Saturday, May 20, 2006

For a very specific fanbase

I am continuing to sort through my books - reference, essays and lit. crit. are all packed; novels, gardening, religion, humor and art are still all over the floor - and have found one of my first favorites, "Escape to Witch Mountain" by Alexander Key. It's a nicely constructed adventure story about two foster kids with supernatural abilities on the run from evil government officials, looking for their true home with the help of a kindly priest. I read it over & over as a kid and am always amazed at how well it holds up; I just sat down and read the first and last chapters. The part where Tony makes the phone call by the gift shop, oh my God, it gets me every time. And I love the vintage sci-fi optimism of the ending (there's even someone named Rael!), firmly grounded in a comforting midcentury paternal sort of Christianity.

Anyway, my copy has an ad for the inferior 1970s film on the back listing Donald Pleasence as its star, and I was just looking it up on IMDb to make sure he plays Lucas Deranian (he does) and discovered that the child actor who played Tony went on to make "The Blair Witch Mountain Project," a short mockumentary, in 2002. Part of the reason I didn't like the movie is that it stars two children, but in the book they're teenagers, and kids once they pass a certain age are much more interested in watching teenagers than other kids. But I guess I won't hold that against Tony.

I just can't believe this exists! Very peculiar. What will people think of next.

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