Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century is a look back at the weirdest, most memorable, and most off center movies of the 20th century. From head turning horror to oddball science fiction, this column examines the films that will leave a lasting impression for centuries to come.
Roberta Findlay’s 1985 horror flick The Oracle tells the wild story of a young woman who inherits the responsibilities of a mystical planchette. It seems like a fun artifact to stumble upon, but the planchette begins to reveal messages from beyond the grave. The Oracle has something for everyone: vengeful ghosts, bumbling villains, and plenty of mustaches to spare. This week’s strange and fantastic tale is The Oracle.
Jenny Jorgensen (Caroline Capers Powers) moves into a New York City apartment with her husband and his amazing mustache. She discovers a suitcase that contains a small blue hand, writing quill, and a stack of paper. Mr. Pappas, the delightfully wacky superintendent informs her it’s a planchette left behind by the former tenant who was a psychic medium. Jenny thinks it would be fun to wake the dead during a Christmas Eve party so she busts out the planchette. Her husband and equally mustachioed guests are not very amused and dismiss Jenny as immature. The planchette eventually reveals the secret of a New York mogul’s murder putting Jenny in the middle of a murder plot that is so very common in an 80’s crime movie, but also pretty over the top considering the villains are brutal killers wtih terrible ideas.
The Oracle is an entertaining film with over the top characters. Evil socialites, killers in disguise, and murder plans that go insanely wrong keep this film fast-paced and energetic. There are some excellent practical effects used in body horror while there are also some pretty zany low budget effects with random ghouls and creatures. Either way, in my honest opinion, it’s all pretty wonderful.
The Oracle makes you think you’re going to get a ghost story. On second thought, maybe a gritty crime story,? Then no, it’s a ghost story and that’s really what you came for. Watch Caroline Capers Powers scream her way through the streets of New York. Grow out your mustache and watch The Oracle.
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