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In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.

Bloody Mary (2006)

For this week's Scarecrow on Seattle column we take a drive up north for a low budget horror film based on the Bloody Mary tale (but not the cocktail). If you aren't familiar with the myth, supposedly a ghost named Bloody Mary can be summoned if you say her name three times (or sometimes 13 times) in front of a mirror. This urban legend has inspired a couple other Bloody Mary films as well as the Candyman series. Probably the best part of this particular version is that it was shot in Bellingham and Sedro-Woolley, and the filmmakers make good use of their locations. Bloody Mary lives in a cracked mirror located in a tunnel beneath a mental hospital and she can be summoned by saying, "I believe in Bloody Mary." For the sake of the director's vision this command is best issued by topless dames, thus providing some gratuitous nudity. In the opening scene two women are sent down into the catacombs on a dare by some of their co-workers from the hospital. They take their shirts off, talk to the mirror, are attacked by a ghostly apparition, and then one of the girls apparently vanishes. It seems that the spirit of Bloody Mary has been freed from the mirror and soon some people start dying in bloody ways while others get possessed by Mary. Natalie (Kim Tyler) is the sister of the missing nurse. She's also a semi-famous reporter/crime writer and gets busy investigating her sister's fate. Natalie's research leads her to the mental hospital and, eventually, the mirror in the basement. The hospital portions of the film were shot at the creepy Northern State Hospital located near Sedro-Woolley. The hospital was closed in 1973 and is supposedly haunted. It was even highlighted in an episode of the Ghost Hunters TV show. I haven't seen the episode but, rumor has it, they talk to Richard Valentine, the director of Bloody Mary. The Bellingham footage consists of a few exterior shots in the Fairhaven neighborhood and the main mean nurse gets a nosebleed while walking in downtown proper. The coolest place they shot was in the underground tunnels located beneath the Fairhaven district. In the film the location is used for Bloody Mary's spooky mirror lair. This area is not open to the public but, evidently, it is open to topless female actresses. While not a completely awful movie, the sum of Bloody Mary's parts don't really add up due to significant plot holes, fuzzy characters, tentative performances and an unsatisfying conclusion. Still, if you're like me, it is always fun to see movies made in places you used to live and I spent almost five years in Bellingham. I am still trying to figure out how to get into the Fairhaven underground and would go topless if that helps.
-Spenser Hoyt

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