Night of the Ghouls
Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: 7.5 Beans
on't be alarmed by the year of this movie. "Night of the Ghouls" is the same movie as 1960's "Revenge of the Dead". As best as I can tell, it took 28 years for the movie to be released.
I am puzzled by this creation from the mind of Ed Wood (who wrote, produced, and directed it). This movie is truly bad and probably deserving of about 9 beans, yet at the same time I sense a kind of self-parody within this movie that I am not convinced happens just by accident. Therefore, I have to knock the bean level down just a bit.
"Night of the Ghouls" is the story of Dr. Acula (Kenne Duncan, known for a host of roles in westerns and in sci-fi flicks), a con-artist who "resurrects" the dead in a a display of trickery involving floating musical instruments, people walking around in sheets, and talking "corpses". He uses these stunts to con money out of the rich and gullible. One night he is investigated by the police, and during that same night Dr. Acula disovers that his seances work a little better than he had designed them to.
This movie re-uses a lot of the same stock footage of police cars from "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "Bride of the Monster". But that is not all that is re-used. Remember the old house by the lake in "Bride of the Monster"? It's back, mysteriously rebuilt. It is even mentioned several times that this is the place "where that mad scientist was making all of those monsters several years ago", and that it was struck by lightning and burned down, but that now someone has rebuilt it. Oh, and apparently Lobo (Tor Johnson) survived that night in "Bride of the Monster", because he returns (with a few facial scars). Also back from both "Plan 9" and "Bride" is Paul Marco playing the role of the eager but whiny Patrolman Kelton for the third and final time. When Kelton disovers that his assignment leads him to the house by the lake, and then finds the area to be teeming with ghosts, he complains that he is always getting assigned to these cases and comments that the police academy never trained him for dealing with flying saucers, zombies, mad scientists, monsters, or ghosts.
Some of the classic Ed Wood elements to look for are inconsistencies in night and day (though Ed is getting a little better with that), a quick cameo appearance by a drunk, a police investigation, police officers that blindly fire and anything vaguely human-shaped when scared, and corny dialogue between country folk.
Of course, Criswell is back. He provides the opening monologue (a monologue he uses again later in "Orgy of the Dead"), provides narration, and then appears as the overseer of the dead near the end of the movie.
At only an hour long, this movie will be over just when you think it will never end. I must admit, the plot makes more sense than any of the other Ed Wood movies I have seen so far. (Not saying much.) But, can anyone explain to me the point of the opening sequence about juvenile deliquency?
Other reviews for this movie:
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