Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Max Movie Review: The Living Ghost

Okay, new game: I let Netflix pick me a movie, then review it, for you. If you have Netflix streaming, you may or may not have discovered Max, their new movie curator. You pick a genre, rate some movies, and then it selects a movie for you to watch. The system isn't perfect, but I've definitely found it entertaining. Last night, it recommended me this movie:

Netflix    IMDB
The one-sentence blurb was, essentially: A private investigator is hired to investigate the disappearance of a wealthy banker, only to have the missing man return...as a zombie.

Oh Netflix, how well you know me. I went in for a thriller, and you came out with a 1942 paranormal mystery. Noir + zombies? How could I say no. I hit play.

I enjoyed the movie exactly as much as I expected to. The movie is carried from start to finish with whipcrack sassy dialogue, a near-continuous verbal volley between the two main characters - the P.I., and the missing banker's secretary - from the moment they meet. The brief blurb neglected to mention that the missing man has only been zombified, not turned into an actual flesh eating denizen of the night, but the thin scientific explanation doesn't take away from the Dr. Caligari's somnambulist-style creepitude. The P.I., Nick Trayne, is a deplorable human being in the way that's most enjoyable to watch, and I found myself laughing at and with him in equal measure. The movie has plenty of the sort of sexist moments you learn to inure yourself against if you watch any quantity of movies from this period/in this genre, and at just barely an hour in length it isn't exactly rife with complexity. But it's definitely a fun romp - lots of gags, a few witty turns, a couple dead bodies, and a few undead ones, too.

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