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Reclusive Dr. Zorba has died and left his eerie mansion to his penniless nephew Cyrus Zorba and his family. Along with the house, the Zorba family has also inherited the occultist's collection of 12 ghosts, who can only be seen through Zorba's special goggles. The family members, their lives at risk upon the discovery that Dr. Zorba's fortune lies hidden somewhere in the house, receive aid from unexpected quarters as the threat to their lives is revealed. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The movie was filmed in "Illusion-O" and a special viewer was needed to see the ghosts. This resulted in a number of sources incorrectly stating that the film was originally shown in 3D. The "ghost viewers" contained a red filter and a blue filter, but unlike 3D viewers/glasses, both eyes would look through the same color filter. The red filter would cause the ghostly images to intensify while the blue filter caused the images to fade. See more »
When Buck puts on the glasses and sees the lion, its roaring is not synchronized with its mouth movements (from 51:59 to 52:05). This could be a ghostly phenomenon chosen for its spooky effect. See more »
13 Ghosts has stood the test of time well, as have most of Castle's films. While much is made of the gimmick of seeing the ghosts with 3d glasses, the movie itself is well made and not just a vehicle to carry the gimmick. Seeing the movie on television or video without the 3d glasses (but with the ghosts visible) makes you realize this is a well made film.
The scene where the father encounters the ghosts for the first time in the hidden room is quite spooky, and the special effects are almost hypnotic to watch. The story behind the ghosts being in the house is developed quite well, and makes the ghosts themselves more enjoyable. The ghosts range from almost comical to truly frightening, and it is fun to wait and see what kind of spirit you will encounter next.
The house itself is a rather nice piece of real estate, and I'm sure some people have driven around Los Angeles trying to find it. Martin Milner plays the lawyer who facilitates the will giving the family the house, and it is interesting to see him in his pre-Adam 12 days.
13 Ghosts is definitely worth watching, especially around Halloween. While some may find the plot and idea less than satisfying, I found it to be very spooky. And you really do get to see all 13 ghosts!
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