Friday, October 10, 2008

31 Days of Halloween - Day 10 Movie 1

It's really hoaky and the jokes are terrible, but "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini" (1966) was a lot of fun to watch. Boris Karloff plays a recently deceased con artist, who in order to make it into heaven (and also become young again) has 24 hours to perform a good deed, without leaving his tomb. He puts the ghost of his dead wife (the titular trapeze artist) to work for him, having her ensure that his named heirs receive their shares of his estate, while keeping it out of the hands of his slimey lawyer (Basil Rathbone) who plans to bump the heirs off using phony haunted house tricks committed by a group of buffoonish thugs.

Along the way one of the heirs' nephews arrives along with an entire swimsuit wearing party of dancing and singing teens (including Nancy Sinatra). They are soon joined by a motorcycle gang of idiots, Basil Rathbone's evil, near-sighted va-va-voom daughter, Sinestra, a gorilla and a bad American Indian stereotype. Everyone ends up in the mansion's basement chamber of horrors where the secret treasure is uncovered and the good guys come out triumphant.

The opening of this movie is incredibly atmospheric and has a great score by Les Baxter. The rest of the movie is silly fun, and feels like a live action Scooby-Doo episode without the dog. Even Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone seem to be having a good time, which in Rathbone's case is unusual. Typically, in the later years of his career, his onscreen personas seem resentful of the jobs he was taking for a paycheck.

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