Bay Coven (1987)
AKA: Bay Cove (DVD Box Title)
AKA: Eye of the Demon
AKA: Strangers in Town
AKA: The Devils of Bay Cove

(Original Air Date: October 25, 1987)
(Video Premiere Date: March 22, 1987 [West Germany])


Moving to the Suburbs can be HELL!

J.C. Mašek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

The other day I ate out at a Chinese Restaurant and snagged my fortune cookie, as is my wont. The piece of paper inside read "You revel in your loyal Cult Following, but most everyone else out there thinks you're an asshole."

While it was some consolation to believe that somewhere out there Gene Shalit was holding a fortune that read "Your aptitude for applying obscure references to almost any pop culture intellectual nadir will soon earn you big bucks!" I realized in my heart of hearts that this one was intended for me. I suppose it's inevitable that I embrace my status as the webmaster of a "wild and crazy cult sight", after all, I've got more Cult Flicks than Ron Jeremy has hair follicles. That, coupled with literary references, obscure pop culture insults and more metaphors than a golf-playing mutant (if you get that weird line I'll buy you a Pepsi) attracts a whole lot of people who think "My GOD, he's in my HEAD!" and turns a lot of people off who think "Man, they should have rules about who does and doesn't get a website, brother!!!"

Still, I do have a few thousand loyal readers, which is up from the twenty or so guys who visited early on, saying "Hey, it's that bartender guy who used to date my wife! He has a Website?". Of course, I had come a long way by then too, seeing as how at first it was just twenty or so women saying "Hey, it's that bartender I used to date, don't tell my husband!" And I owe it all to cult movies.

Part of the 2006 Summer of Horror!
Either that or the fact that I'm gullible enough to be suckered in by the DVD cover of a flick like Bay Cove and think I've got a Cult Movie on my hands. You'd think that the fact that it carries a $2.99 price tag and is sold at Walgreen's would clue me in, but no... for some reason I'm still imagining that this might be some horror of horrors extravaganza with badly dubbed Italian Translated dialogue and enough nudity to earn it a spot on Skinemax after Dark.

Yeah, my head is planted firmly in my ass on this one. While star Pamela Sue Martin does bear a striking resemblance to a certain red-headed porn star I remember from the classics, nudity by association is as close as Bay Cove gets. Why? Bay Cove is really nothing more than a repackaging of the 1987 TV Movie Bay Coven starring a whole coven of your favorite TV Actors all Striking a Vogue in fear right before the ubiquitous fade-out to excavated commercial.

"TV Movie" is written all over this one, kids. Dynasty star Pamela Sue Martin plays professional businesswoman Linda Lebon who loves her job almost as much as she loves her husband Jerry (Tim Matheson, rush chairman, he was DAMN glad to meet you!). Unfortunately Jerry is so fed up with living in the city that he almost wants to move out to the sticks like the first of the three little pigs. As if summoned by the forces of darkness (read, Executive Producers Jon Peters and Peter Guber) the shockingly mismatched couple Josh and Debbi McGwin (played by shockingly mismatched actors Jeff Conaway and Susan Ruttan) tell the Lebons about a charming little Hamlet they live in called "Bay Cove". It's peaceful, convenient, and just close enough to the city to offer the best of both worlds.

What they don't tell the Lebons is that after moving there they'll have to live next to this Satanic June Cleaver type lady named Beatrice Gower (who is ACTUALLY played by Barbara Billingsley). To be fair, they should have known that SOMETHING was up when the Real Estate Agent who hooked them up with the place turned out to actually be Nigel Bennett from Lexx. Yeah, yeah, yeah, pretend to be "Bob Holden", we see you, Prince!!!

Look, if that's not scary enough, the neighbor on the opposite side is Inga Swenson! That's Gretchen Kraus from Benson!!! Scared yet? No? Her husband is Doogie Howser's DAD, James Sikking!!! Ah? Aaaaaaaaah?

And you can guess what transpires next. Weird things start happening, Linda is the only one who sees them, no one believes her but her dear, sweet ex-boyfriend Slater (Woody Harrelson... really), and there's not a damned thing she can do about it. Just think of this as... uh... Amityville Island! But don't worry... whatever happens, they have to resolve this horror in two hours (minus commercials) because the Eye Witness News with Marvin Zindler comes on at 11!

But the real question is, how did these two jet-setting socialites get suckered into going native in the first place? In the city they're hanging out with Woody Harrelson and listening to live performances by cute little Cree Summer, and I'll bet their apartment even has Rent Control. What do these preps have going for them on Silly Pants island? They have to pay for their own plumbing, mow a lawn, live near Kraus, Mrs. Cleaver and Prince and fight Satan. I tell you what, I don't care how drunk I get, given the choice between Cree Summer and the Lord of the Flies, I'm going with Cree, baby!

In truth, as far as TV Movies go, you could do a lot worse, but the question should be asked, I guess: Why the Hell watch a lame TV Movie on DVD in the first gosh darned place? Curiosity? Because those two guys whose names sound like male sexual organs produced Batman a mere two years later, and The Color Purple a mere two years prior? Well, folks, they also produced Caddyshack II and D.C. Cab not too far away from this thing too. I guess the DVD guys could sense that too, because man, did they do a number on us. Check out that cover... it's hard to believe, man!

Still, the story is fair enough, and the acting survives as well as can be expected in an '87 TV Movie. Matheson still looks like he's feeling Underrated, Woody looks like he just jumped out from behind the bar, Conaway looks like he's just biding his time between Taxi and Babylon 5 and Ruttan looks like she's thinking "If I don't do this movie, no one will remember me after L.A. Law!" Don't worry, folks, I've got Animal House on DVD, I'm a HUGE geek for Babylon 5 and I've seen every, every, every episode of both Cheers and L.A. Law. If nothing else, this Cult Critic is in your corner. Though, most everyone else out there thinks I'm an asshole.

For those who enjoy their various variations on the Haunted House thriller, and can ignore that little urge to yell at all the white people "For God's Sake Get Out!", this just might be your movie, there, Kemosabe! For those of you thinking you've got the Cult Find of the Decade just between Bats and Cat's Eye, trust me, that cool looking skull dude is really just Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman, and he's damned glad to get Two and One Half Stars out of Five!!! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some reader mail to answer. Turns out someone actually got that "Autobot" reference on my "Feedback" page, and I have to buy them dinner... Then, of course, I've got to answer a few insulting emails from fans of Tom and Katie, as well as of the 2001 Planet of the Apes fiasco. Actually, turns out those are all the same people. See you in the next reel!

Caught in a Satanic Ritual just calculated to sell you some Real Estate?
Call a Priest... but click here for more reviews when you're done!

Bay Cove/ Bay Coven (1987) reviewed by J.C. Mašek III
Who is solely responsible for the content of this site,
And for the fact that he promises never to give your pet cat a hickey!!!
Got something to say? Write it, Damn it, write it!
Navigation Links:
What's New?Alphabetical Listing of Reviews!SearchThisSite:Advertise With Us!About...Lynx Links:F*A*Q