I can vividly remember the first time a nine-year-old me laid my eyes upon (arguably) the scariest villain to come out of the horror genre. First, let’s rewind back to about five years before to a night when my parents left me with my grandmother for a much-needed adult night at the cinemas. After the parental units had returned home, my eavesdropping curious self overheard them speaking to one another about the movie they had just seen- Poltergeist II: The Other Side. As my mother was explaining how disturbing the antagonist was in the film and someone had blown chunks in the theater over some scene involving a regurgitated monster, my weirdo five-year-old self became enthralled over the idea of something that actually scared my own parents. I never forgot that conversation and when the time came I was able to rent videos on my own, rest assured that one was on top of my list from my local ACTION VIDEO mart.
The best part is, they were absolutely right. I was never an easily frightened child. I had already endured rounds of Freddy, Jason, and Michael. All of which I took in with ease. However, nothing could have prepared me for Sir Reverend Henry Kane. The geriatric slime-ball with what seemed like 8,000 teeth in his mouth. This guy truly scared the living crap out of me. So much so, after the first viewing, the doorbell rang immediately after the end credits began to roll. Did I also mention that this was at about 10:00 at night? Scared out of my wits, I glanced through the peephole to see nobody on the other side (Hah). Came to found out later it was my Dad joking around like the prankster he is, but it sure did give me one hell of a scare. The last thing I wanted was this on the other end of my screen door.
It might be just my opinion, but Julian Beck’s bone-chilling performance in The Other Side, is one of the most underrated in cinematic history. As you may be aware, Beck was suffering from pancreatic cancer during filming, giving way to his deathly appearance- that was no make-up job folks. The 60-year-old actor passed away four months before Poltergeist II hit theaters, never able to see his own final and greatest performance to date. However, his legacy in horror villainy ranks right up with the greats. So much so, there were once talks of giving a full backstory to the good Reverend in a full-on Poltergeist prequel starring a younger version of the malevolent preacher.
On public record straight from the official Poltergeist III website, an industry insider by the name of Macklin Crux stated a script of Kane’s backstory was being developed in the early ‘90s. According to Crux, the story would have explained Kane’s descent into madness and his direct connection to the Freeling family putting all the missing pieces of the puzzle together. Had the project gone through, we would have seen descendants of the Freeling family escape the clutches of a 19th-century cult leader with the help of an Indian Medicine Man. In which case, make perfect sense in regards to the second film. Marking the future Freelings’ as a target for revenge.
Well, as we all know that has never come to fruition. While prequels and origins of horror icons don’t seem to be a popular way to go in keeping a franchise alive, I feel like a film focusing purely on this mysteriously vile entity would serve as a beautiful and clever way to breathe new life into the Poltergeist films. Of course, we couldn’t have just any actor take on the daunting role of his “Holy Temple-ness”. We need someone that not only can pass as a younger Henry Kane, but has the acting chops to pull off a believable performance. My friends, I do believe Walton Goggins is our man.
Goggins has proved himself in the cinematic world to be an ever changing chameleon. From his fantastic stint on Sons of Anarchy as a southern belle trans, a salty employee in Vice Principals, to a fantastic jerk-off in Django Unchained, Goggins has the look and resume to take on such a pivotal role that could very well bring this franchise back to life again. The man already has that important southern preacher-like accent and as seen in the photo above, wears those large hats quite nicely. Physically, he would just need to wear color-changing contacts, as Julian Beck’s eyes were that of a baby-blue. Other than that, he’s a grand choice to fill those mighty big shoes.
Just in the case if it ever WERE to happen, I hope the right people reading this take this into consideration. Seriously, hire the man and make all our dreams of a Kane prequel come true.