If there’s one thing that a true film aficionado obsesses over it’s lost media.
These are films that were made, or rumored to have been made, but, due to any number of circumstances, are lost to time, presumably never to be seen again.
In the horror genre, one such movie is the immortal Lon Chaney’s “London After Midnight”. In this silent detective/horror film, Chaney plays both the crime fighter and the criminal. The last known print was lost in a fire in 1967, and the only way to see any version of it is through music and still photographs.
This is a movie that deserves to be found, a movie that there is a burning desire for film students to see again, and learn from.
Then, there are movies that are lost, and really don’t deserve to be found, and one of those is Craig Denney’s “The Astrologer”, a $4 million dollar vanity project made by, and starring a man who had no talent in any way, shape or form, in film making, screenwriting, nor acting.
Over at The Spool, Clint Worthington takes “The Astrologer” out to the woodshed and gives it a good whipping, and it deserves it.
The plot is a Horatio Alger story by way of Miss Cleo: a poor con man and hustler for most of his life, The Great Alexander (Denney) ekes out a living by bilking customers as a carnival fortune-teller. However, after meeting the woman of his dreams and quitting the carny game, he teams up with a rich couple to go diamond smuggling in Africa. After a series of harrowing adventures, dodging poisonous snakes and lecherous boat renters, he returns with his newfound fortune to fulfill his dream: to “turn two million dollars into 200 million” in the form of a multimedia astrology empire – complete with military consultations, films, TV shows, and a ‘cosmic mirror’ in his office he can gawk at whenever he feels like. Of course, his ego starts to go to his head (I say starts), causing friction with his wife and his business partner, and his world comes crumbling down accordingly. It’s like There Will Be Blood, but really, really stupid.
Oh my, as George Takei would say.
I think it’s safe to say that Denney’s enthusiasm was well above his skill level, and the film shows this dichotomy.
This article, from Paste Magazine, originally written in 2018, and updated in 2021, is the article that turned me on to “The Astrologer”. There’s a lot of good history and background on Craig Denney.
Another good source of information is the Lost Media Wiki, which keeps track of all lost films and other media. Here’s their take on “The Astrologer”.
I am very grateful to be able to use the music and sound effects of so many wonderful creators.
You can find a list of all music used, and all sound effects used, and links, here, on our Credits page.
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