Re: House of Ghosts!
At last! Today is the release date of House of Ghosts, the latest independent film by Chris Mihm. As many of you know, Chris has been producing these movies, which are loving homages to the B-Movies of the 50s, for several years and has been quite successful at it. He routinely racks up awards and the movies are frequently shown at film festivals, conventions and drive-ins all over the country and the world. He is an inspiration to all us independent creators out here in Internet-land.

This latest movie is a bit different from its predecessors, which all focused on the monster or sci-fi genres. This one is an homage to William Castle, master of the cinematic gimmick. My copy has been pre-ordered for a while, so I hope to have it by the long weekend. I’ll post a detailed review here as soon as I watch it.

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Well, this thread sure got a lot of attention.

Okay, I have now seen House Of Ghosts and it has exceeded my expectations. Which is pretty amazing, because I had very high expectations. At this point, I’ve gotten used to them exceeding my expectations, but even when I allow for that, they still exceed my expectations.

This one, as I said, is an homage to the works of William Castle, and it is a labor of love for all concerned. Mihm does not produce parodies (like, for example, Larry Blamire [whose movies I love]), but fond pastiches of the old B-Movies that we remember from the Drive-Ins and Creature Double Features of our youth. Our younger youth. Whatever. His films are done for pocket money, but look like they cost the mortgage and are far more entertaining than studio efforts that cost hundreds of millions. They are like homemade cookies. They’re just better than store bought.

And the main reason this movie, like all the others, is so great– even beyond the lovingly recreated ambiance of 50s low-budget cinema– is that Mihm respects his characters. You’ll watch and smile at the nostalgia and the stylized storytelling, you’ll even be creeped out from time to time– and then, out of nowhere, you’ll be blindsided by moments of genuine sentiment, such as when you realize why one character is drinking herself to death or when you see how much another character cares for her pet. And there’s one relationship in the film that, in the context of a 50s horror movie, is just wonderful.

All of Mihm’s movies take place in the same universe and this one has a surprisingly strong tie to his first movie. And they are all made with the same integrity and respect for characters, and I recommend that you get them all. I strongly believe in supporting independent creators and nobody I’ve met to date deserves that support more than Chris Mihm.

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