Ghosts of the past back for revenge

As in, three ghost films from the 1970s and 1980s that are pretty much never mentioned these days.

THE EVIL (1978)

evil cover

Anyone raised by a television in the 70s and 80s will recognize most of the faces in this film, but the big star is Richard Crenna. As a real estate agent tells Richard and his wife tall tales about a big old mansion they are touring, the wife sees a ghost and a ceiling falls on Richard’s head…so they buy the place.

evil crenna

They invite a bunch of friends over to fix the place up. Things start off as old school haunted house horror, with thunder and lightning, apparitions, evil laughter, chicks going hysterical and being slapped, a crucifix, a diary, people being tossed about, and doors and windows slamming shut.

evil body

The members of the group continue trying to explain events away logically, even when they begin to die one by one. Shit gets crazy. A chick is stripped by an evil force, a dude saws into his own hand, a good dog goes bad, and eventually Richard Crenna and his wife head into a hole in the basement to meet the devil. It’s wacky iconic actor Victor Buono of Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Seriously, as dark as the film is most of the way through, the ending will make you laugh.

GHOST TOWN (1988)

ghost town cover

This bizarre little ghost movie drops us into the middle of the desert. Cutie Franc Luz of The Nest (blog here) is a deputy who, following leads from a chick’s abandoned car on the side of the road, stumbles upon a ghost town…complete with ghosts from the Old West! The first happens to be the corpse of an old time sheriff that pops out of a grave with a crucial message for the deputy.

ghost town deputy

Turns out a zombie outlaw and his gang, abducted the chick from the car, have been terrorizing the ghost town for ages and won’t let anyone go free. So the deputy has to find her and figure out how to kill the outlaw.

ghost town outlaw

Ghost Town is a charming mess, so it’s no surprise it came from the eighties. The deputy hooks up with a girl ghost who looks eerily like Laura Branigan and manages to get the deputy out of his shirt. The zombie outlaw is super creepy looking but gets watered down into a novelty instead of delivering actual fright as he bosses around his men and gets into long-winded gun battles with the hero. But the final standoff is kind of entertaining.

TWICE DEAD (1988)

twice dead cover

And the winner of this supernatural triple feature is…Twice Dead. A family, including Kristen’s mom from Elm Street 3, inherits a big house where a crazy old actor with a creepy as hell sex doll hung himself decades before. And that damn real looking human doll is still there when they move in.

The teenage brother and sister (who totally rule) begin experiencing odd occurrences in the house and fear it is haunted. They also find themselves thrust into a war with a local biker gang that looks like the Lost Boys without fangs.

twice dead gang

After various confrontations involving everything from a hearse to a “penisaurus” (funny stuff that even had my hubby giggling), the punk ass biker gang terrorizes the brother and sister in their own home. But it seems the siblings have an ally in the ghost, because the punks begin dying one by one.

twice dead body

Yes, it’s a home invasion ghost movie and it’s fricking 80s brilliant, complete with a great sex scene (hot Latin man and chick with big bazongas), a cheap scare finale, an awesome “Twice Dead” punk rock theme song. And the sweet sweet icing on this 80s cake? Fricking Todd Bridges of Different Strokes.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.

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