Saturday, June 8, 2013

Movie #193: The Ghost

The Ghost is a 1963 horror movie starring Barbara Steele, Peter Baldwin and Elio Jotta. It shares some DNA with House on Haunted Hill and 13 Ghosts (the originals, not the remakes). Like the other two old-timey horror movies we've watched, it's not terrible, but lord, it ain't good.

So, plot: Dr. Hichcock (Jotta) is very ill, and being given a cure for his mystery disease that he himself designed, which involves getting an injection of a poison and then an antidote, administered by his friend and fellow doctor, Livingstone (Baldwin). Sadly, his pretty, young wife (Steele) is banging Livingstone, and wants her husband dead so that she can finally be out from this odious marriage.

So, naturally, one night Baldwin simply doesn't give Hichcock the antidote. He dies, but when it comes time to open his safe and collect his money, the key is missing (key to a safe?). The key turns out to be in his jacket pocket...which he was interred with. They find the key, open the safe, but it's already empty, but then it turns out Livingstone might have stolen it. So Margaret (that's his wife, sorry) goes nuts and stabs Livingstone to death, and then pours a glass of poison...for suicide purposes? Not sure. But then (spoiler alert!) Hichcock turns up, fully cured by his own regimen. Turns out he engineered his own death to catch and kill the lovers, and now he's poisoned Margaret with curare, and is going to flee the country with his loyal assistant and housekeeper (Harriet Medin), but instead he shoots her dead...and drinks the poison that Margaret poured, mistaking it for gin.

So where's the ghost? There isn't one. Hichcock gaslights the lovers a bit by pretending to be a ghost, but mostly the movie is about the relationship between the characters. In that, it's not bad - it's melodramatic and overwrought, but it's fun to heckle and it actually makes a nice game of Fiasco, if you think about it.

My grade: D
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai