So as we go down our Halloween Countdown list, yesterday I
reconsidered the-not-even-remotely classic 1974 Exorcist rip-off Abby and, as you know me by now, I try
as much as I can to avoid the obvious. When everyone goes right I go left.
I could have talked about Blacula or its sequel Scream
Blacula Scream or J.D.’s Revenge, but I want to take a look at the
1942 “race” film Lucky Ghost, starring Mantan Moreland and F.E. Miller.
The film is one of countless “race” movies made during the silent
era to the late 40’s, aimed exclusively at black film going audiences, and it was directed by veteran B (and zero budget) movie director William Beaudine, who had maybe one of the most extraordinary film
directing careers ever, starting out making silent film shorts in 1915, before moving up to low budget
feature films, and was still directing TV episodes into the mid-1970’s with some over
370 titles to his credit.
He was known by the nickname “One Shot” Beaudine for his
penchant for doing only one take of any scene. How else could he have directed so many films and TV shows? I guess he saved
a lot a time.
Anyway, Ghost tells the story of two chicken stealing ne’er-do-wells
who win a ton of money and a car, in a dice game, and wind up in a country club
gambling joint run by a con man who sets out to swindle them.
However the con man’s dead relatives, who are buried in a nearby cemetery, don’t like what the club has turned into, with the loud
music and noise coming from the place disturbing their sleep, and more, so they decide to
haunt the joint.
Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
Is it filled with stereotypes and all kinds of non-PC
stuff? Absolutely. But I would be lying to
you if I didn’t tell you that I’m not entertained by Lucky Ghost every time I
watch it, and even laugh out loud in spots, especially one scene in which one of the ghosts takes over Moreland’s body.
So I leave it to you to watch for yourself: