Night Of The Ghouls (1959) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Night Of The Ghouls (1959).rtf
Night Of The Ghouls (1959)
This is sort of a sequel to Wood's earlier film Bride of the Monster. It has Tor Johnson as Lobo and makes occasional references to events that took place in his earlier film. It's received some pretty bad reviews, but honestly I like this film. The film starts with Criswell speaking from a coffin, and he continues to do occasional narration throughout the whole film.
As for the story, it goes like this. There's been reports of "ghosts" haunting people in an abandoned old house near a cemetery. The police investigate it and find out there's much more going on in this house than just ghosts. There's a man getting paid by people to bring their friends and relatives back to life.
Kenne Duncan ... Karl / Dr. Acula
Duke Moore ... Lt. Daniel Bradford (as 'Duke' Moore)
Tor Johnson ... Lobo
Valda Hansen ... Sheila, the White Ghost
Johnny Carpenter ... Capt. Robbins (as John Carpenter)
Paul Marco ... Patrolman Paul Kelton
Don Nagel ... Sgt. Crandel
Bud Osborne ... Mr. Darmoor
Jeannie Stevens ... The Black Ghost / Mannequin
Harvey B. Dunn ... Henry
Margaret Mason ... Martha
Clay Stone ... Young Man
Marcelle Hemphill ... Mrs. Maude Wingate Yates Foster
Tom Mason ... Wingate Foster's Ghost
James La Maida ... Hall
If you like Ed Wood's crazy body of work, you'll like this film. It's not as good as "Plan 9," and it rivals "Glen or Glenda?," but it's better than the rest of Wood's films. It's clearly shot with such a low budget that it's almost like watching a live, closed-circuit video feed from the inside of a spookhouse, circa 1959. The plot is inexplicable, and Wood's ensemble of actors is in top (or should I say bottom?) form, especially Paul Marco as Kelton. For sheer ultra-low budget fun, the film is right up there with "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies," "Robot Monster" and "The Brain from Planet Arous." See it, if you get a chance.
How can you not like a picture that opens with a man (Criswell)sitting up in a coffin and warning that the story you are about to see may make you faint. Then the credits come on and you see the director is Edward D. Wood Jr. Yes, you may indeed faint . . .but from laughing too hard. This sequel to BRIDE OF THE MONSTER is fun on many levels. It offers unrelated footage from the unfinished movie HELLBORN (some of which later turned up in THE SINISTER URGE) which narrator Criswell tries to tie into the plot: there is also footage of Duke Moore that was shot for a 1/2 hour TV show that is woven in also. What was called "the old Willows house on Lake Marsh" is now "the house on Willow's Lake" and everyone remembers it used to be lived in by "the mad scientist who made monsters". The giant octopus is long gone but Lobo (Tor Johnson) has somehow survived and is now employed by Dr. Acula (Kenne Duncan) a phony medium. Lobo is supposed to be the "monster" in the plot but one look at him makes you think otherwise. Dressed in rags, badly burned, half blind, groaning like he is in constant pain, Lobo inspires more pity than fear. In one scene Lt. Bradford (Moore) does not even seem to notice Lobo when he is standing right next to him! Well this is still a fun movie. The ineptness of an Ed Wood movie is compensated by the sincerity that he put into every production. Ed really believed he was contributing to the movie genre and making his mark. He sure did! Not quite in the way he expected, but look how many people are still watching his movies to-day!
'Night' meets the high standards Edward D. Wood, Jr. It's a minor classic, albeit a crucial one, commensurate with the 1953 psychodrama, "Glen or Glenda", termed by scurrilous wags 'Bargain Basement Equus'.
Previously unaware of 'Night's' existence, I enjoyed it on Elvira's L.A. TV show. I was living in Palm Springs pursuing film work. I therefore appreciated those who bravely film the unfilmable. 'Night' is just that - unfilmable.
'Dr. Acula' is a pun so moronic it would shame a five year old. It defines the film. Clueless starlets wander groggily. A bumbling - and badly overacting cop - quakes before them. Dr. Acula scams the rich.
Sound familiar? You bet. Sham-psychics scamming wealthy swells were featured in Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe novels. Albeit with one trifling distinction. Chandler could write. Ed Wood, well....
'Night' is not without merit. Paul Marco's overblown 'Kelton' could be sold as 'Do This on Your First Audition & It Will be Your Last'. There are good performances. There are bad. There are a precious few which embarrass viewers. Thespian Marco strives for that mark - and hits it.
Cheesy sets used with shameless repetition abound. Watch for the pine-panel door. It's in the police station. It's in 'Dr. Acula's' home. It's all over. Like dog doot. And, please, would some kind soul explain why in all Wood films, walls are hung with heavy drapes? Spaceships, police stations, doctor's offices, the drapes..the drapes... What is the hidden meaning?
As with audition techniques, never do what Wood's cops and robbers do. Why do they flick a gun when pulling its trigger? Cryptic symbolism? Artifice, a cinematic trick to direct your eyes to it? Underscore emotionality behind the shot? One thing it's not is good shooting. Flicking guns won't make bullets go faster. It simply makes them go where they shouldn't.
The camera always tells the truth. Watch the eyes and faces of those gathered round Dr. Acula. Curiosity and awe in a twinkling turn to 'what on earth am I doing here?' You may ask yourself as much as the film slogs to its boring conclusion. Still, you'll appreciate why it takes more than being Tor Johnson to play Calliban. You'll know why Criswell's narration is no substitute for that of Orson Welles. Then again, Orson Welles couldn't produce Night of the Ghouls.
# When Wade Williams acquired the rights to Edward D. Wood Jr.'s Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), Wood's widow, Kathy, told him of this never-released film that was being held by a post-production house because the lab fees hadn't been paid. Williams paid the fees and acquired this film as well.
# The single photo on the police station wall is that of Edward D. Wood Jr..