Saturday, July 14, 2012

The SyFy Channel's "Haunted Highway" is an Absolute Disaster in Television Programming

Thank God this is only a 6 episode series. We should start worrying when Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern find out how much this series is already hated, and then proceed to renew it for multiple seasons because of that fact.

First of all, the title of this series is a misnomer. Ghosts, spectres, and demons are not being hunted down on the highways and byways of America. Instead, our two crackerjack investigative teams of morons are hunting these entites down in the forests and mountains just off of...all of these highways and byways in America. Which is curious because all sorts of phantoms are literally on the highways and byways of America. Enough to fill more than a 6 episode series. Such as "Resurrection Mary"...the hitchhiking ghost that has made a habit of trekking (on foot and barefoot) up and down Archer Avenue on Chicago's south side....since 1931.

"Haunted Highway" displays all of the characteristic problems we have come to expect from these paranormal investigation programs....particularly if the SyFy Channel is producing them.

1. EVP voices and any other supposed noises from beyond can of course, be created by the producers of all of these types of programs on the dubbing stage during post-production of each individual episode. So, in the case of "Haunted Highway", we supposedly heard "Shadow People" clanking chains together in response to a question put to them by one of the investigative teams.

It's fairly obvious that if the "dubbing stage" in television production didn't exist for these paranormal shows, neither would Zac Bagans and his "Ghost Adventures" show (for example), that relies upon (99.99% of the time) EVP voice phenonema that can easily be created in post-production on the dubbing stage by television producers. It's no different for "Haunted Highway."

I'm reminded of Kenneth Johnson, the director of the "Incredible Hulk" television pilot who stated quite frankly in his audio commentary for that film, that the voice of the "Hulk" was provided by the late Ted Cassidy on the dubbing stage....growling....pitched down (electronically) one or two octaves on the dubbing give the Hulk an otherwordly sound....during post-production.

2. "Haunted Highway", more than any other paranormal show, has its investigative teams doing the most unbelievably stupid, assinine things running contrary to general modes of common sense and human behavior.

a. Why would you (a guy) even entertain the notion of leaving your female companion (partner) alone and unprotected by herself in the woods at 3:00 frickin' am in the morning while you go off to check on something else? I would want that girl at my side at all times just so I could keep her alive from whatever might jump her in the dark. Whether it be a phantom, a drunk, or a rapist. Especially when she's cute as a button like Jael de Pardo.

b. The "First Commandment" of "Haunted Highway" apparently is...make as much noise as possible (both intentional and incidental) in the woods to draw Spectres to you. What if these Spectres are cold-blooded killers? Such as "The Shadow People?" Then I guess "Haunted Highway" will never complete the filming of its 6 episode run unless it is people not dead. Yes, the two investigative teams in "Haunted Highway" yell, chant, sing, run through especially noisy...twig snapping shrubbery everytime they freak out (which is 100% of the time) 3:00 am in the frickin' morning smack dab in the middle of ground zero where "Bigfoot on Steroids" lives and has them all under surveillance.

3. One episode had one of our teams going in to check out a 6 foot tall, hairy dude with scraggly hair down to his shoulders. Sort of a "Bigfoot reject from Woodstock 1969." It wouldn't have been illegal for this team to go into this investigative situation...fully armed. Hell, I think just about any law enforcement agency and judge would have encouraged it. A rifle....a bazooka....hand grenades....a rapid fire, signal flare sub-machine gun. Take that sucker down...even if he is "The Missing Link." The important thing is....Jael de Pardo would have remained safe.

4. These paranormal shows always miss the fundamental point of human survival while ghost hunting. If you see something 300 yards away from you (via infrared vision) trotting across the field looking like it has 12 legs and coming towards you....YOU OPEN FIRE!! You ask questions later...while examining the pieces of the supernatural entity you just blew away with 1200 rounds of live, heat seeking ammo.

I'll give "Haunted Highway" 0 stars.....and Jael de Pardo 3000 stars.

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