Saturday, March 28, 2009

13 Ghosts

13 Ghosts (1960)

Extremely Trashy

Disturbingly cheerful family inherits house inhabited by twelve ghosts. That's basically the whole plot of the movie. Throw on top of that the dour housekeeper who may be a witch (Margaret Hamilton), the sleazy man in a suit who may be a kid toucher (Martin Miller) a large sum of money hidden somewhere inside the house and magic goggles and you have macaroni salad.

The entertainment value in this movie comes from wondering if it's actually going anywhere. There isn't much in the way of plot - stuff just happens seemingly at random and doesn't really mean anything. The whole thing was vaguely dull and pointless, although it was sort of more interesting than the remake, although much less bloody. I seem to remember a guy getting cut in half or somehting in that one... and F. Murray Abraham...

Anyway, the flick was silly enough to be watchable, and the characters were interestingly bizarre. I mean, they were just so fucking jolly about everything. From the very start when they, like, get evicted from their apartment or whatever, they're all just like, "Oh well, these things happen. Ha ha"

The little boy (Charles Herbert) is a total space cadet who doesn't even notice that captain sleazebag is trying to molest him (it was fuckin going to happen, I know it...). And no wonder with parents like his. Mom and dad are informed at the beginning of the movie that the house is haunted (the real estate people wanted to get it out in the open to avoid being sued), and they seem really very calm about the whole thing.

Even when the ghosts start showing up and threatening people, they're pretty fuckin mellow. I mean, I probably would be too - the ghosts are fairly nonlethal - but still. They don't even realize that captain sleazeball is really evil. Honest to God. How much valium do these people take?

Ah well. This movie was funny. Kids would probably enjoy it.


Directed by: William Castle. Written by: Robb White. Starring: Donald Woods, Rosemary De Camp, Martin Miller, Margaret Hamilton, Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow.

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