In that article, a 2000 interview was quoted in which leading lady Beverly Garland bagged the picture as the most awful film shed ever made and mind you, she starred in a good number of stinkers that went on to be skewered on TVs Mystery Science Theater 3000.
But, wait as they say theres more!
Feb. 1 brings the release of a biography on Garland, with even more evidence of the late actress hatred for the Oklahoma job. In Beverly Garland: Her Life and Career, author Deborah Del Vecchio quotes a personal interview from 1980 in which Garland decries Stark Fear at length, starting with her belief that writer Dwight Swains script didnt make any sense:
And [director Ned Hockman]
interrupted, saying, Dont worry about it. Were going to take it to
the Cannes Festival. Scripts dont have to make any sense. I said,
They dont? He said, No, no, no, no, no. Witnessing the start of
shooting didnt allay her fears, either.
first day, it took about five and a half hours to set up the first
shot, Garland said. Skip [Homeier, her co-star] looked at me and I
looked at Skip and we said, Well, this man doesnt know what hes
doing. He has no idea. We sat down with the writer and tried to work
on the script in an attempt to make some sense out of what the hell this
was all about. Nobody would listen. We didnt know anything. They knew
it all. Finally, it got so bad that Skip ended up directing the last
part of the movie himself. It was just a fiasco.
Stark Fear was not a hit, as history now knows (assuming it remembered the movie at all), but Garland hardly was surprised.
think it played only one night in every theater in the country and that
was it, she said. They had tried to do something along the lines of Psycho but
they just could never get it right. Everybody in Norman, Oklahoma
from used car salespeople to the towns dog catcher put money into it
and it was a complete disaster. I wonder if he still has a job there at
the college, that poor man and the writer you couldnt talk to this
writer. You couldnt talk to these people.
the same chapter, Del Vecchio shares her own opinion of the film:
Scripter Swain attempts to drive his points home with alternating
sledgehammers and feathers. Director Hockman fares even worse. His
inexperience as a director is agonizingly obvious.
Still, believes Chicken-Fried News, it beats either film of Atlas Shrugged.
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