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Invisible Ghost

USA 1941
produced by
Sam Katzman for Monogram (Banner Productions)
directed by Joseph H. Lewis
starring Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, John McGuire, Clarence Muse, Terry Walker, Betty Compson, Ernie Adams, George Pembroke, Ottola Nesmith, Fred Kelsey, Jack Mulhall, Fred Aldrich, Lloyd Ingraham, Robert Strange, Fred Aldrich
written by Al Martin, Helen Martin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Several murders have happened in and around Charles Kessler's (Bela Lugosi) house, but the killer never left any clues and apparently had no motive ... but then, maid Cecile (Terry Walker) is murdered as well, and this time everything leads to Ralph (John McGuire), the fiancé of Kessler's daughter Virginia (Polly Ann Young) who once had an affair with Cecile, and he is effectively tried, convicted and hanged for the crime, and only Kessler and Virginia ever believed in his innocence.

But of course he was innocent, because you know, the Kessler household is a weird one: Kessler was once, many years ago left by his wife, and now, every year on their wedding day, he pretends she's still here and talks to her invisible self. However, Kessler's wife (Betty Compson) is not really dead, she had an accident and has since been hidden from everyone by Kessler's gardener Jules (Ernie Adams) in his basement, where he nursed her back to health and plans to eventually return her to Kessler once she's well enough - why he does that I don't know, he is not portrayed as a madman anyways ... Mrs Kessler however believes that her husband was responsible for her accident (if that's true or not we never find out) and sometimes visits him at night to haunt him - and everytime he sees her, his brain just shuts down and he kills someone. Ironically though, his next victim is Jules the gardener ...

In the meantime, Ralph's twin brother Paul (also John McGuire) has come to pay a visit to the Kesslers and find out the truth, and he is welcomed by the family with open arms, even by Kessler, who doesn't know that he is really the killer. Before long, after Kessler almost kills his daughter too, suspicion falls upon Kessler's faithful butler Evans (Clarence Muse), and the police is just about ready to nail him ... when Mrs Kessler pays a surprise visit, and when he sees her, right in front of the police, Kessler turns homicidal again and tries to kill the police Ltd Williams (George Pembroke). It's only when Mrs Kessler dies for no apparent reason that Kessler stops in what he's doing and instantly has forgotten all about it ... but seems to have no problems being arrested for murder ...


In writing, this film might sound even sillier than when seen, but compared to other Monogram horrors, this actually isn't too bad at all, an effective, even atmospheric little thriller that only occasionally loses itself in just one plottwist too many. And of course, Bela Lugosi is great as always.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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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



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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