Son of Ghostman (2013)

son-of-ghostman-posterBy: Bill Arceneaux (A Beer and a Half) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Recently, I had the pleasure of watching and talking about the cult classic film, The Wacky World of Doctor Morgus. It’s a movie centered on the antics of New Orleans horror host Morgus the Magnificent and his assistant Chopsley. Morgus is portrayed as one of those local personalities that folk songs are made about – he may be a madman, but he’s OUR madman. And, deep down, he represents the universal wanting we all have to be respected and accepted. If only he could see that, because of his eccentricities, we DO accept him. In a way, these guys are just our reflections fired back at us.

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Yep – just like looking in a mirror.

Do you have to be a weirdo to play a weirdo? Not at all. In fact, you may just be the healthiest person in the room. How many people can say they’ve bared their soul in front of a camera?

Denny’s life has been painted into a corner. His girlfriend just left him, his brother is threatening to sell the house he lives in, AND he’s unemployed. On top of everything, a jerk he went to high school with is gaining popularity as a horror host named Count DraCool, all the while stepping on the grave of Denny’s favorite host Ghostman. When video of a drunken rant of his gets uploaded to the internet and goes viral, Denny decides to create a web series based around a character called Son of Ghostman. What starts as fun escapism turns into a calling, one that he is reluctant to share with the new woman of his affections. Will things make sense for Denny without the makeup?

A Toast

Son of Ghostman appears to exist in a world of its own. It’s a place where a TV horror host can still make a good living AND be the envy of others. It’s a place filled with people in costumes, pretending to be something or someone different. Would it surprise you to know that it’s a place called California? Costumed characters and personalities make up at least half of the population, at least around the Hollywood region. More than anything, it’s a place for dreamers and those searching for themselves. Could this story exist anywhere else?

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A perfect setting for finding oneself.

It’s always interesting to me that, by putting on makeup or a costume or a mask, the true version of a person begins to come out. Much like how a therapist might use a doll or puppet with their patient. By becoming Son of Ghostman, Denny was able to tap into a stronger and more confident form, not only escaping his reality momentarily, but changing it permanently. With his John Krasinski-style attitude when interacting with others, Devin Ordoyne brings an everyman charm to a role that could’ve been played as pathetic, but was portrayed instead with a valiant sense of struggling maturity and self discovery.

Of course, the story itself is just plain fun. Take the best of Kevin Smith and meld it with a wonderfully heartfelt feeling towards campiness – not to mention a surprising ode to the volleyball scene in Top Gun – and you’ll have something like this movie. Honestly, if I had seen this in time, it could’ve been included in my Movieboozer Top 10. A double bill with Clerks II might be in my future…

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Dante, Randal, and Denny.

Half a Beer

It’s wonderful and all, but the first 15 minutes hit the ear a bit hard. The word ‘stilted’ comes to mind, with a few moments of odd line reads. This might be solved with another viewing, having been fully exposed to this world and used to how it all works. It’s not a problem deserving of a full beer, but in case you notice what I’m talking about, pour half into a funnel and shotgun that sucker.

Verdict


2beers

Son of Ghostman ranks up there with the best coming of adult age movies of the past two decades. It has a kind earnestness with a friendly sense of humor. Be sure to watch it on Vimeo asap!

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: if you wanted Count DraCool to let out a “Schwing!”

Take a Drink: for every nonexistent B movie mentioned – don’t they sound cool?

Do a Shot: when you realize you don’t want to, but NEED to create your own horror host.

About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

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