Son of Ghostman
October 31st, 2013
Devin Ordoyne as Denny McNamara
Angela Gulner as Claire
Kurt Larson as Rick Heenan
Matthew Boehm as Zack
2014 is shaping up to be another big year for indie releases already. While Son of Ghostmanis credited with seeing release in 2013, I’ve yet to spot it anywhere, and the screener just hit my mailbox two days ago. As far as I’m concerned, this is a 2014 feature. Not that it matters. What matters is the fact that it’s a damn, damn good pic that’s going to stun a lot of viewers.
First, take note: Son of Ghostman is not a horror film. Actually, it’s borderline polar opposite, flirting with romantic comedy territory. But if every romantic comedy echoed the spirit of this gem, the world would be packed seashore to seashore with insane fanatics with heart tattoos and crushes on their sleeves. This is the kind of story we’re all looking for. It’s a picture that delivers a message that throwback fans, truly obsessive genre followers and outright purists will embrace whole heartedly. It’s also complete in every sense of the word, from refined character development to supportable conflict to gratifying resolution, it’s all here.
Second, understand that writer/director/actor Kurt (Keeps His Hands Full) Larson realizes exactly how to take a shoestring budget and stretch it well beyond its typical capacity. Larson just knows when to play it safe and when to go as far as the wallet will permit. And he manages a strong balance. In fact, the final product here speaks to a far greater extent of experience than Larson has under his belt. This gent could actually excel at an alarming rate if the right voice sees the beauty in this film.
Kudos also have to be issued to the cast, which consists of virtual unknowns. Devin Ordoyne fronts the film as Denny, the wandering spirit who also happens to moonlight as the titular character. To know that this guy has a meager two credits on his resume is totally and completely stupefying. He’s smooth, comfortable and perfectly slotted as the 30-something in search of life’s answers. Angela Gulner isn’t sexy alone, she’s also an ideal match for Denny, and their chemistry has an air of authenticity that’s greatly valued. Hell, even Larson himself is wonderfully campy. As it is, there really isn’t anyone in the focal ensemble that drops the ball.
I love the courage on display. It takes quite a pair to flip the proverbial bird to Hollywood and do your own thing the way you want to do it. And you know, the homage to classic horror hosts touches a very sensitive spot as well. There was something so uncanny, so memorable about horror hosts; to see them disappear has been heart breaking. Watching a production that utilizes the idea of horror hosts as one of two primary cruxes is simply awe inspiring. This piece stays true to contemporary times, but it calls upon nostalgia like very few others.
Is Son of Ghostman a good flick? Hell yes it is. It’s inspired and it’s rewarding, and trust me: It’s got big replay value. There are also enough quirky themes within the pic to craft an entertaining drinking game on the fly… which ironically enough goes against plenty of “hipster, frat boy douche-bag” stances introduced in the movie. But don’t feel bad about knocking back a few while screening this little indie that could, because it’s really all about fun. Having just wrapped Son of Ghostman, I’m going to keep the horror host theme alive. It’s time to line up Elvira and the classic vamp flick we’ve all come to adore: Fright Night. You’ve got to love Peter Vincent, right?