the beginning and exactly by what...vampiress, succubus, don't know. Okay for an 80's flick and a night at home.
I watched this over Christmas break with my 19-year old son and we both enjoyed it. It was fun telling him about the old-time actors and getting his reactions. Fred Astair did a great job. Although it was not my top move of the year, it did keep both our interest. I would recommend it. Jan