The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Perry Mason Returns: The New TV-Movies

The Case of the Sinister Spirit

Ghosts. Haunted houses. Portraits that come to life. This kind of spookiness set the stage for the fifth made-for-TV Perry Mason movie, broadcast on Sunday, May 24, 1987.

Robert Stack plays Jordan White, a book publisher who is having trouble with one of his authors, an "unbalanced" Stephen King-like clone named David Hall. The writer has published a book that not only defames the publisher, but also an astrologer, a psychic, and an actress of "slice and dice" movies. The four are invited to spend a bizarre evening in a deserted Denver resort hotel, during which the writer is murdered. When Jordan White is charged with his killing, he immediately puts a call in to his old friend, Perry Mason.

Along with Della and Paul, Jr., Perry checks into the resort and undertakes the investigation of this traditional, horror novel-style whodunit. Along the way the viewer will recognized familiar elements of such creep films as The Shining, Psycho, The Exorcist, and The Omen. As usual, Perry displays typical nerves of steel, especially when he goes wandering around the large, empty hotel looking for clues even after someone tries to drop a chandelier on him.

When the case finally moves to the courtroom, Perry turns hypnotist in order to expose a strange double-identity and thereby trap the real killer.

Also starring Dwight Schultz, Kim Delaney, Dennis Lipscomb, Jack Bannon, Leigh Taylor-Young, Matthew Faison, and David Ogden Stiers.

Teleplay by Anne Collins
Story by Dean Hargrove, Joel Steiger, Glenn Benest, and Timothy Wurtz
Directed by Richard Lang

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The Perry Mason TV Show Book Copyright 1987 by Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill. All rights reserved. Presented here by permission of the copyright holder. Commercial use prohibited. Web page Copyright 1998 D. M. Brockman. Last edited 04 Nov 2004.