Film Review: Ghost Town (1988)

SYNOPSIS:

Young bride to be Kate Barrett is kidnapped off of a desert road. It is up to Deputy Langley, a cop who would rather have target practice while listening to his “heavy metal hearing aid” than actual police work, to find the young woman. Once Langley tracks down Kate however he learns about just who kidnapped her and the two find themselves stuck in literally in the past. Time is running out for Kate and Langley the two must find out how to destroy the evil that has plagued the “ghost town” for decades or just become a page of the towns horrible history themselves.

REVIEW:

Year: 1988
Directed by: Richard Governor
Starring: Franc Luz, Jimmie F Skaggs, Catherine Hickland and Bruce Glove

“You’re the one…You’ll rid my town of evil!”
Love him or hate him Charles Band is an enterprise in the horror industry. The one thing I have always loved about films done by Band and company is their “look”. Charles Band’s films tend to be a lower budget affair however the man tries his hardest to make sure that the films look the best that they can. 1988’s Ghost Town directed by Richard Governor is a great example of this.

Ghost Town starts by introducing Kate Barrett. Kate is driving through the desert and the fact she tosses a wedding veil out of her convertible lets the viewer know that she is supposed to be a bride. Kate soon finds herself surrounded by a dust storm that brings with it the sound of hoof beats. Soon Kate is being drug away by an unseen attacker and you have your first glimpse into Ghost Town.

The film does not drag at all; after Kate is kidnapped the viewer gets to meet the hero of the film. It is a young deputy named Langley. Langley is called to the seen of Kate’s disappearance and is told to stay put by the sheriff. Langley however gets curious and soon finds himself staring down the ghost of an outlaw who is aggressively attacking and shooting at him. Langley’s vehicle of course pays the price for the attack and soon the deputy finds himself on foot.

It is during this moment a great piece of low budget effects occurs when Langley discovers the hardly buried body of a sheriff from the old west times. The corpse springs to life pleading with Langley to destroy the evil in his town. It doesn’t take too much longer for Langley to find the said town and finds that it is ran by the ghost of an old west outlaw by the name of Devlin. Did I mention that the rest of the town is also filled with ghosts of gamblers, bar maids and other types of scum? Well the movie is called Ghost Town isn’t it?

Ghost Town doesn’t show many signs of a low budget. The set pieces are nice, the costumes are nice. The movie is well lit and the score follows all of the action. The cast of Ghost Town is also quite good; Devlin’s screen presence can wear thin during some parts (watch for the Phantom of the Operaesque reveal!) It isn’t that the acting is bad, the make up job on Devlin hasn’t held up (this was in the late 80’s) and if that can be looked past all of the pieces are here in Ghost Town to make an enjoyable experience.

It isn’t a film set in the wild west however unless there is a gun fight. Luckily Governor has put two of them into the film, and they can be quite violent. It isn’t just the gun fights that gore hounds will like however since they also get to see human skulls crying blood, a windmill crucifixion, a person buried alive and plenty of the red stuff once the film really gets rolling.

Like him or not Charles Band is an industry inside of our own beloved genre. Films like Ghost Town are one of the reasons that his empire exists still to this day.

Ghost Town (1988)

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One Response to Film Review: Ghost Town (1988)

  1. tomasiepants says:

    Doooode! I would always see this film at my local video store. I think I was the only person who rented it! Finally, when they went out of business, I bought it. Love my VHS copy of Ghost Town. I liked old school Charles Band films. The Full Moon stuff was cool… in the early 90s. Still, loved the Empire stuff.

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