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Poltergeist III [1988]

Director:Gary Sherman
Writer:Brian Taggert
Gary Sherman
Steve Feke
Composer:Joe Renzetti
Length:98 minutes
(1 hour 38 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Suggested Event Use:Halloween
Sorting Category:Susp/Hor
IMDB Rating:3.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:14%
Amazon Rating:3.0/5 stars
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  • Suspense / Horror
  • Drama
  • Action
  • Puppets
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Synopsis: Carol Anne is sent to live with relatives, but the spirits continue to follow and end up taking over an entire apartment building.

Reaction: This one is very light on the scares. There are extreme situations that, in real life, would be scary, but they don't really carry much punch here.

Personal Rating: 6/10

Gary Sherman => Director / Writer
Brian Taggert => Writer
Steve Feke => Writer
Joe Renzetti => Composer
Christian Murphy => Dusty (as Chris Murphy)
Corey Burton => Reverend Henry Kane (voice) (uncredited)
Heather O'Rourke => Carol Anne Freeling
Jane Alderman => Scott's Mother
Joey Garfield => Jeff
John Rusk => Gallery Man
Kipley Wentz => Scott (as Kip Wentz)
Lara Flynn Boyle => Donna Gardner
Meg Thalken => Deborah
Meg Weldon => Sandy
Nancy Allen => Patricia Wilson-Gardner
Nathan Davis => Reverend Henry Kane
Paul Graham => Martin Moyer
Richard Fire => Dr. Seaton
Roger May => Burt
Roy Hytower => Nathan
Stacy Gilchrist => Melissa
Tom Skerritt => Bruce Gardner
Zelda Rubinstein => Tangina Barrons

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Although there was an internet rumor that Jerry Goldsmith was originally contracted to score this film but quit due to budget cuts (and then supposedly used his "unused" P3 score later in The Haunting), this rumor is untrue. Goldsmith was unhappy with the results of Poltergeist II: The Other Side and did not have an interest in doing the third film. Also, it's clear that MGM did not want to spend the extra money they knew it would cost to hire Goldsmith, considering that Poltergeist III was being made on a lower budget than the last film. Ultimately, Poltergeist III was scored by Joe Renzetti, who director Gary Sherman recommended, having worked with Renzetti previously on his other low-budget movies.
  • Producer [?] David E. Kelley has quite a connection to this film. He cast Tom Skerritt and Zelda Rubinstein in his Emmy-winning TV drama [Picket Fences] after seeing them together in this film. The character of Skerrit's daughter was played by Holly Marie Combs on the show. That character is reminiscent in character and physicality to Lara Flynn Boyle's character [?] Donna Gardner in this film. Nancy Allen was originally cast to portray the town's mayor in Season 2 of [Picket Fences] but had to drop out due to her contractual obligations to appear in RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3. That role was then filled by Leigh Taylor-Young.
  • Heather O'Rourke (Carol Anne) and Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina) are the only two people to appear in all three Poltergeist films.
  • After filming of the scene where the cars chase Patricia and Bruce, the car's explosion set the entire set on fire, almost taking a crew member and a few cameras he was rescuing. When Heather O'Rourke showed up for filming the next day and heard about the incident from director Gary Sherman, she was relieved that no one was hurt. She then asked Sherman, "Did you get the shot?"
  • Tom Skerritt makes a reference to Brian De Palma's Carrie to Nancy Allen. This is presumably an in-joke, as Allen had starred in that film, as Chris Hargenson, back in 1976.
  • In this film alone, Carol Anne's name is spoken a total of 121 times.
  • Lara Flynn Boyle's film debut.
  • End credits explain that the role of Reverend Kane had originally been portrayed by Julian Beck.
  • Zelda Rubinstein had to leave the production midway because of her mother's death.
  • At the beginning of the film, the characters mistakenly believe that the weather outside is cold. When they descend from the upper floors to the ground level however, they find that it is in fact quite warm. This phenomenon of weather varying from the upper to lower floors actually does occur at the Hancock Center due to the building's height. Residents often call the lobby doormen before leaving their apartments to find out what conditions are like at ground level.
  • Heather O'Rourke's bloated appearance in the film was the result of a misdiagnosis of her medical condition, which led to her being prescribed the wrong medication. This particular medication caused her body to swell and her face to get puffy.