Night of the Ghouls (1959)
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Night of the Ghouls (which was also known as Revenge of the Dead) was Edward D. Wood Jr.'s first attempt at making a horror film without any contribution, either in a true performance or through the presence of archival footage, from Bela Lugosi, who had died three years earlier. The plot, which was as confusing as most of Wood's scripts, seems to make it a sequel to Bride of the Monster and, to a lesser degree, Plan 9 From Outer Space, incorporating events and characters from both, including Paul Marco's portrayal of the ubiquitous Officer Kelton. (Indeed, some Wood scholars have referred to the three movies as a group as "the Kelton trilogy," since he is the only character to turn up essentially the same in all three films.) Duke Moore, who portrayed the detective lieutenant in Plan 9 From Outer Space, is back in this film, and now he seems to be identified as a specialist in bizarre and unusual cases, making him sort of Ed Wood's distant precursor to The X Files' agent Fox Mulder and The Night Stalker's Carl Kolchak. This time there are strange goings-on, including disappearances and ghostly apparitions, at a mysterious house in a remote part of town. It turns out that this is the same house (rebuilt) and the same locale where Bela Lugosi's mad scientist was creating zombies in Bride of the Monster, and that Tor Johnson's Lobo is still there, somewhat the worse for wear. Instead of a mad scientist, however, the man behind the mayhem is a phony mystic named Dr. Acula, played by ex-cowboy actor Kenne Duncan. None of it makes too much sense, as though anyone needs to be told that, knowing that this was an Ed Wood movie, but parts of it are fun in that unique way that Wood's movies can be -- the strange word usages and dialogue patterns, as well as odd characterizations, mismatched shots, and incomprehensible plot elements all weave their eerie spell on the viewer willing to absorb them. … More
as Dr. Acula
as The White Ghost
as Lieutenant Dan Bradf...
as Black Ghost
as young man
as Dead Man
as Capt. Robbins
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Critic Reviews for Night of the Ghouls
The joys of Night of the Ghouls rest on the laurels of an extremely acquired taste in "bad" movies. Don't say you weren't warned.
Expect yet more of the 'neo-Brechtian panache' (i.e. complete technical incompetence) that secured Wood his rep as the very worst of the worst.
As lame as 'Plan 9' and 'Glen or Glenda' but not quite as unintentionally funny.
Without Lugosi, Ed Wood's films don't amount to a lot.
So bad, it's good!
Audience Reviews for Night of the Ghouls
I liked this movie, it was funny, the story is good and the movie doesn't look as bad as plan 9 does, instead it's more like a low budget horror movie. I really liked it.More
Probably the worst of Ed Woods sci-fi/horror flicks which is quite an achievement haha the lack of Lugosi is the real undoing here, his iconic charm is badly needed to lift this as the other players just don't/can't do the job. There isn't much of a job to do here to be honest as the plot is wafer thin and barely covers one hour but Lugosi would always bring a sparkle to any nonsense haha at least we have Tor Johnson to lurch and lumber around with classic Wood direction along with Criswell in his ever clean tucks :)
Some of the 'effects' are quite cool in their cheapness and do bring a kind of cheesy fairground fun house theme to the proceedings which somehow keeps you interested, just, but we all know what to expect from Ed Wood so you just watch to see the imagination and resourcefulness of his film making, kudos for effort with no money :)
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