BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Ghost Town (1988) - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Film Details

  • Blu-ray Review

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Ghost Town - Blu-ray Review

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The seldom travelled road. The hungry crow. The desert wind. The fire red Mustang broke down on a stretch of lonely road. Opening with the mysterious abduction of Kate Barrett (Catherine Hickland) by a sudden dust cloud and the thundering sound of hooves, Ghost Town - now on blu-ray courtesy of Scream Factory – remains a tightly-wound B-movie horror-thriller through a very undead town. And it is no small wonder.

Produced by Charles Band (Puppet Master), the film manages to straddle the line – thanks to the clever vision of its filmmakers – between trash and art quite nicely. This is a picture best seen late at night. While it is more of a western than it is a horror film, whatever generalities there are in the script by Duke Sandefur are easily swept aside thanks to heavy amount of gore and effects as a once dead town – who was cursed by its former sheriff – comes back to life for our viewing pleasures.

Franc Luz as Langely, a birdbrained sheriff’s deputy, gets the call to investigate the bizarre kidnapping during his “fancy” sharpshooting practice. Hot on the trail, he finds himself just outside of a ghost town in the American southwest. He stands over the grave of the town’s former sheriff and – you guessed it – a skeleton hand breaks through the surface soil with a badge and a warning for him. The town and all of its undead inhabitants are now Langely’s responsibility.

Mixing the expected with the unexpected ghoulish, Ghost Town guides viewers through a fever dream-like atmosphere where the dead intermingle with the living while the Old West comes back to life to kick a whole lot of ass. Langely is quickly in over his head as he swaps spit, quips, and other fluids with its residents – especially a low down scoundrel named Devlin (Jimmie F. Skaggs). This is still a pretty violent picture and the ghoulish makeup designs are both fun and frenzied and, of most important, still damn effective.

Directed by Richard Governor, Ghost Town is – on the B-movie scale – a quality romp through the western genre by way of some pretty gruesome horror beats. It’s cheesy by design and, due to Langely’s desire to be a real gunslinger, fairly humorous, too. Yet, when it slides into the artistic side with the grotesque element as a man in all black threatens to kill the kidnapped woman. Of course, all of this leads to a classic dual on Main Street as Langely learns the ins and outs of dealing with the undead ghouls and citizens of this ghost town.

Shot by Mac Ahlberg, Ghost Town has a wicked sense of itself as some of its shots and compositions are quite poetic – complete with swirling lines of dust in dilapidated houses and general stores. There is a lot of fun to be had here for the observant viewer as Ahlberg and Governor pile on nice moments heavy on the creep factor and ride it all the way to the end of the picture.

Ghost Town is always worth a visit or two. I just wouldn’t stay there past sundown…

Ghost Town - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: Richard Governor, Mac Ahlberg
Writer:
Duke Sandefur, David Schmoeller
Cast:
Franc Luz, Catherine Hickland, Jimmie F. Skaggs
Genre
: Horror | Western
Tagline:
Ghost Town
Memorable Movie Quote: "Time is all we got in Cruz Del Diablo. Your future will wait 'til you get there. It's the past you can't do anything about."
Distributor:
No theatrical release
Official Site:
Release Date:
No theatrical release
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 28, 2015
Synopsis: A modern-day deputy tracks an abducted girl to a ghost town, and the spirits of the past who took her.

Ghost Town - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - July 28, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

While not new 2K scans, the AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 used is a solid offering of color, contrast, and texture. The film benefits from the visual upgrade. Blacks are solid enough to pass the muster and flesh tones are vibrantly textured. Shot largely outside in extreme conditions, the environments are replicated with bursts of sunlight that look great here in HD. A lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo track handles the sound like a pro.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • This is a rather weak blu-ray release from Scream Factory and we hope it is not a sign of things to come. There is no commentary.

Special Features:

  • …and there are no special features. Bummer.

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