The Demons of Ludlow (1983)
Article 5792 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Bill Rebane
Featuring Paul von Hausen, Stephanie Cushna, Carol Perry
What it is: Haunting from Wisconsin
The tiny town of Ludlow is celebrating its bicentennial, and receives a piano from the estate of the original founder of the town. But the founder did not leave the town under happy circumstances, and the piano is something more sinister than a mere gift…
At the beginning of the movie, there appears to be at least two people who seem more or less happy. They are the first two to die. Yes, that’s something in the way of a minor spoiler, but the point I’m making is that most of the rest of the people in this small town are very unhappy in one way or another, and the movie largely consists of these unhappy people having horrible things happen to them. And that’s a problem I seem to consistently have with Bill Rebane’s movies; it’s not the low-budget lack of wherewithal to pull off some of the effects nor the stodgy pacing that leaves the greatest impression, but rather, the air of depression and glumness that pervades them. In short, his movies are downers, and they’re not much fun; even the dreadfully incompetent films of Jerry Warren leave me feeling (on some inconceivable level) happier. And that’s pretty depressing.