Night of the Ghouls (1960) Reviewed

Ed Wood (right) directs Kenne Duncan and Tor Johnson (center).

Ed Wood (right) directs Kenne Duncan and Tor Johnson (center).

NIGHT OF THE GHOULS aka Revenge of the Dead ( 1960 )
Another Ed Wood mess-terpiece, Ghouls serves as a psuedo-sequel (we think) to Bride of the Monster, but it’s always hard to tell where Wood was coming from. The bookend narration by Criswell, the reliable appearances of Paul Marco’s Kelton the cop and an under-used Tor Johnson help ground the film in the wacky wacky Wood world. It can be good for a laugh, what with all the incoherent editing and plotting, but bad is bad and this is the one film that made me actually think that Wood WAS capable of creating something better than what his oeuvre suggests – Ghouls, in particular, just feels lazy. Aging B-western star, Kenne Duncan looks thoroughly confused in his turban as the malevolent Dr. Acula (get it?!) the huckster/psychic/villain at the center of the impossible-to-comprehend plot. One waaaaay-out séance scene will either leave you scratching your head or – like me – a bit unnerved. The Rhino video release I’ve seen opens and closes with narration from Elvira, Mistress of the Dark whose tired-ass shtick only makes things worse. For Angora-philes only.
*1/2

~ by Number5ive on January 27, 2009.

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