Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Case Study No. 1611: Kathryn Bennett

Trailer for THE OFF SEASON directed by James Felix McKenney and starring Christina Campanella, Don Wood, Larry Fessenden & Angus Scrimm
Tags: phantasm angus scrimm monsterpants ghosts fessenden maine mckenney scareflix
Added: 7 years ago
From: monsterpants
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McKenney, James Felix (Director). The Off Season. United States: MonsterPants Movies, 2004.

Starring: Christina Campenella (Kathryn Bennett, Library Assistant); Francine Pado (Claudette, Librarian); Noah deFillippis (Librarian); Ruth Kulerman (Mrs. Farthing)

Three library workers appear in this film (although the male's role is fleeting and irrelevant). The female protagonist in this remarkably inept horror flick finds a library assistant job at a seaside town's public library in order to support herself and her live-in wannabe playwright boyfriend. Kathryn and Rick have rented a haunted room (#13, surprise!) in a crummy little motel during the off season. They are in their 30s, attractive, and she has a college degree, but her boyfriend throws it in her face during one of their many arguments: "Look where it got you – you're an assistant at a library right in the middle of nowhere." At work Kathryn assists a plain and dumpy librarian named Claudette (horn-rimmed glasses, hatchet hair) who hails from Maine and wears the same hideous houndstooth dress throughout the film. Claudette praises her work ("Wish we had ten more like you"), but when Kathryn falls ill and misses too much work, the (unseen female) Director lets her go. The primary motif in this film is books – writing them, reading them, selling them, borrowing them, signing them. Even a malicious ghost in a dream whacks Kathryn with a book, inflicting a wicked black eye. A rare compliment I can give to this atrocious production is that the writer had a familiarity with libraries. Granted, there are no service encounters (a couple patrons are seen browsing the stacks in the background), and we never actually see anybody do a lick of work except shelve a book or two, but they talk a good game. Kathryn is asked for help with barcodes in the AV department, and later Claudette suggests she assist with new acquisitions. "It's really a great way to get first dibs on new materials." (The term "materials" is a clue to the writer's library knowledge, maybe in tech services.) Be forewarned that numerous IMDB commentors agree that this is one of the worst (or "by far the worst") horror films ever made. (To be fair, I thought the two library ladies did a credible acting job.) Notable quote: Mrs. Farthing, motel manager, describes the murder of a previous tenant: "It was terrible. They never caught the buggers. Bikers, I bet, or maybe even Canadians."

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