Secret Horror

1980, 13:38 min, color, sound

Another regular evening at Mike's house turns into a comic nightmare. Finding himself a stranger in his own apartment, a "world totally fashioned from the effluvia of TV and pop music," Mike is plagued by a mysterious drop ceiling, his dry cleaning, and a host of ghostly visitors. This postmodern comedy of the banal is told as a suspense drama, in which an unseen "we" whispers imperatives to the hapless Mike, whose life becomes a TV game show in a place "somewhere between initiation and renovation." References to such pop trivia as the Partridge Family and the Kingston Trio suggest a collective cultural unconscious of trashy sitcoms, pop songs and brand names. Smith concludes with the outrageous but oddly affecting spectacle of Mike eating Bridge Mix and dancing to Neil Diamond's Forever in Blue Jeans.

Director: Mark Fischer. Produced by Michael Smith and Mark Fischer, Mike and Mark Productions, for the Artists Television Network.