I believe I mentioned this before on my website, but I figured it’s worth telling again. Ever since I was a little kid, I had this poster of Ghost Town in my room growing up. (I actually still have the same poster to this day rolled up somewhere, ready to be hung up on the walls of my new house we are moving into shortly.) I remember looking at this poster, getting lost in its details and just dying to get my hands on it and watch it. Remember, this is way before the internet and being able to easily obtain a movie. I lived out in the country and if my local rental store didn’t have it, there was no way I was going to be able to watch it. Jump ahead some 20 odd years and we have Scream Factory announcing that Ghost Town will be released on Blu-ray. You cannot image the excitement I felt, but also a slight bit of dread, as I knew that I would finally be able to check this movie out. Would it live up to my expectations based solely on staring at that poster for years? What I’m about to say after the jump might actually surprise you…
RUN-TIME: 85 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.78:1
AUDIO: English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA
PRODUCTION DATE: 1988
RELEASE DATE: July 28th, 2015
A dusty ghost town, seemingly abandoned, holds the lives of its original inhabitants in an animated netherworld for 100 years…
When a modern-day sheriff’s deputy is lured to a desolate, spooky ghost town in search of a missing woman, he comes face-to-face with a malevolent spirit from the town’s past. The spell of death and suffering over the undead townspeople must end to set them free from eternal pain. The horrors of a possessed outlaw, in a time-suspended dimension are only the setting for a frightening battle for the mind, nerves and flesh.
Starring Franc Luz (The Nest, When Harry Met Sally), Jimmie F. Skaggs (Oblivion, Puppetmaster), Catherine Hickland (Witchery) and Bruce Glover (Diamonds Are Forever, Chinatown, Walking Tall), Ghost Town is an unnerving, white-knuckle walk into the wild, undead west.
It’s rare that a movie could live up to such lofty expectations, but gosh darnit, Ghost Town actually achieved that goal. I know, I was blown away as well. I thought for sure that after the end credits rolled around, I would be heart broken, but man, I thoroughly enjoyed this damn movie. I mean yeah, the plot is paper thin, and no sort explanation is given for anything that’s going on in this movie, but there is just some sort of charm about seeing an 80s horror film mashed together with an old western.
Ghost Town starts off with a bang, as the beautiful, but feisty Kate (Witchery’s Catherine Hickland) gets kidnapped by some unseen ghost rider on a black horse. Deputy Langley (Franc Luz) shows up to the scene to investigate and runs into the evil cowboy and ends up spending the night in an old haunted ghost town. The next morning he learns more about the town and it’s undead residents, even going so far as to sleep with one of the hot ones (smoking hot Catacombs actress Laura Schaefer.) Langley seems to have gotten himself into some trouble and the only way out is to take down the one man standing in his way, Devlin (Jimmie F. Skaggs,) the evilest cowboy this side of Lee Van Cleef. Will Langley save the day, sleep around some more and find his way out of town, or will he be buried along side all the other would be heroes? I can’t tell you, cause that would be spoiling things. Tsk tsk tsk.
Hopefully you can tell by the above breakdown, Ghost Town is a lot of fun. It runs a quick 85 minutes, not wasting any time getting to the good stuff. In fact, it rushes so much, it forgets to actually explain anything! That’s the one problem with this movie. I really couldn’t tell you why and how all this stuff is happening. You just kind of go along with it and smile. It’s a haunted ghost town / dead cowboy / save the day / sleep with the only hot chick in town kind of movie. Enough said. (Oh, one other problem. Only one boob is seen. *Sad face*)
Quick note! Keep an eye out for Jason Voorhees himself, Kane Hodder, in a small role as one of Devlin’s evil henchmen. He also did the stunts for the movie. Fun stuff.
Like I said before, I’ve never seen this movie on any other format, so I can’t really compare it to those, but I can tell you that this movie is looking mighty damn fine on Blu-ray from Scream Factory. There is some slight noise and dirt on a few scenes, with a little bit of softness present, but overall, it’s a clear looking picture. The audio, which is English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA, is not bad. At first, it was a little too low and I had to turn my speakers up, but around the half way mark, the audio levels seem to get a boost and they become almost too loud. It’s a strange occurrence, but it doesn’t affect not being able to hear and make out what’s going on. Trust me, the movie doesn’t have much in the way of dialogue to begin with.
The disc takes a big whole shotgun blast to the chest in the special features department. Not a one feature is present; not even a damn trailer. I was really disappointed to see nothing included, but the movie makes up for that.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- BANG BANG NOTHING!
Ghost Town achieved the lofty goal of living up to the poster and my imagination on how it would be. After reading up on a lot of the backstory on the making of it, with the director walking off set, and the version released being a workprint and not the final version, somehow Ghost Town rises above all that drama and comes out a winner in my book. I highly recommend this to any 80s horror fan, who loves a dash of western thrown on their plate. Scream Factory has given us a lovely disc to look at, but the features seem to have been missed. Either way, pick it up for sure.