What Not to Ask a Film Critic

I get emails like this all the time. People want me to put them in touch with their favorite star, like I've got a little black book with celebrity phone numbers in it. (Look, I met George Clooney once, at a press event. If I was gonna give him anyone's phone number, I would have done it then, and it would have been mine, okay?) People want to know what song that was that ran over the end credits of Blow 'Em Up Cop Movie II or where to buy the wallpaper that was in the kitchen in that one scene in Sappy Romantic Drama, like I have secret sources for this kind of information.

It's called Google, folks. If you can't find it there, neither can I.

These are my favorite, though (and I use "favorite" ironically): "I saw this movie once, maybe in 1979, or it could have been 1994. I don't remember what it was about, or who was in it, or what language it was in, but trying to remember the title is driving me crazy! Do you know if it's available on DVD?"

It's called Amazon.com, folks. If you can't find it there, neither can I.

But I actually got one of these emails the other day that made me go, "Wow, yes, I remember that! And it was cool! And hey, I wonder if it could be on DVD?" The email was from my reader Richard, and it went something like this:

This great movie was about a sunken ocean liner (that sank in the 1930's?). After decades, modern divers checking out the wreck see a live girl's FACE in one of the port holes! (this was also the poster-shot) It turns out there ARE survivors, & they've established their own hierarchy/society aboard the wreck. The mad self-proclaimed president/captain of these people (one of the surviving crew) Give orders to KILL any diver who tries to board. I was SURE this character was played by TIM CURRY, but his site has NO reference to this movie... Of course the salvage crew is curious about HOW there could be survivors after 20 years & The diver who first see's the girl is smitten (of course..)

Wham! This was one of those TV movies that haunted me as a kid and helped make me the geek I am today. What a concept! But I couldn't remember the name of it, either. Tim Curry did ring a bit of a bell, so I looked him up on the IMDB. No dice -- nothing in his list of credits sounded right.

But then I flashed on Mark Harmon's face -- could he have been the diver my correspondent mentioned? Hot damn, I think he was! So I punched Harmon up on the all-knowing IMDB.

And there it was: Goliath Awaits, from 1981. I was 12, the so-called "golden age of science fiction" (if it grips you then, it's got you for life). The Internet buzz seems to be that this was not a very good film, but so what? I'd love to see it again.

Alas, it is not available on DVD. Drat.

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MaryAnn Johanson (email me)

reviews, reviews, reviews! at FlickFilosopher.com