Sometimes I am very leery of independent films. For every diamond I stumble across, I have to dig and pick and scrape through a lot of coal. Thanks to my new friends at Rare-Horror, I was given the opportunity to watch the indie horror/comedy film “Son of Ghostman,” and I’ll be damned if it’s not the most enjoyable independent film I’ve seen since Keith Kjornes’s “Repligator.”
Written and directed by Kurt Larson, “Son of Ghostman” stars the absolutely adorable Devin Ordoyne as Denny, a down on his luck 30-year old fella with no job, no girlfriend, and no prospects. He lives in the house his dad built, but his total dick brother Harold owns it and wants to sell it. Basically, Harold wants to render his brother homeless.
Denny’s friend, Carlo, thinks Denny just needs to blow off a little steam before trying to put his life back together. So they take a trip to the local cinema where Denny’s rival, Rick “Douchebag” Heenan, aka Count Dracool (played with over-the-top cheesy machismo by Kurt Larson), is hosting the evening’s activities, all the while boasting about how his local TV access horror show will soon be going national.
Denny cannot allow this – Count Dracool is a lame attempt at honoring the late night horror hosts of the past, particularly Denny’s hero, Ghostman. Naturally, Denny gets wasted, paints his face, pulls out his video cam, calls himself Son of Ghostman, and makes his own show. Lucky for him, new kid Zack takes the tape and posts it on YouTube. And wouldn’t you know it? Son of Ghostman is a huge hit!
At the same time, Claire has come into Denny’s life. She’s much nicer than his ex, Renee (who ends up dating Count Dracool – bitch), smart and funny, and oddly enough, not turned off by Denny’s awkward attempts at flirting. He’s not sure she’ll appreciate his alter ego and so keeps it mum. For now.
Will Denny be able to win the girl, succeed at horror hosting, stop his brother from being such a jag-off, and conquer his rival?
Though this is more comedy than horror, I thoroughly enjoyed it. While the story itself is nothing new, Kurt Larson’s writing is fantastic and honest. The film succeeds through Larson’s distinct sense of humor – I don’t know how he did it, but he was able to capture the spirit of the 80s hosted horror shows while giving us a true, original creation. Sad, so called ‘homage’ films that merely mimic they’re subjects do little more for me than triggering an urge to vomit.
Despite this being Kurt Larson’s first directorial effort, that inexperience rarely shows, and he puts his natural instincts to great use. Though it’s apparent not everyone in the cast has natural acting talent, Kurt was able to pull believable and convincing performances from them all.
Speaking of cast members, Devin Ordoyne was the perfect choice for Denny. He can act, he’s cute as hell, and his ability to play such a self-deprecating character yet still remain relatable was spot on. If he doesn’t do any more acting projects, with or without Kurt, I will literally cry myself to sleep every night. Matthew Boehm was great as Zack – his smart-assery knew no bounds, and I love me some good smart ass. Kurt Larson as Count Dracool is fun to hate, as is Denny’s ex. Hell, most everyone here does good work: Harold becomes more likable as the story progresses, Claire is a great love interest, and Carlo is probably the best best friend ever – although he comes off initially as just a party guy whose day job is to dress up in clown and hot dog suits, he develops a depth of character that surprised me.
Aside from the expected rough patches that come with a production short on resources, the entire film was enjoyable from beginning to end. I look forward to seeing what else these folks have to offer in the future!
4 Hatchets (out of 5)
About the Author:
Peggy Christie has been writing horror fiction since 1999. Her work has appeared in several websites, magazines, and anthologies, including Necrotic Tissue, Code Z: An Undead Hospital Anthology, Black Ink Horror, Elements of Horror, and Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes. Her short story, “Why Be Normal?”, opened the anthology Reckless Abandon from Catalyst Press which premiered at the Horrorfind Convention in 2002. Her collection, Hell Hath No Fury, was published by Hazardous Press in May of 2013. Peggy is also the Secretary of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. She even has her own webpage. Check it out at themonkeyisin.com.
Peggy loves Korean dramas, survival horror video games, and chocolate (not necessarily in that order) and lives in Michigan with her husband and their two dogs, Roscoe P. Coltrane and Dozer.