I’m a headless ghost! I’m a headless ghost!
No, no! I’m just teasing! You don’t have to run away! No! Come back! Minion was only playing with her photo program…
Oh dear, I feel so ashamed! What a silly idea this was! I’ve scared away every one of Minion’s readers! Oh dear! Now what are we going to do? This is terrible! So terrible! Oh, it’s a disaster!
What’s that you say? You’re still here? I don’t believe it! I didn’t scare you away? What a relief! You’re a bold one to check this blog tonight, though. Haven’t you noticed Minion is running a super scary weekend special this month to honour all that’s scary and fun? The past couple weekends were all about crazy killers and magic spells. I hope you like spooky movies because Minion is about to watch The Headless Ghost!
The movie starts with a group of tourists coming to see Ambrose Castle. After the current Earl of Ambrose shows them around a little, Ingrid and her American classmates have a disagreement about the existence of ghosts. Ingrid is positive they exist, Bill is skeptical and Ronnie’s prepared to stay overnight to see what they’ll find when everyone else is gone. He’d like to write a newspaper story about it the castle, and what a story a ghost story would make!
Once alone and exploring the portrait hall, they are startled by the ghost of the Fourth Earl of Ambrose who pops out of his picture to provide a few gags and some exposition. It seems there’s a headless ghost in the castle named Malcolm who can’t rest until he’s reunited with his head and that can’t happen until an incantation is spoken, and some magic powder is thrown on his portrait.
The boys have a bit of an argument over hoaxes and the supernatural but Ingrid insists that the boys help her help Malcolm. Still, it doesn’t take many weird occurrences before all three of them are willing to scrap that idea altogether. But, not so fast silly students. Malcolm still wants his head and he won’t let any of them go until they’ve done what they promised.
That would be bad enough but the whole castle suddenly comes “alive” with a ghostly party because Sir Randolf doesn’t want the head found and plans on getting in their way as much as possible. He still enjoys being merry, even though he’s very long dead so he’ll delay them any way he can think of, be it with banquets, bands, or belly dancers.
The 4th Earl helps get them out of the banquet (much to Bill’s dismay – he liked the dancing girl) and reminds them of what they’re supposed to do, namely find the lost magic pouch of powder they’ll need to throw at Malcolm’s portrait while the incantation is said. Although the dungeon provides a few scares of the rat and snake variety, they succeed in finding what they need.
Meanwhile, the current Earl of Ambrose has been woken from a sound sleep by Parker, the castle caretaker, who’s come to him about strange sights and sounds over there. The same thing happened earlier in the movie but when they went to the castle there was nothing to hear. This time, though, the Earl hears and sees enough to justify involving the police.
The castle seems quiet once officers arrive but they take a look in there anyway. The students are on their way down to the portrait room when they run into the cops. They try and explain that the ghosts won’t let them leave but the police don’t believe a word of it. The police try to take the pouch from Ingrid, thinking she’s stolen it, which gives the boys an excuse to run around playing Keep Away. One of them flings the pouch back to Ingrid so she can work the spell while they keep the cops occupied. Then everyone’s there to witness Malcolm getting a head.
The cops still insist on dragging the students down to the station, probably with the crazy hope that their own stories won’t sound insane if the whole group tells the bosses what happened and that rounds up the end of the movie.
I think the little spooky frights were pretty cute, whether it was cats or rats or snakes they got startled by. The cast also did a great job of collectively reacting to stuff, whether it was a ghost sneezing, or a mysterious voice in the room. The actress and one of the guys had very little for screen experience when they filmed this but I thought they did a fine job for what there was of the script.
There was an interesting moment midway through the show that could have been worth exploring for longer than a couple minutes, but the movie itself was only an hour long so no real surprise there. Also, 1959.
Anyway, Ronnie manages to get Ingrid in a bedroom alone to confess some affection for her. The interest is somewhat reciprocated and there’s a brief kiss before the pair gets interrupted by two spirits trapped in time – namely a Crusades era soldier who thought his wife had someone else’s child while he was away, and his poor wife whom he strangled to death. So, Ronnie and Ingrid hear what must be their last ever fight before he wrings her neck and Ronnie says something like, “she probably got what she deserved.” Ingrid is appalled by the comment and pushes him away, shoves his frat pin back to him and insists she doesn’t want anything to do with him. She’s just glad she found out how big an ass he was before she got too attached.
I was pleased to see Ingrid’s reaction to such a comment. Considering we’re never told if the soldier was right, or if he got his wife preggers before he left and the kid just wound up looking like somebody unrelated. Killing her over it might have been a snap decision on his part, one he later regretted, and centuries of replaying that moment in that bedroom over and over will never change that moment for either of them.
Well, that wraps up tonight’s show. Saturday I’ll give over to Lisa and the Devil, even though it means having to see the screamer from Baron Blood in another film. Maybe Elke Sommer’s Lisa character won’t be that annoying. We can but hope. Check back tomorrow to see if those hopes will be dashed…