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Monday, April 02, 2007

American Gothic

- clockwise from the top - Dr. Crower, Sheriff Buck, Caleb, Gail

It's probably not quite right to watch a DVD like this one during Holy Week but I'd forgotten it was at the top of my rental list.

The DVD for this week is of the defunct 1995-1996 tv series American Gothic, created by Shaun Cassidy (I know - weird!) and produced by Sam Raimi , the director of such movies as The Evil Dead, A Simple Plan, The Quick and the Dead, and the Spiderman. series

The program tells the tale of a small town in South Carolina with a sheriff (played by Gary Cole) who has the citizens under his thumb, and who, it's implied, may well be the devil. When Caleb (played by Lucas Black), is mysteriously orphaned, only his cousin Gail and a young Dr Crower (played by Jake Weber) stand between the sheriff and the little boy, who is possibly the sheriff's illegitimate son.

Here's a little from DVD Times about it ...

... Dr Crower and Gail, along with the ghost/angel of Caleb's sister Merlyn, are able to provide the boy with more of an all-round 'good' family to counterbalance the Sheriff's obvious dark side. As the show plays out, the various influences on Caleb become more and more important. However, in between this series' impressive story arc, there was also plenty of room to build up characters and to bring in individual horror stories... and I believe it was this mix that allowed the show to become such a firm cult favourite. Of course, it also has Bruce Campbell in a guest appearance (in 'Meet the Beetles', for the curious) and that in itself just about cements cult status for any production! ....

The show is interesting if only to see how easily people can start down the wrong path, and how difficult it can be both to recognize that error and to amend it.

- the resident ghost


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