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Amazing World Of Psychic Phenomena, The (1976)

Directed by Robert Guenette
VidAmerica VHS

THE FILM
I like Dr. Strange. A Dr. Strange/Ambush Bug team-up series would be a dream come true for me. In the mid-80s, I bought a Dr. Strange comic that had a man who always had the correct change in his pocket. As long as he didn’t think about it, he could reach in his pocket and pull out the correct change for any sort of transaction. It was his Knack. I believe everyone has a Knack. Mine is lines. Yesterday, I went in a Fatburger. There were three people in there. No one in line. I ordered and sat quietly…By time my food arrived, there were about a dozen people in line. That happens to me all the time. As long as I don’t think about it, I always seem to wind up at the front of lines in places that aren’t all that important. It just happens.

I like Raymond Burr. A Raymond Burr/Tyne Daly Variety Hour would be a dream come true for me.

Sorry. I wanted to keep Paragraphical Symmetry there. There is no talk of Knacks in The Amazing World of Psychic Phenomena but there is a lot of Raymond Burr. He’s not just in one room talking earnestly. He’s in several places, even an observatory. He interacts with the man who guesses the numbers rolled on a series of dice rolls. He sits in a room that a man Astrally Projects through. He seems honestly interested in what’s going on. I admire that in a Movie Host.

I still say that In Search Of is the best for this kind of speculative stuff because it gets in there, it covers its topic and it’s out. Films like Amazing World ramble around a bit…telekinesis, biofeedback, astral projection, and so forth…to fill up a running time. But, this one is mostly pretty darn entertaining…It does, however, have some footage (mostly Russian stuff) that I’ve seen before. You never forget the crazy looking lady waving her hands over the compass. I guess I have watched a lot of these lately since footage is beginning to overlap. Not the film’s fault but mine.

I’ve said it before…But, what a time this was in (would it be?) Pop Culture History. Everyone really seemed ready to believe anything. Personally, I prefer these documentaries when they deal with monsters and aliens and all that good stuff. But, this one has enough Cook & Burr to it to be worth a viewing. There’s not really much to review. Just watch.

AUDIO AND VIDEO
Audio’s fine. My VHS copy had a bunch of video trouble, a lot of picture wibbly wobbliness and rolling lines…Oh, and it had trouble with the Shakeys.

EXTRAS
Burr!

FINAL THOUGHTS
All right — Last week, Joe and I decided to swing by the Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood when the weekend hit. Saturday morning, I was thinking about what I might get. I was after a classic mystery of some brand. I’m watching the 2008 season of Doctor Who. The episode “The Unicorn and the Wasp” has Agatha Christie in it. So…a Christie novel. With which detective? Hercule Poirot. Which ones? I decided the first and last. We got to the Iliad. I looked it up. First: The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). Last: Curtain (1975). Went to the shelf. Had a look. They weren’t there. Oh well.

Sunday morning, I found myself watching a man astral project himself through Raymond Burr’s living room. The man describes Raymond Burr and his living room and Mr. Burr’s green plaid couch and then the man said “He was reading a book.” We cut to Raymond Burr and he has a book in his hand…Curtain. I thought “Of course! I couldn’t have purchased it because Raymond Burr had my copy — 36 years ago!”

I don’t know about you but that coincidence seemed odd to me. Out of all the books I could have looked for and all the books he could have been reading…

Thank you, Sunn Classics.