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Final Curtain

USA 1957
produced by
Ed Wood, Ernest S. Moore (executive) for Atomic Productions
directed by Ed Wood
starring Duke Moore, Jeannie Stevens, Dudley Manlove (narration)
written by Ed Wood, music by Gordon Zahler


review by
Mike Haberfelner

After the final day of a vampire play, the lead actor (Duke Moore) stays behind to reminisce ... but soon all the noises the empty theatre still makes freak him out quite a bit - even if he has rational explanations for each and every one of those. But as creeped out as he might be, he also feels somehow forced to give the whole place a good look-over to search for ... he doesn't know what, he only knows that he will know when he finds it. That said, while investigating the place, his senses play more and more tricks on him, culminating in the scene where he thinks a vampire dummy he has shared the stage with every day comes to life. Finally, in the last room of the vast place, the actor finds what he has been looking for, a black coffin - and he knows he'll climb in never to leave it again ...


Ed Wood has made some pretty wild movies in his lifetime, but this one's more of a mood-piece, a deliberately slow moving piece devoid of jump scares and relying solely on atmosphere. Originally the film was intended for Bela Lugosi, but that actor died prior to the shoot. Also this was supposed to be the pilot of a show called Portraits in Terror, but the series simply never took off - and due to its deliberate slow pace and emphasis on atmosphere, it just might not have found its audience.

Now taken by its own merits, Final Curtain is certainly a film that shows Ed Wood did at least know something about filmmaking (something many dispute) and was more than just an underachiever full of wild ideas ... but all's not great with Final Curtain, and the main point of critique is its rather tedious voice-over (done by Dudley Manlove) that invariably describes exactly what we see on the screen in the first place, more often than not deriving it of its full effect. Plus, the voice-over, while Edgar Allan Poe-like in its best moments, by and large betrays Wood's bread-and-butter job as a hack writer who's paid by the word rather than according to quality, as the whole thing's incredibly wordy and repetitive.

Still worth watching for Ed Wood fans at least, as it's definitely one of his better (though not funnier) movies.


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD