seventies US TV movie featuring a haunted precolumbian mask?
September 14, 2018 12:27 AM   Subscribe

I have fragmentary memories of a late-70s TV movie featuring a haunted precolombian mask found in the course of the narrative by the tween, male, protagonist while freediving a reef in the Caribbean.

The style of the film, as I recall it, is very 1970s verité, a la the excellent and neglected vampire flick Martin - available light, handheld cameras, area sound, etc. The plot as best I can summon it is that the kid has been sent to stay with relatives in Nowheresville, Caribbea (Puerto Rico, or Florida, or who knows) for the summer, and while lonely begins to dive. He finds the mask on a dive and brings it back to his bedroom, where he becomes convinced the mask is posessed.

I think the situation is ultimately resolved by him throwing it back into the ocean.
posted by mwhybark to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm just gonna throw this out there -- is there any possibility your memories are being influenced by the Brady Bunch episode that is basically this exact storyline
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:54 AM on September 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

it's unlikely but possible, having never really watched the show. Is the episode more or less free of dialog?
posted by mwhybark at 10:25 AM on September 14, 2018

I have a vague memory of the same movie. I don't think it's the Brady Bunch 3 part episode mentioned above.

Sorry I don't have and leads on identifying the movie, but I do recall seeing the same thing years ago.
posted by ethical_caligula at 11:14 AM on September 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

the "mask" seems maybe to have been in-narrative made of carved volcanic rock, tufa or aome such, dark in color with waht appear in my mind's eye to be appliqués of lighter rocklike material for possibly the eyebrows or other facial features. It seems most likely to have been a set-made prop as the style of the mask does not map well onto actual Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico cultural styles that I am familiar with.

The scenes I recall with greatest clarity are the boy finding the mask while diving and him lying in bed becoming aware of the mask as a malevolent presence and arising to turn the mask away from him, propped up in a dresser in his bedroom. I recall the bedroom as having Caribbean blue walls.

The boy may have been a person of color? I seem to recall him having a mop of fairly curly hair and a deep tan. I would guess possibly this was intentionally ambiguous on the part of the filmmakers. I recall him looking like an ethnically non-specific Mediterreanean, Latino, or Caribbean person.
posted by mwhybark at 4:12 PM on September 14, 2018

You know, the volcanic rock aspect of the prop makes me wonder if this was actually set in Pacific Oceania and I transposed it to Atlantic Caribbea because of my greater cultural familiarity with the region.
posted by mwhybark at 4:14 PM on September 14, 2018

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