Night of the Ghouls (1959)

NIGHT OF THE GHOULS (1959)
Article #104 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-28-2001
Posting date: 11-11-2001

A policeman who specializes in strange occurrences is sent out to investigate sightings of ghosts near an old house in the swamp. There he meets Dr. Acula, a phony spirtualist trying to bilk people out of their money.

Here we go, Ed Wood fans; the first Ed Wood movie to make it to the Musings and Ramblings. The movie is a sequel to BRIDE OF THE MONSTER and a semi-sequel to PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, with only the character of Kelton (Paul Marco) as the link between all three movies. At this point, Tor Johnson was the closest to a star that Ed Wood had to work with, but he is poorly used in this movie as all that is left of Lobo, the character he played in BRIDE.

I don’t think Ed Wood was talentless; occasionally, glimpses of cleverness and imagination shine through in his movies. I think what he lacked was either the desire, the ability, or the time to look critically at what he was doing in his capacity of either a writer or a director. The speed with which he worked certainly didn’t help matters either.

I do like certain touches in this movie; the early scenes in the police office (check out the wanted poster) are interestingly staged, in that some characters actually leave the scene through an exit just to the side of the camera, which I find rather novel. And the seance that takes up a good middle of the movie is either one of the most outrageous parodies of this type of sequence I’ve ever seen, or one of the most incompetent seances in cinematic record; when you see the trumpet mute floating around or the ghost that floats by to the tune of a slide whistle, you may wonder just what Ed Wood was trying to do in this sequence.

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