Sunday, November 10, 2013

60's (Enjoyable) Trash: 13 Ghosts

It was better the first time.  Today's film is William Castle's 13 Ghosts, not to be confused with the Remake.  That film sucks.  This film is fun, albeit silly.  To be fair, Castle tried to make films that were usually about as deep as a puddle.  His big thing was giving you fun movies and throwing gimmicks in to raise them.  One film had theatergoers sign a fake liability waiver for if they died, while they actually wheeled out a plastic skeleton during House on Haunted Hill's scene featuring one as well.  What does this film have going for it?  Well, people who saw it in Theaters were given special Ghost Viewers.  Basically, they had a blue filter screen and a red filter screen.  The shots of ghosts were tinted blue and the ghosts themselves are tinted red.  So, basically, if you looked through the blue filter, you would see no ghosts.  If you looked through the red filter, you would see them in 3-D.  Mind you, you could just forego the filter (as I did- watching it in my house in 2013) and just see the ghosts normally.  The plot is silly and trite, so I'll just save it for the review.  To find out more about the *better* version of the film, read on...
Like usual, Castle shows up at the beginning and tells you what I just told you about the viewer.  He presents as using the blue filter for 'if you don't believe in ghosts' and the red filter 'if you believe in ghosts.'

Mind you, he also told you that you 'voted' in Mr. Sardonicus, even though he only made the one Ending.
Our hero is a Professor who is bad with money and has to support his family.  When his long-thought-dead Uncle turns out to be actually dead, they inherit the house.
Oh and they inherit the Maid, played here by Margaret Hamilton.  The running joke: they think that she may be a Witch.

If I have to explain this to you, I'm very sorry (for you).
The film's ghost scenes are *supposed* to be viewed with the Ghost Viewer- which is actually a prop in the film- and not just staring at the screen.  As such, the film prompts you.  That's unique, huh?
The Ghosts are kind of interesting.  They are themed, like a lion and a headless trainer or a Cook that murdered his wife and lover in the kitchen.

That said, their appearance can get a little blurry since they're big, red globs.
Stuff starts to get freaky as the spirit of the Uncle appears as some sort of Zombie and scares the daughter (who appears to be in her late-20s).  Freaky.
As it turns out, the Lawyer- Adam-12's Martin Milner- knows about the money and wants to chase the family out to get it.

While this sounds like a Scooby-Doo plot, do realize that this film predates even the original show by 9 years!
The guy's scheme falls apart when the *real* ghost of the Uncle shows up and scares him into lightly-climbing under a bed rigged to slowly crush whoever is under it.
Off-camera, the family finds all of the money and laughs about what just happened.  It's funny because a man was crushed to death in our house...LAST NIGHT.  Ha.  The End.
This is a silly piece of 1960's fluff.  The film is a real product of its time.  That said, I love it!  It's super-cheesy, gimmicky and doesn't exactly aim to be anything especially deep.  With a few exceptions, Castle really aimed for a certain market.  They were made for teenagers/young adults to go see on Friday nights while they try to 'round the bases.'  In 2013, the films are silly and dated.  They were a bit creaky back in 1960 too, so that's no big change.  I live for this kind of stuff.  Is it a good movie?  To most people, probably not.  To me, it's a glorious piece of cheese.  You like cheese?  Sure you do!  If you have only seen that piece of crap movie about ghosts trapped in see-through plastic walls, you need to see the original.  Much like House on Haunted Hill, it's just plain better.  Do yourself a favor and enjoy this fun film.  Take us away, dated split-screen effect...
Up next, I find some obscure crap to watch under the pretense of it being Veteran's Day.  I'm sure that it will be great too.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment