Monday, November 30, 2009

The Ghost Walks (1934)

A playwright wants to present his latest play to a producer and somehow convinces him to drive to his remote mansion on a dark and stormy night to read it. His man-secretary is along for the ride. They get stuck in the road and have to walk to a nearby spooky mansion. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Strange things are a-foot. Writer Prescott Ames has a history in the house and at dinner, we learn a murder happened there ten years earlier, that very night. The lights go out, a ghost makes an appearance, and the widow disappears! Guess what. Mr. Ames is putting his producer friend (and his closeted secretary) on. This is HIS house, and they were all actors treating them to act 1 of his play. Oh, wait. Spoiler Alert! Was I too late on that?

Producer and secretary find a room ... I mean find the script and realize they were played. No longer frightfully fearful, they go back downstairs to enjoy the show. The actors fess up to the deception, but when they find the poor widow, she actually is dead! Producer and BFF don't believe them.

A guard from a sanitarium (of course) arrives saying a homicidal maniac is on the loose. Then we learn the house has a history of murder, and the eyes in the painting come alive and look at people and, well, they pull out just about every cliche in the book. The actors run around like mad and the producer and his guy-pal snicker, thinking it's all a gag.

This movie is old enough that the scare devices were fairly new, if not original. And for the title, well, there was kinda a ghost. I suppose he was walking. Other people totally walked. Had to. The car was stuck.

I'm torn on what to give it. Clearly it wasn't "great". The audio and video quality ranged from poor to pitiful. I hate to condemn it for that reason, but I simply cannot enjoy a movie I can't hear and barely see. Right now I give it a 2.5. Watch it for yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment