Let me describe a movie to you. A picturesque coastal town is celebrating its bicentennial when the ghosts of its past come back, literally, for vengeance. You might think I’m talking about 1980’s The Fog. And you’d be wrong, wrong I say! Don’t feel too bad, though. The Fog predates this movie by four years, although I’d be willing to bet several dollars worth of doughnuts that it was the inspiration for The Demons of Ludlow. This movie, from my Fifty Chilling Classics set was made by Bill Rebane. Do you know how many Bill Rebane movies I’ve seen? I reviewed The Alpha Incident and The Cold for this blog and I’ve seen Giant Spider Invasion and Monster-a-Go-Go on MST3K. The Demons of Ludlow means that I’ve seen five Bill Rebane movies. I’ve never seen The Godfather. Make of this what you will, I am unashamed.
The basic plot is that the town of Ludlow is celebrating its bicentennial. Ephraim Ludlow, the founder of the town, was exiled and had his hands chopped of. His descendants send the town a white piano that is cursed, somehow, to exact vengeance.
The movie features many tedious scenes of Deborah, a hard-boiled reporter trying to expose the town’s past and solve the curse of the piano. Also, the town preacher figured out that not everything is kosher with the piano. So the same scene of them trying to figure out what to do is repeated about every ten minutes. Scenes that are so mind-bogglingly weird as to not be believed are peppered between those scenes, like Milk Duds that someone tossed on a bag of movie theater popcorn. They are unspeakably funny and I’m presenting them here so that you don’t have to watch the movie yourself. You’re welcome.
That’s a picture from the town bicentennial box-social. Does it not look like they’re having fun? DOESN’T IT?
A girl is attacked in a hayloft by a glittery green demon hand that proceeds to rub chocolate syrup on her belly. I think this looks like a rejected photo from that show Jeff Koons did with his porn-star wife.
A girl threatens a doll with a pair of scissors and generally tries to out-Drusilla Drusilla from season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Then Our Lady of Chatty Cathy cries real tears. You can also burp her and her eyes open and close.
A Puritan girl glares at a Smurf plushie.
And then things get weird. This old-timey montage starts up. People eat like barbarians, sans utensils. You know, forks and knives existed back then. And this costuming is all over the place. At another old-timey part of the movie this one woman looks like she got the discount “Southern Belle” costume from Party City. The French rococo people are mingling with American colonists and for some reason there are puritans there. Make up your mind, movie!
Told you they went to Party City, you can tell they stocked up on hillbilly teeth and fake blood.
Then a girl is trapped in a medicine cabinet. A medicine cabinet in HELL.
Bill Rebane is so the George Lucas of B-movies. They both avoid coherent characterization or plot and instead just jam as much stuff as they can into their movies. So now there are pirate ghosts for some reason.
There’s the worst fake head EVER.
Judgemental ghosts are judgemental.
One of the ghosts makes this amazing face.
Finally, the journalist suddenly is in old-timey clothing and her hands are replaced by sparklers. The movie ends with her fainting and a car driving through her.
This movie made no sense whatsoever and the long stretches of similar expository scenes made it painful but it was almost kind of worth it for the hilariousness. I’m not implying that this is a good movie or that it’s worth your time at all. But it made me and my roommate laugh so hard. At one point, I realized that the ghosts haunting Ludlow were the people that helped exile Ephraim Ludlow and I wondered out loud to my roommate why they were helping Ludlow. Her response was, “Because he has no hands.” That was literally the only thing about this movie that made sense.
P.S. To the people who’ve been finding my blog by looking for “Yul Brynner with hair,” you’re going to be hunting for a very long time.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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