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Ghosts on the Loose
The East Side Kids Meet Bela Lugosi / Ghosts in the Night

USA 1943
produced by
Jack Dietz, Sam Katzman, Barney A. Sarecky (associate) for Monogram (Banner Productions)
directed by William Beaudine
starring the East Side Kids (= Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Sammy Morrison (= Ernest Morrison), William 'Billy' Benedict, Stanley Clements, Bobby Stone, Bill Bates), Bela Lugosi, Ava Gardner, Rick Vallin, Minerva Urecal, Wheeler Oakman, Peter Seal, Frank Moran, Jack Mulhall, Harry Depp, Blanche Payson, Ray Miller, Tom Herbert, Robert F.Hill, Eddie Laughton, Snub Pollard, Kay Marvis
written by Kenneth Higgins, musical director: Edward J.Kay

East Side Kids, formerly Dead End Kids, later Bowery Boys, American World War II Propaganda

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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With their friend Jack (Rick Vallin) getting married to Betty (Ava Gardner), the East Side Kids (Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Sammy Morrison, William 'Billy' Benedict, Stanley Clements, Bobby Stone, Bill Bates) figure it would be a nice idea to fix up his newly bought house while he spends his wedding night at a hotel - but somehow the kids confuse Jack's house with the house next door, which is supposed to be haunted ... but after the kids are scared shitless for a bit, they find a printing press and Nazi propaganda material in the basement and figure a Nazi spy ring must be operating from here (and it is, too, with Bela Lugosi being the ring's leader).. When the police, Jack and Betty arrive, things soon get so mixed up that Jack is arrested as the Nazi spy ring's leader, but ultimately, the kids find all the secret passageways in the haunted house and manage to put he Nazis out of action.

 

Despite the ghosts of the title and the haunted house set, the horror content of this little film is very low, and the film's pretty muddled screenplay seems to be indecisive which way to go (horror, espionage thriller, straight comedy, romance, ...), without ever making anything interesting out of its genre blend. Plus, Bela Lugosi is totally wasted as teh lead villain of the piece, as director William Beaudine seems to have no idea of how to use an actor of Lugosi's talents. Still, the film is not a total failure, at least Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and Sammy Morrison do their best to liven up the proceedings and are at times quite funny, but in all, it doesn't hurt much to give this one a miss, either.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD