Ten Thousand Bytes of Cinematic Critique
I did not intentionally watch the original 1960 version of 13 Ghosts. It came on television and, for some reason, my older brother was interested in it.It was terrible.I saw the 2001 remake before and was appalled, but I did at least like the concept of a "haunted house" movie with 13 ghosts that were all unique enough to be characters on their own. This is not the case with the 1960s version. Some ghosts appear when no one is around and only seem to argue with other ghosts about the quality of their cakes.There are not 13 ghosts in this movie at any time. There are maybe 3 distinct ones that show up to cause trouble; a ghost lion with its lion tamer who has no head, a group of skeletons (which apparently counts as one ghost?) and some other one that looks like a zombie. Beyond that there are some other ghosts which do nothing. One takes an axe to a fireplace mantle continuously for no reason, and, of course,there is that cursed chef and his ghostly patrons. You can't taste the food because you are dead. Deal with it!To be fair, though, one shouldn't expect quality horror from this "film." It's one of the classic "gimmick movies" that were cheap to make and yet made tons of money for movie studios because of the fantastic marketing. For 13 Ghosts movie goers were made to put on special glasses at pivotal scenes so they can see the ghosts. Watching these scenes on TV are dreadful because the 3D effect is gone. Without that gimmick all we are really seeing is our protagonist in wearing their own "special glasses" stand calmly and watch a ghost do crazy things for five minutes until they realize they are supposed to be acting scared and run away. If I saw a band of skeletons materialize through a brick wall and then burst into flames while screaming I would not stand there thinking it was quite curious. No, I think I would much rather run for my life and never return to the house ever again.Having said all that; no, I do not recommend the movie because it is a piece of crap. For historical value it might be useful to film students and it's a very good laugh with friends to rip on MST3k style, but beyond that the movie is a waste of both the genre and the medium. Also, those "special glasses" looked so retarded I was embarrassed to be watching.
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