Reel Reviews

Badass B-movies

Invisible Ghost (1941)

Invisible Ghost (1941)

4 Beers

Monogram horror titles are interesting films to watch. Always cheaply made productions with shadows that plunge into the depths of the corners, these black-and-white films – spanning from 1940 to 1946 – feature known names in the genre, yet were nothing more than poverty row horror.

Bare-boned scares. That’s what these titles offer audiences.

There’s no denying that the flaccid writing and pale acting means these 31 titles of the tortured and the twisted – which were also produced by Republic Pictures and PRC – will never rise above their threadbare grouping and, between you and me, that’s perfectly fine. Not every film needs to be worth a million dollars to be successful.

Starring Bela Lugosi as the grieving Dr. Charles Kessler and Polly Ann Young as his daughter, Invisible Ghost is an early entry into the foray of cheaply made horror films by producer Sam Katzman and it shows with minimal scene changes and a scarcity in set details, but that only adds to the creep factor in this twisted Jekyll & Hyde-like tale. The film co-stars John McGiure (The Prisoner of Shark Island) who desires the hand of Victoria and Clarence Muse (The Black Stallion) as his routine-keeping butler.  

Invisible Ghost is about a haunted man who simply cannot escape the control of his dominating wife (Betty Compson). She left him years ago for another man, but was in a nasty car crash shortly after leaving him. Kessler has been nursing a broken heart and some homicidal tendencies ever since she left him in the spooky old mansion he calls home.

Little does he know that she’s a lot closer to him than he thinks she is. You see, his kind-hearted gardener found her after the car crash and saved her life, pulling her free from the wreckage and nursing her back from death. Yet, as a result of her injuries, she’s suffering from brain damage. Not wanting to disappoint his hopes for a reunion, he felt the best place for her recovery was in Kessler’s own basement.

And, on pitch-black nights when the moon is full, she goes on walks and haunts Kessler, who becomes transfixed by her presence out in the yard and then does awful things to the household staff.

The body count is high in this one. Lugosi, with long and twisting fingers, stomps through the house when possessed by her spirit. His transformation from the grieving soul to the murderous one is actually pretty damn brilliant. Of course, he’s terror on two feet and his reign is a short one. The features clocks in at a breezy 64-minutes and the sleuthing by the detectives brought in generic at best.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics has been doing a fine job with bringing these films to blu-ray.   Their respectful treatment of the director Joseph H. Lewis’ Invisible Ghost is to be commended.

Blu-ray Specifications:

Invisible Ghost is presented in 1080p with a crisp transfer that handles the blacks and grays quite well. Shadows, while not too terribly detailed, are thick and atmospheric throughout. Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the film looks marvelous and easily beats the poor appearance on television and on home video DVD that has previously dogged it. The sound is presented in a solid DTS-HD Master Audio English track that is perfect for the film’s low budget demands.


Featuring Film Historians Tom Weaver, Gary Rhodes, and Dr. Robert J. Kiss, this commentary is both informative and interesting. It is a definite must.

Special Features:

Trailers for other Kino Lorber Studio Classics titles are all that is included.

The Valley of Gwangi (1969) - Blu-ray Review

The Valey of Gwangi (1969) - Blu-ray ReviewRay Harryhausen’s work doesn’t age. That statement is best understood after viewing Warner Bros Archive’s blu-ray release of The Valley of Gwangi. In the years since it’s release, many have seen and appreciated it for the wild adventure that is. That was not;  ...

Read more: The Valley of Gwangi (1969) - Blu-ray Review

Witchtrap (1989) - Blu-ray Review

Witchtrap - Blu-ray ReviewWhen the dude recording the sound for your movie fucks up and every sound, squeak, dialogue, and fart has to be created in post-production, it’s probably best to inject a healthy does of camp, camp, and more camp. Kevin Tenney, the writer and director of Night of the ...

Read more: Witchtrap (1989) - Blu-ray Review

Firestarter: Collector's Edition (1984) - Blu-ray Review

Firestarter - Blu-ray ReviewSomething powerful has been triggered deep inside a little girl.  If not nurtured correctly, it could destory us all. When writer/director John Carpenter backed out of Firestarter, he took his adapted screenplay with him.  It was probably a good idea.  His version had ...

Read more: Firestarter: Collector's Edition (1984) - Blu-ray Review

Death Walks on High Heels (1971) Special Edition - Blu-ray Review

Death Walks on High Heels - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray ReviewDirected and co-produced by Luciano Ercoli, Death Walks on High Heels isn’t quite the giallo film his next one, Death Walks at Midnight, would be.  Ercoli and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi haven’t found their rhythm together and it shows with scenes that are a bit too self-indulgent ...

Read more: Death Walks on High Heels (1971) Special Edition - Blu-ray Review

Death Walks at Midnight (1972) Special Edition - Blu-ray Review

Death Walks at Midnight (1972) - Blu-ray ReviewFashion models know a thing or two about being stalked.  The paparazzi are always present and that camera they hold is always snap, snap, snapping away.  Every photo could be the one to make them a million bucks. It is not everyday; however, that these models are ...

Read more: Death Walks at Midnight (1972) Special Edition - Blu-ray Review

Demon Seed (1977) - Blu-ray Review

Demon Seed (1977) - Blu-ray ReviewIf the final few moments of director Donald Cammell’s Demon Seed don’t disturb you, then you are probably dead. The reveal of just how twisted the computer controlling the house at the center of this tale is a dire warning that, obviously, we did not heed. In fact, there ...

Read more: Demon Seed (1977) - Blu-ray Review

Drive-In Massacre (1976) - Blu-ray Review

Drive-in Massacre - Blu-ray Review and DetailsThe carnival might be closed, but the freaks are still running around.  At least that’s what the two detectives in 1976’s Drive-In Massacre have to say about all the murders that are plaguing one town’s drive-in theater. The purveyors of cinematic filth and cheese over at Severin ...

Read more: Drive-In Massacre (1976) - Blu-ray Review

The Love Witch (2016) - Blu-ray Review

The Love Witch - Blu-ray ReviewLet the seduction begin!!! Director/writer/producer/editor Anna Biller (Viva) has put together a marvelous horror film of psychodrama and seduction.  Full of "mod" Technicolor fetishes caught within its bold and colorful print shift dresses, The Love Witch is intoxicatingly refreshing ...

Read more: The Love Witch (2016) - Blu-ray Review

The Skull (1965) - Blu-ray Review

The Skull (1965) - Blu-ray ReviewStories about obsessive collectors have always fascinated me. From the book-hoarding stories I wrote during my undergraduate studies to the volumes of the weird and twisted objects I now own, it could be suggested that the fascination with collectors has become intrinsic ...

Read more: The Skull (1965) - Blu-ray Review

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets


You are here: Home Home Video BADass B-Movies
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Reel Reviews - Youtube Channel
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes