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“I really liked your story, Frankie. I wish I was as weird as you.” You are. Trust us. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they travel to upstate New York on Halloween for this quirky independent ghost story, Lady in White (1988).
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 217 – Lady in White (1988)
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An author tells the story of how, as a young boy growing up in a 1960s small town, he was haunted after witnessing the murder of a little girl.
- Writer/Director: Frank LaLoggia
- Cinematographer: Russell Carpenter (director of photography)
- Visual effects supervisor/Second unit director: Ernest Farino
- Selected Cast:
- Lukas Haas as Franklin J. “Frankie” Scarlatti
- Len Cariou as Michael Phillip “Phil” Terragrossa
- Alex Rocco as Angelo Rodolfo Scarlatti
- Katherine Helmond as Amanda Harper
- Jason Presson as Geno Scarlatti
- Rose Weaver as Matty Williams
- Henry Harris as Harold “Willy” Williams
- Rita Zohar as Mrs. Agnes Cilak
- Renata Vanni as Mama Assunta
- Angelo Bertolini as Papa Charlie
- Joelle Jacobi as Melissa Anne Montgomery
- Jared Rushton as Donald
- Gregory Levinson as Louie
- Karen Powell as Anne Montgomery (Melissa’s mother/”Lady in White”)
- Bruce Kirby as Cabbie
Lady in White is Jeff’s pick and he loves the family dynamics depicted in the film coupled with a ghost story that includes racism and a serial killer. Crystal sees traces of A Christmas Story (1983) in the use of a narrator and a young boy who sends away for a prized possession, this time a typewriter instead of a decoder ring. She also lauds future Oscar winner Russell Carpenter’s cinematography and the cast’s acting, singling out Lukas Haas for his cuteness factor. Finally, for her, the combination of child murders and racism coats Lady in White with a patina of sadness.
Bill describes Lady in White as being good in a lot of ways but just missing the mark of being a great movie. Each element is fine by itself but the humor makes a weird mix in a film featuring a child-molesting serial killer. He also singles out Ernest Farino as a frequent provider of quality visual effects in independent films. It comes through, for Bill, that Lady in White is made by someone who loves the material and loves movies.
As of this writing, Lady in White is available to stream from Shudder. Unfortunately, the Scream Factory Blu-ray is currently out-of-print.
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Bill, will be Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985), an anthology film starring James Woods and Drew Barrymore, just in time for Halloween.
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