Showing posts from 2011

You Better Watch Out (1980)

Young Harry and Phil Stadling's (Gus Salud, Wally Moran) parents decide to put on a little show for their kids, with Dad (Brian Hartigan) dressing up like Santa Claus and putting presents under the tree. Later, Phil is more skeptical, telling Harry it was just their father. Harry, however, believes that it really was Santa, and goes back down to check - only to find Mom (Ellen McElduff) getting her garters sniffed by Old Saint Nick.

Fast forward to Christmas 1980. Harry (Brandon Maggart) has just been promoted to a lower management position at Jolly Dream, a manufacturer of cheap, useless toys. His apartment is decorated for Christmas at all times, and he even sleeps in a Santa suit and keeps Naughty and Nice lists of the neighborhood children. Phil (Jeffrey DeMunn) is married with two kids and thinks his brother is just this side of retarded, while Harry doesn't understand why he doesn't fit in.

After being tricked into working the production line by the obnoxious Frank …

The Village (2004)

The village of Covington appears to be idyllic. However, there are a few problems - namely, "Those Who We Do No Speak Of", strange creatures that prowl the said woods. Also the village has medical and technological infrastructure on par with the mid-19th century, leading to some birth defects and early childhood deaths. As we are first introduced to this community it is at the funeral for the son of August Nicholson (Brendan Gleeson), one of the town's elders.

Due to this situation and his concern for the mentally handicapped Noah (Adrien Brody), blacksmith Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) makes an appeal to the elders, led by Edward Walker (William Hurt), to let him cross through the woods and visit "The Towns" for medicine. This is despite concerns that the creatures in the woods have been crossing the boundary into the village and killing livestock, despite a long-standing truce between the settlers and the creatures to leave each other alone as long as the se…

Cops and Robbers (1973)

Tom (Cliff Gorman) is a New York beat officer who tries an experiment. One night he walks into a liquor store and robs it while dressed in full uniform. And he gets away with it. About a week later he tells his colleague Joe (Joseph Bologna), a detective in the same precinct, what he did. Together, the two hatch a plan to do one big heist while dressed as police officers and stash the money away for their retirement.

Weeks go by with the job just being a pipe dream until opportunity arises. Joe has big-time gangster Patsy O'Neill (John P. Ryan) brought in on a minor charge to check him out, and later goes to meet with him at his mansion. O'Neill, thinking the two are bumblers who will never pull off the job, says that he wants them to steal $10 million in bearer bonds, for which he will pay them a million dollars.

However, Tom and Joe are dreaming big. The opportunity to commit the robbery comes with a parade honoring Apollo 11 astronauts. A larger than usual police presence…

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010)

A Nightmare on Elm Street went from being an independent horror film from a penniless director and a near-bankrupt studio to being one of the most recognizable horror franchises ever, with an iconic villain in Freddy Krueger. He has weathered six direct sequels, a rather interesting meta-movie, a duel with another horror icon and a remake. After 27 years it is still a part of our cinematic history.

That is why I'm glad that Daniel Farrands and the rest of the people responsible for this documentary didn't half-ass it. Original Nightmare heroine Heather Langenkamp narrates this four-hour look into each of the original films the short-lived (but much-maligned) television series. It also manages to leave almost no stone unturned to interview cast and crew, although Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette were both conspicuous in their absence.

The parts that will be of most interest to viewers I think is about how the original got made, the homosexual subtexts of the second (which, con…

Motel Hell (1980)

Vincent Smith (Rory Calhoun), proprietor of the Motel Hello and famously known as Farmer Vincent, the guy who makes the best smoked meats in the state, turns on the "No Vacancy" sign and goes out hunting. Lying in wait, he hears an approaching motorcycle, and he shoots out the tires as it goes by. Both rider and passenger are still alive, but he decides each will have different fates, as he is immediately smitten with the young blonde Terry (Nina Axelrod).

After waking, she finds out her boyfriend Bo (Everett Creach) is dead, and she decides to stay on with Vincent and his sister Ida (Nancy Parsons) while she recovers. She also starts a friendship with Vincent's younger brother Bruce (Paul Linke), who also happens to be the county sheriff. He also has a thing for Terry, but it is quite obvious after awhile that she prefers Vincent, who has promised to show her the secrets of smoking meat. Ida, however, is not too happy over the affection Vincent is lavishing on Terry, a…

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

A couple returns home from partying on Halloween night. The wife is not too amused, and can't wait to get her costume off and clean up the decorations so she is not embarrassed when her mother shows up in the morning. She blows out the Jack-o-Lantern despite her husband's warning that she should have kept it burning. Turns out for once the wife wasn't right.

That's because the town of Warren Valley, Ohio, has a number of creeps taking advantage of the holiday, both supernatural and frighteningly real. We are introduced to a father and son who have a strange idea of how to carve a Jack-o-Lantern, a group of women on the prowl who have a special "taste" for men, a group of kids who unwittingly raise a 30-year-old legend from the dead and an old grump who gets his come-uppance for not getting in the spirit.

There is no underlying or wrap-around story other than the fact that it is Halloween and all this strangeness tends to happen in one town. Thus, it is diffe…

The Last Exorcism (2010)

Documentary film maker Iris Reisen (Iris Bahr) has been invited by charismatic pastor Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) to expose exorcism for the fraud it is. Marcus has been performing exorcisms for most of his adult life, knowingly faking the events but writing it off as giving families some peace. His attitude has recently changed after reading about deaths that have occurred due to other people attempting the same thing.

In order to show the tricks of his trade he chooses a letter at random so he can do one last exorcism. This letter turns out to be a plea for help from farmer Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum), who is losing livestock and believes his daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) may be possessed by a demon. Her brother Caleb (Caleb Landry Jones) is dead set against it, but quickly figures out Marcus is a fraud and not much harm can come of it.

After performing the rites and collecting his fee, Marcus and the film crew retire to a hotel in town for the night. However, they are awakened…

The Living Dead Girl (1982)

A disposal crew is secretly getting rid of chemical wast in a 12th century crypt located near a castle previously owned by the Valmont family. The last surviving member of the family has recently passed away, and was buried with all her jewelry, so Georges (Jean-Pierre Bouyxou) decides to make a detour and grab what he can. His partner spots a second casket, this one belonging to Madame Valmont's daughter Catherine (Françoise Blanchard), and reluctantly checks to see what she may have. An earth tremor hits, knocking the thieves on their butts and releasing some of the chemical sludge, which wakes Catherine from her eternal rest and sends her on a violent search for the blood of the living.

Returning to her family home, she finds that it is up for sale, and dispatches the real estate agent (Dominique Treillou) and the agent's boyfriend when they decide to use it for a tryst. The house itself starts bringing back Catherine's memories, particularly that of her best friend Hé…

Dead Men Walk (1943)

After an introduction where a book on vampire lore is thrown into a fire and a disembodied head warns us in dire tones to beware the unknown, we cut to the funeral of one Elwyn Clayton (George Zucco). It is interrupted when old woman Kate (Fern Emmett) bursts in to declare that Elwyn does not deserve a church service due to the evil he has done.

Though unbalanced, it seems that her opinion of Elwyn is also held by his brother Clayton (Zucco again), his son-in-law to be David Bentley (Nedrick Young) and daughter Gayle (Mary Carlisle). It turns out that Elwyn had attacked Clayton, and in defending himself he had to kill his own brother. However, sometimes people refuse to stay dead.

Clayton begins burning Elwyn's papers, but the latter's servant Zolarr (Dwight Frye) interrupts him, accuses Clayton of murder and threatens death for him and those around him. Zolarr then proceeds to remove Elwyn's coffin from the crypt and open up. Lo and behold, Elwyn is now a vampire! After …

Hausu (1977)

Angel (Kimiko Ikegami) and Fanta (Kumiko Ohba) are best friends looking forward to summer vacation. Unfortunately, they'll be spending it apart. Angel is planning on joining her father (Saho Sasazawa) at a seaside resort, while Fanta is joining the rest of their friends to go to a training camp with Mr. Togo (Kiyohiko Ozaki), whom she has a crush on.

Things don't work out as planned. Mr. Togo's sister is pregnant, so the inn they were staying in is closed for the summer. Angel's father comes home from Italy and introduces his new fiance Ryoko Ema (Haruko Wanibuchi). Angry that her father is replacing her mother (who has been dead for seven years), she refuses to go with him and instead writes her Auntie (Yoko Minamida) to see if she and her friends can come stay the summer at her house. Her aunt writes back and agrees. Suddenly Angel also has a new companion in Blanche, a white cat that showed up at her window.

The group goes to the house and is immediately impressed,…

Satan's School for Girls (1973)

Martha Sayers (Terry Lumley) is frightened out of her wits and has arranged to meet with her sister Elizabeth (Pamela Franklin) at a secluded hotel to talk things over and get her bearings. However, Elizabeth isn't home, and whatever is after Martha finds her. When the police break down the door, they find that she has hung herself, and declare the matter a suicide.

Elizabeth thinks differently, and after the cops inform her that Martha's classmate Lucy (Gwynne Gilford) has largely refused to talk, Elizabeth decides to investigate on her own. Under an assumed name she enrolls at Salem Academy, the fine arts school her sister was attending.

Upon arrival she meets Roberta (Kate Jackson) and learns that the school is run by a headmistress (Jo Van Fleet) often referred to as "The Dragon Lady", though she appears to be anything but. Most of the girls are infatuated with art teacher Dr. Joseph Clampett (Roy Thinnes), whose '70s-style good looks have them all swooning…

The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

Waldo Trumbull (Vincent Price) runs a funeral home with his partner Felix Gilley (Peter Lorre), and somehow has been suffering a lack of customers. Trumbull gained charge of the funeral home when his partner and father-in-law Amos Hinchley (Boris Karloff) became too old to run it. Trumbull, during his tenure, has managed to drink away most of the profits and alienate his wife Amaryllis (Joyce Jameson) by a constant stream of abuse and attempts to poison Hinchley so he can get at the old man's money.

Meanwhile, Trumbull is a year behind in rent, and landlord John F. Black (Basil Rathbone) is threatening to evict if the money is not paid immediately. So, what is a beleaguered undertaker with no customers supposed to do? Well, create some, of course!

At first the scheme appears to be successful. That is, until the widow of a wealthy victim skips town without paying for Trumbull's services. So, deciding to kill two birds with one stone, Trumbull sets his eyes on Black. Unfortunat…

She Freak (1967)

A side show features a number of attractions but, as one patron complains, no geek show. Turns out the law won't allow it. However, this side show has something to make up for it. In a special pit is the star of the freak show.

Jade Cochran (Claire Brennen) is a small-town waitress with dreams of seeing the world. She sees her chance when Ben Thomas (Ben Moore) shows up at her cafe. Soon, she is working as a waitress for a traveling carnival, and quickly strikes up a friendship with stripper Moon (Lynn Courtney). She also starts an on-again, off-again romance with bad-boy ferris wheel operator Blackie (Lee Raymond).

Her sights are set still higher. Steve St. John (Bill McKinney) owns the side show, and is one of the most profitable men in the carnival. He also happens to be a widower. Jade and Steve strike up a romance and are soon married. However, Jade is still carrying on with Blackie, a fact that Shorty (Felix Silla) brings to Steve's attention. Steve confronts Blackie o…

Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994)

It's just another day in Hell. Souls are arriving, souls are being tortured and adolescent demon Veronica (Angela Featherstone) is being trained in her future trade. Veronica, though, wants something different. She has been having dreams of a bright world with a large yellow globe hanging in the sky, and she longs to visit.

Her mother Theresa (Charlotte Stewart) tolerates her daughter's fantasies, but her father Hellikin (Nicholas Worth) is having none of it. He is fit to tied, and tempted to dismember her. Literally. Veronica has recently heard tales of a crevice that leads to the upper world so she can visit in the flesh rather than by possession and, with her dog Hellraker, heads upward to escape her father's wrath.

Trying to fit in, she abandons her horns and wings for a human form - minus clothes. Unfortunately, she soon finds some and sets out to explore the world. Unfortunately, she has no experience with automobiles, and her first winds up with a visit to the ho…

Chiller (1985)

It's late night at the cryogenic storage facility, and things seem to be normal and peaceful as usual. Unfortunately, that's not to be the case. One of the guests has started to thaw out, and since all their clients are well-to-do, something must be done.

Reverend Penny (Paul Sorvino) is awakened by Marion Creighton (Beatrice Straight), the widow of a wealthy company owner, who wants to let him know a miracle has occurred. Her son Miles (Michael Beck) died 10 years prior of liver failure after rejecting a transplant, and it is his cylinder that has failed. In a never-before tried procedure, Dr. Stricklin (Alan Fudge), the head of the foundation, decides to bring him back to life, perform another transplant and use a new anti-rejection drug that was not available at the time he died.

At first it seems that all the doctors managed to do was bring back a vegetable, and Stricklin suggests Marion pulls the plug. She decides to wait just a little longer, and her decision pays off.…

Red State (2011)

While on the way to school Travis (Michael Angarano) and his family are waylaid by a funeral for a homosexual boy who was recently found dead. The funeral is being protested by a fundamentalist Christian group led by preacher Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) and consisting largely of members of his family. He arrives late, sparking a lesson from his U.S. Government teacher about the First Amendment, remarking that Cooper's group has been disavowed by everyone, including ultra-right-wing conservatives and the Aryan Nation.

During lunch, Travis and his friends Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun) and Randy (Ronnie Connell) look at a web site of women offering free sex. Most are in major cities, but one is in a nearby town, so the kids decide to get some action. Upon arrival, they meet Sara (Melissa Leo), who offers them beers to get started. The boys pass out, and Travis wakes up in a cage in the church's compound. Cooper begins preaching, giving his usual litany against homosexuals and the w…

The Spiral Staircase (1945)

While a crowd watches a motion picture downstairs, a disabled woman living in a hotel is watching a storm move in. She is also being watched by a shadowy figure from her wardrobe, who steps out and proceeds to strangle her. The movie downstairs ends and the crowd hears the commotion, but everyone arrives too late to save her.

It turns out this is the third in a string of similar murders in the small community, and mute nursemaid Helen (Dorothy McGuire) is advised to get home before dark for her own safety. She is currently living in the home of Mrs. Warren (Ethel Barrymore), a well-to-do invalid who also lives with her two sons, one a professor (George Brent) and the other, Steven (Gordon Oliver), a nomadic ne'er-do-well whose arrival seems to coincide with the start of the murders. In addition, he is carrying on an affair with the family secretary Blanche (Rhonda Fleming), whom the professor seems to have had a history with.

Helen is given a ride back to the house by Dr. Parry …

Black Sheep (2006)

It's 1986 and Henry Oldfield is helping his dad tend the flocks. Henry seems to be a natural at it, and it is quite obvious his dad is proud. Older brother Angus, however, has some issues. To scare Henry and to get back at him, he slaughter's Henry's favorite sheep, hangs its carcass in the barn and dons its skin, coming at Henry out of the darkness. Bad time to do this, because housekeeper Mrs. Mac (Glenis Levestam) appears right at that point announcing there has been an accident - their dad has driven off a seaside cliff while going after a wayward sheep.

20 years later Henry (Nathan Meister) returns to the farm after years of therapy regarding his extreme sheep phobia. Angus (Peter Feeney) has stayed behind and run the farm, expanding into genetic experiments to create the perfect sheep. Now that he's succeeded, he plans on selling the farm to an international conglomerate. Henry shows up to sell his portion and leave. While getting ready to go, he meets up with h…

The Witches' Mountain (1972)

Carla (Mónica Randall) comes home to find a knife through one of her wigs, creepy dolls scattered throughout the house and her cat dead. Her daughter informs her that "we" are angry and she is to be punished, and admits to killing the cat. She leads Carla to the garage where the daughter retrieves her pet snake. Carla, afraid of what is to come, poors gasoline on the floor of the garage and burns her daughter alive.

Her husband Mario (Cihangir Gaffari) is disgusted when he finds out, and abruptly calls his boss to cancel his vacation, demanding any assignment that would get him away. He is told to go to an isolated mountain community that is reputed to be haunted.

When he arrives, he becomes smitten with Delia (Patty Shepard), first coming across her bathing topless on the beach. He invites her to come along, and she agrees. The next morning he picks her up, but hears strange chanting coming from all around. The chanting abruptly halts when she exits her house, and she clai…

Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (2007)

All the kids in a town near Kanagawa, Japan, are talking about a local legend called the Slit-Mouthed woman. The woman appears to a child who is on their own, asking, "Am I pretty?" She then abducts the child and takes them to her secret hideout. What happens after that no one knows.

Three boys hear the rumor that she appears at 5:00 p.m. every day at a disused park, so they go to see. While they wait the town is struck with an earthquake. As it ends, the woman appears and takes one of the boys away.

The police and parents naturally believe that they are dealing with a very human child abductor disguising herself as the ghost. However, when walking her student Mika Sasaki (Rie Kuwana) home, teacher Kyoko Yamashita (Eriko Sato) sees the woman abduct Mika and, when the woman removes her white mask, it shows her mouth is slit like in the legends.

While the police wait at the house of Mayumi (Chiharu Kawai), Mika's mother, Ms. Yamashita seeks the help of fellow teacher Nobo…

Mulberry Street (2006)

Ex-boxer Clutch (Nick Damici) is looking forward to the return home of his daughter Casey (Kim Blair), who has just been discharged from the service. She is having trouble getting there because there have been some rail and subway closures getting into Manhattan, due to escalating incidences of rats attacking people and, following suit, people attacking people.

For the most part New York goes on as normal. The other tenants in Clutch's apartment building are dreading rent increases or possible eviction due to the building being bought by a developer. Clutch's unrequited love interest Kay (Bo Corre) is dealing with her troubled teenage son Otto (Javier Picayo), while superintendent Ross (Tim House) is struggling to keep the building from falling down around all of them. When Ross is bitten by an infected rat, he begins to change in strange ways.

He is not the only one. More reports pour in around Manhattan of people attacking people until finally all hell breaks loose. It turn…

Wicked, Wicked (1973)

A tall, well-figured platinum blonde (Diane McBain) checks into a the Grandview Hotel. She is booked into room 411, where she proceeds to get undressed and relaxed before meeting with a shady character who contacts her on the phone.

However, it's not him she has to worry about. While she was checking in a shadowy figure was watching through a removable panel in the ceiling. While she gets ready, so does he, sharpening his knives and slipping into a bellboy outfit. He accosts her in her hotel room and stabs her repeatedly, killing her and then dismembering her in the shower. He orders room service, and smuggles the body out in the service cart.

The next day housekeeper Mrs. Griswald (Patsy Garrett) notices that no one has slept in the bed, leading hotel manager Simmons (Roger Bowen) to contact security head Rick Stewart (David Bailey) about the third skip out in a short period of time. Stewart thinks there may be something more sinister happening than just guests skipping out on p…

Oasis of the Zombies (1981)

Two buxom babes are tolling around the Sahara for some reason and stumble upon an oasis. Looking around, they find the remains of a battle - skulls, abandoned munitions and rotting German gun emplacements. That's not the only thing rotting, however. From beneath the sand come the undead, and it's time for a feast!

It turns out the oasis was the scene of a battle in World War II, and entire German division was killed, and six million dollars in gold that they were guarding was lost, and student Robert Blabert (Manuel Gélin) tells the tale of how his father (Javier Maiza), the only survivor, is found near death by a sheikh (Antonio Mayans) and his entourage. While in the sheikh's care, Robert's father falls in love with Aisha (Doris Regina), but as he is now well he feels obligated to rejoin the war.

Afterward, he returns to find out Aisha has died during childbirth. He wants to go back to the oasis to retrieve the gold, but is convinced by the sheikh to instead do his …

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

In 1957 a family arrives at a Los Angeles mansion with their young boy. It turns out the boy stole a bracelet from a Gypsy wagon, and is now cursed. The mansion is home to a medium (Adriana Barraza) who attempts to help the family, but a demon has other ideas, and comes to claim the boy.

Switch to 2009, and Christine Brown (Alison Lohman). She is a loan officer for a bank. An assistant manager position has just come open. She is highly qualified, but a new employee, Stu (Reggie Lee) is trying to do an end-run around her. Her boss Mr. Jacks (David Paymer) informs her that the position requires someone who is willing to be aggressive. She is also having some uncertainties with her boyfriend Clay (Justin Long), whose mother is insisting that he date only women that can help his position in society.

When ailing Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver) enters the bank looking for an extension on her loan, Christine goes against her better angels and denies it, earning the respect of her boss and the s…

The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

A young stripper named Suzie Cream Puff (Jackie Kroeger) is doing her makeup when a black-clad stranger arrives and shoves Suzie's face into the mirror, repeatedly, before slitting her throat and mutilating her face. The shocking crime leads a city paper to send journalist Nancy (Amy Farrell) to seek out the renowned private detective Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress), whom she is authorized to pay $25000.00 just to investigate the case, and another $25000.00 if he solves it.

Gentry begins his investigation at a local strip club, questioning strippers and employees of the clubs to find out if they know what happened. Meanwhile, the bodies start to pile up even faster, each one viciously mutilated and with their faces disfigured. Lieutenant Anderson (Russ Badger) of the local police force is also on the trail, but having much less luck.

Nancy can't stay away from Abraham, and, despite his wishes, becomes his partner in the search. In the end, he decides to use her as bait to find t…

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

A Satanic ritual, equipped with Baphomet and a naked blonde chick for an alter, takes place in a secluded English mansion called Pelham House. Upstairs, a man works to escape from his restraints, as Nehru-jacketed thugs patrol the grounds. He manages to escape, but trips an alarm and is pursued by more thugs on motorcycles. Luckily, someone is waiting outside the gate, dispatching the thugs and taking him back to the intelligence agency he apparently works for.

It turns out that those participating in the ritual are all well-placed politicians, high-ranking military officials and a Nobel-prize-winning scientist, Professor Julian Keeley (Freddie Jones). Before dying of his injuries, the undercover agent reveals that he photographed five men. Five photos are retrieved from the microfilm in his watch camera, but the fifth shows nothing except the door to the house.

Seeking more information on the occult, the head of the department, Torrence (William Franklyn) seeks out Inspector Murray …

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

A group of famous documentarians, known for bringing back extremely violent footage from their projects, has gone missing in the Amazon rain forest. They intended to go deep in the jungle and film the rituals of tribes untouched by the modern world, many of whom are still known to practice cannibalism.

Seeking a ratings bonanza, a New York entertainment agency hires Harold Monroe (Robert Kerman) to find out what happened to them and bring them back alive if possible - and, if not, retrieve the footage.

Arriving at a military outpost, Monroe enters the jungle with his guide Chaco (Salvatore Basile) and Chaco's aid Miguel, dragging the captured son of a shaman of the Yacumo tribe along as leverage. The boy was captured after a military raid after he and others from the tribe were seen engaging in ritual cannibalism in an attempt to rid the jungle of the spirits of the film crew. The Yacumo are not in the mood to deal with white people at the moment because of something the missing …

Zombies of Mora Tau (1957)

Jan Peters (Autumn Russell) is returning to the home in Africa where she grew up to visit her great grandmother (Marjorie Eaton). On the way her driver (Gene Roth) appears to callously hit and run over a man standing in the road, covered in seaweed. Jan is distraught and reports the incident to her great grandmother, who dismisses it.

It turns out that the man was one of the walking dead, and he and 9 others (including Jan's great grandfather) were all crew on a ship called the Susan B. In 1894 the crew came ashore and, while exploring, discovered a cask of diamonds in an ancient tomb. 10 of them were zombified, and they slaughtered the rest of the crew, and have continued slaughtering the members of any expedition to retrieve the diamonds, from 1908 to the present day.

And, of course, there is a new salvage expedition led by George Harrison (Joel Ashley) and his wife Mona (Allison Hayes), with diver Jeff Clark (Gregg Palmer) along to do the actual heavy lifting and Dr. Jonathan …

Ghost Story (1981)

David Wanderly (Craig Wasson) wakes up to find his bride is not what she is supposed to be. She's mumbling cryptic replies to his questions and is cold to the touch. He tries to rouse her and figure out what's wrong, and when she turns her face to his it is that of a rotting corpse. The sight frightens him to the point that he stumbles out of the window of his penthouse and falls to his death. Thus begins the movie adaptation of Peter Straub's Ghost Story.

David's brother Donald (Wasson again) is called home by his father Edward (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) for the funeral. Once there, he discovers his father, the mayor of the small New York town of Milburn, is having nightmares. And it's not only his father: his friends Sears James (John Houseman), Ricky Hawthorne (Fred Astaire) and John Jaffrey (Melvyn Douglas) are also having dreams. The four of them form what they call the Chowder Society, and they get together once a week to tell each other ghost stories.

Turns o…