The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
There is a sense in which "Roller Boogie" comes as a refreshing surprise: I didn't think it was still possible, in the dog-eared final days of the 1970s, to have this silly, innocent, lame-brained and naive movie. I'd always thought that when Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon grew up, that was it.
But, no, the spirit of those American-International beach party movies from the early 1960s still survives. You remember the beach party/blanket/bikini/bongo/bingo/barbecue gang: Annette and Frankie, down on the beach with their surfboards, catching the monster waves and dancing to "Surfin' USA" and planning a big dance down at the local teen hangout . . . until a fascist meanie local real estate speculator announces plans to buy the hangout, tear it down immediately, and put up something real thrilling like, say, a senior citizens' condominium.
Times do change: I can see more virtue in the fascist meanie viewpoint than I could in 1960, and Frankie and Annette, for that matter, are probably putting more money into condos than juke boxes these days.
But the basic art form of the beach party movie apparently never dies. It was first born, indeed, in the days before beach parties and even before bikinis: This basic genre had its first golden era in the MGM classics where Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney would bat around dialog along the lines of. "I've got it!!! Let's rent the old barn and put on a show!!"