Ghost Fever (1986)
Article 5543 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Lee Madden
Featuring Sherman Hemsley, Luis Avalos, Jennifer Rhodes
What it is: Horror comedy
Two policemen try to serve an eviction notice to two women living in an old southern mansion, but they discover that the mansion is haunted by a bigoted ghost.
Sherman Hemsley was almost bankrupted by the box-office failure of this, his attempt to break out as a movie star after the cancellation of ‘The Jeffersons’. Personally, I think he would have been hard-pressed to find a less promising script, a poorly conceived and painfully unfunny compendium of cliches that feels thrown together without much thought. A few potentially interesting ideas get lost in the weak direction and editing, and when the movie decides to climax the story by having someone save the mansion from destruction by trying to win the money at an exhibition boxing match, you can smell the desperation in the air. After an attempt to save the movie through extensive reshooting and editing, the director disavowed the movie and his name was replace with Alan Smithee. Some people put this one in the “so bad it’s good” category; me, I found it merely depressing.