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With: Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, Donald Woods, Margaret Hamilton, John Van Dreelen
Written by: Robb White
Directed by: William Castle
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 85
Date: 07/01/1960

13 Ghosts (1960)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Prime Screams

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

William Castle's 13 Ghosts (1960) is a good-looking haunted house movie, with some effective imagery, but it falters just as most of today's movies falter: too much emphasis on effects and not enough on characters. After losing all their furniture due to excessive debt, the Zorba family suddenly inherits a creepy mansion, populated by the 13 ghosts that late uncle Plato Zorba collected and studied. The gimmick here was "Illusion-O," a special viewer with red and blue panels. The red panel allowed the ghosts to be seen on screen and the blue panel made them disappear. On the DVD, customers can look at the screen without the viewer and see both the red ghosts and the blue backgrounds. (Otherwise, the film is in black-and-white.) The ghosts actually have very little to do with the ultimate goal: to find Uncle Plato's hidden stash of money. Moreover, it seems that Castle had a difficult time balancing some potential humor with the scares, and it comes off as a bit of a misfire.

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