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Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

When a pulp-fiction author (William Hudson) buys a lighthouse in the hopes of having an ideal place to be creative, his plans are dashed by the vengeful ghost of a woman scorned. Her fury invokes the man who turned his back on her, and once he kills off the townspeople at her command, she changes them into zombies. In an attempt to revive the moribund comedy of this horror spoof, two cowardly "ghostbusters" come into the picture (Mark Hudson and Brett Hudson), but neither this duo nor their brother -- a trio also responsible for the script -- can animate a zombie film that is dead in the water.


Julie Newmar
as Venetia
Richard Kiel
as Captain Howdy
Bill Hudson
as Frederic Lansing / Casper
Bud Cort
as Dr. John
Clint Walker
as Sheriff
Keenan Wynn
as Fisherman
Gary Owens
as TV Announcer
John Larroquette
as Bob X. Cursion
Pat Colbert
as Hooker #1
Indy Shriner
as Hooker #2
Pamela Bowman
as New York Model #2
Sue Casey
as Bookstore Society Lady #2
Natalie Core
as Bookstore Society Lady #1
Mary Ellen Flaherty
as Bookstore Society Lady #4
Annie Willette
as Bookstore Society Lady #3
Robert Alan Browne
as New York Press Man
Gene Castle
as Lead Zombie Dancer
Kathy Cherry
as Sexy Girl
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Critic Reviews for Hysterical

All Critics (4)

Tries real hard, but yields very little. Deservedly obscure early 80's horror spoof.

Jul 25, 2002 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for Hysterical


Long before the Wayans brothers dragged the horror spoof genre through the gutter with their Scary Movie series, The Hudson Brothers wrote and starred in this little gem that spoofs every horror movie from Jaws to The Exorcist. When a novelist retreats to sleepy little Hellview to recharge his writing batteries, he becomes immersed in a 100 year old mystery involving a haunted lighthouse, and the discovery of the long dead lighthouse keeper, Captain James Howdy. The townsfolk call in two inept...whoops, I mean intrepid adventurers, Dr. Paul Baton and Fritz, to investigate what it all means. When the corpse of Captain Howdy returns to life, he begins killing townspeople, turning them in to turtleneck wearing zombies who say only "What difference does it make?" It's all tied in to the spirit that inhabits the light in the lighthouse. Completely non-sensical, cheesy, and juevenille, it's also inexplicably entertaining. Set on the Oregon coast, the movie does contain a certain cool atmosphere that adds to the movies charm. A lot of well known character actors make the most of their small roles, including Murray Hamilton, spoofing his own role of the town mayor from Jaws. As usual, he refuses to close the beaches. Watch for John Larroquette in a small role as the worlds worst tour boat guide, Bob X. Cursion. Other genre character actors include Richard "Jaws" Kiel, Julie "Catwoman" Newmar, Franklyn Ajaye, and Cindy Pickett. Parodies of Dracula, Jaws, The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Night Of The Living Dead, and countless others abound, culminating in a dancing zombie musical number. Not a gut busting laugh riot, but incredibly charming, and undeniably fun. I don't think the movie ever got a theatrical release. It's one of those movies I discovered long ago on cable, thinking I was the only one who ever saw it. Over the years I've met many others who have the same "Oh yeah, I remember that movie! I love that movie!" moment of recognition when I mention it. A cult movie if there ever was one.

RJ MacReady
RJ MacReady

Super Reviewer

Remember the Hudson Brothers? That wacky comedy team that follows in the footsteps of the Marx Bros? Don't worry, no on does. Still, I loved it when I was a kid, especially "The Hop" scene. I would really love to see this one again.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer


I loved it as a kid when they showed this movie every free Pay-TV weekend in the 80's. It had funny jokes about my favorite horror films. It was just as good as Airplane! I thought. Now it's a bit goofy, dated and cheesy. The Ralph character who rode the bike and kept saying "You're all doomed!" got pretty annoying. The Hudson Brothers had lame jokes; where did they come from, and where did they go after this weird film? Boys, it just isn't funny anymore. I loved the Venecia ghost woman (Julie Newmar) in the lighthouse, and her freaky husband Captain Howdy (Richard Kiel). The intentionally-generic opening title song is still funny today. "What difference does it make?"

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

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