Oct. 24th: Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959) & The Basement (1989)


Friday night double feature! This one features 2 films that couldn’t possibly be any more different from one another.

Our first selection has been on my “to watch” list for sometime. Late 50’s hot-rodder meet a ghost? The Shindig is in. That list is long however, and its viewing had never come to fruition, until tonight.

Though I do wish I had dropped it a bit earlier in the month, this movie’s got enough Halloweeniness (though never explicitly stated) for any October night, in any year. And it’s vintage Halloween to boot, and nothings better than some old fashioned Halloween.

The first half plays like your average 50’s dragster flick, with enough hep dialogue to beat a nick with a stick. However, the second half shift into something between House on Haunted Hill and Scooby Doo episode, with one of the weirdest endings I’ve seen in quite sometime.

It’s a great spook-party with lots of dancing and costumes, and it all adds up to a fun throw-back night.basement

However, if its 65 minute run-time leaves you a little wanting, I say back end it with another semi-Halloween shorty, The Basement.

This super-8 shot, backyard bloodbath was never officially released ever, on any format. It wasn’t until recently that it became available at all. About a minute and a half in and you’ll understand why.

Your standard anthology horror effort, The Basement finds 4 idiots stuck in a basement (of all places) with The Sentinel, a foolish and spooky figure who’ll give these morons a peek at their future sins. Alright, I’m game.

It all plays out like a 16th-assed Creepshow or (more appropriately) Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors and it has some of the worst/greatest overdubbing I’ve ever heard. This film (though I shutter to use such a term) will no doubt have you in tears, one way or the other.

For our intents, it is the second vignette, entitled “Trick or Treat” that concerns us. This short story finds an shitty crumb-bum and Halloween hating English teacher caught in a Dickensian nightmare, al a A Christmas Carol for The Eve of all Saints. He’s a real prick, and its great fun watching him whine his way through the ghostly visits.

Maybe not the most Halloweeny, and certainly not the best movies this list has to offer, but what can you expect for an 11th hour selection? I still say they’re both worth a viewing. So,…enjoy?