Invisible Ghost (1941) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
89 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A fine performance from Lugosi
bensonmum25 February 2005
If you haven't seen Invisible Ghost, I won't bother going into much of the plot. Most of it is silly and doesn't make much sense. Basically, the story involves a man who is driven to commit murder by seeing his supposedly dead wife. That's really all you need to know. And, it's not much of a spoiler as you discover most of this within the first ten minutes or so.

Lugosi is great as the mad killer. A really first-rate acting job that is by far one of his best from the Poverty Row movies he made (that I've seen). He does an excellent job of alternating between the kindly Charles Kessler and the mad killer. Clarence Muse is also a standout as the butler, Evans. Muse played Evans as smart, calm, strong, and nothing like the typical black character you find in a 40s horror/mystery movie. I call him the anti-Mantan.

Over the past few years, I've learned to enjoy the movies from the 40s that Monogram and others were putting out. Invisible Ghost is not the best of the bunch, but it's certainly not the worst. It's fun to watch if just to see Lugosi hamming it up. Just don't take these movies too seriously.
17 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Atmosphere-Silly Story
Space_Mafune6 February 2003
The best quality this film possesses is a genuine creepy atmosphere. Especially good use of the weather (rain, stormy nights) enhances certain scenes particularly those in which Bela Lugosi's character Dr. Kessler is visited by his ghostly long-thought dead wife. Following this, Dr. Kessler is driven to unwittingly become a mad strangler. Just the result you'd expect? I didn't think so either.

Lugosi is actually quite good in the film and gives it his best effort. Also I felt Polly Ann Young, Betty Compson and Clarence Muse did fine jobs with what they had to work with.

The Inspector (played by George Pembroke) is an incredibly silly stereotype who comes across as thoroughly incompetent. However I did laugh when the visiting psychiatrist suggests it may be the Inspector who needs help.
13 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Are you trying to strangle me or just glad to see me?
Mike-76418 October 2004
Charles Kessler lives with his daughter, Virginia, and servants in his large house, but Kessler still awaits the return of his wife, who ran away with another man and disappeared following a car crash with her lover. Mrs. Kessler, unknown to her husband, is living in the gardener's tool shed, afraid to return home. She occasionally sneaks out of the shed, and spies on her husband through the window. One night Kessler sees his wife through the window and falls into a mad hypnotic state where he strangles Cecile, the new maid at the house. The crime is framed on Ralph Dickson, Virginia's fiancé and former love of Cecile. Dickson dies at the hands of the law, and his identical twin brother Paul comes to the Kessler residence, hoping to posthumously clear his brother's name. Kessler, under another trance, kills the house's gardener and nearly strangles his daughter, and it becomes obvious to the police and everyone in the house that the murders are the work of a madman, but how will Kessler be uncovered in this strange case. This film is probably the best of the Lugosi Monogram series, primarily due to Joseph Lewis' superb direction where there is a lot of suspense and neat twists. Good performances by the cast make this and a very good ending make this a good one to watch, despite a few plot holes. Rating, based on B mysteries, 8.
12 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Do I look pale?... I feel pale."
classicsoncall3 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Bela Lugosi portrays Charles Kessler, in denial over his wife's running off with another man years ago, and now missing or presumed dead since being involved in a car crash which killed her husband. Yet she's living secretly in the basement of the gardener's shed, believing she's dead, and occasionally strolling out to the grounds of the estate in her bathrobe. Now read those two sentences once again, because if you buy it, you won't have any trouble with the rest of the film.

Whenever Kessler sees his wife, he goes into a catatonic trance like state, doing a Frankenstein walk as he finds a victim to strangle within his home. It's usually one of the staff, and with good help hard to find, this could be a bit troublesome. After his daughter's boyfriend is conveniently convicted for the murder of the maid, the lookalike brother conveniently shows up with enough common sense to help the inept police department figure out what's going on.

There are some redeeming qualities to the film though. There's an interesting camera technique used for parlor shots done through the flames of the fireplace framing the characters inside. It's rather well done and memory doesn't recall it's use in any other films. Additionally, the part of black Butler Evans is played straight and dignified by Clarence Muse, unusual for the era, when many black parts were either racially denigrated or played for comic relief. When Muse's character failed to slide into stereotype, especially under questioning by the police, it was a refreshing relief.

"The Invisible Ghost" probably won't make anyone's top ten horror list, or even top ten Lugosi list, though some of the prior postings on this film did surprise me. Although not "must see" in the usual sense, it does merit a viewing for a well rounded appreciation of Bela Lugosi's film credits.
22 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Negligible plot, wonderfully murky atmosphere
oliverkneale31 May 2000
The best way to see this film is to catch an aged, scratched up print with bad sound on late night television. It seems to almost be made for that kind of antique, romantic creakiness.

Bela Lugosi plays a husband who murders his house guests overnight at the command of his hypnotist wife. The story isn't very well executed and is pretty ridiculous, actually, BUT what redeems the film and makes it very worthy of seeing is it's bizarre, ghostly atmosphere. The film is not about suspense, it's about mood. It's all about white figures moving around shadowy black backgrounds. It's about the interiors of the house looking like furnished crypts or like secret rooms not shown on the board of a Clue game.

This whole film is texture. It's very dream-like.
24 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lugosi is worth the price of this movie
TigerMann4 May 2004
I must say, I was a bit surprised after viewing "Invisible Ghost." It

could have been because of Bela Lugosi's sympathetic portrayal

of Charles Kessler, a warm and kind-hearted man, deeply

troubled by his wife's absence. Or ... it could have been Clarence

Muse, playing the black butler sans the usual comic relief.

Whichever way you look at it, "Invisible Ghost" is certainly worthy of

note. Too bad one has to rummage through so many bad movies

to locate the few really good ones. Here we have the late, great

Bela Lugosi, looking better than ever. His portrayal of a sympatheic

man under the control of powers beyond his comprehension is

somewhat of a diversion from previous characters. He's not

sucking the blood of beautiful ingenues. Nope. He's on a murder

rampage, suffocating his victims with a ... bedroom robe?

Okay ... a little quirky. What did you expect? Shakespeare?

What's impressive here is Mr. Lugosi's enormous acting talent.

Lugosi could express more emotion through a simple facial

expression than most actors could through an entire monologue.

He's an excellent example of a talented man giving a performance

greater than the movie itself deserves. No make-up effect or

computer generated effect could ever reproduce this. To this, I hold

Mr. Lugosi up next to Vincent Price ... as a man whose talents

barely reached the public surface. If only he were alive today and

making movies. No doubt he would have been treated with a great

deal more respect and admiration.

And so ... "Invisible Ghost" is a very good movie to enjoy. I was

lucky enough to purchase this along with seven other Lugosi films

in AMC's Monsterfest DVD collection. Pick it up if you get a chance.

It includes movies like "The Human Monster" and the amazing

"White Zombie." While some of these films were hits and others

were misses ... all feature the extraordinary presence of Bela

Lugosi ... certainly one of our greatest actors.
28 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Classic Poverty Row fare with Bela Lugosi!
ken-3361 January 2001
This murder shocker, featuring some typically hilarious plot twists and insane character reactions, is buoyed by that inimitable Lugosi magic. Also worth mentioning is the surprisingly inventive direction by Joseph H. Lewis, as is the comparatively dignified treatment of the black butler character, well played by Clarence Muse. Fans of old Monogram and PRC programmers will be well entertained.
15 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The invisible plot.
sibisi739 April 2005
Another cheapie from Monogram, once again casting Lugosi as a hypnotic murderer, lit from below as is expected. This time, however, he's the innocent victim, entranced by the sight of his 'dead' wife who appears beneath his window and seemingly 'commands' him to kill (rather surreptitiously and for a reason not fully explained). Indeed, most of the plot isn't really fully explained, but it's academic. Instead of the plot, concentrate on the director's unusual flair, and the writers' penchant for a decent gag or two. It's these that elevate this slightly above the rest of its kind. Some interesting panning between rooms, and behind furniture, and a memorable shot of Lugosi leering direct to camera from behind his black robe show that director Lewis had, at least, a modicum of creativity. There's also a wicked sense of humour that takes you by surprise, and is handled well enough to complement the thriller element. Sadly, the performances are mundane, especially Lugosi, who, once again mugs and grimaces his way through the part. The film is stolen by Clarence Muse, superb as the amenable butler, Evans - although he does get all the best lines.
29 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Piffle, To Be Sure, But Entertaining Piffle, At Least
ferbs547 November 2007
Boy, this is one weird little movie! Bela Lugosi's first of nine films for Monogram Pictures, "Invisible Ghost" (1941) tells the story of Mr. Kessler (Lugosi), whose wife had run away some years before and been injured in a car wreck with another man. What Bela does not know is that his wife is still alive, in a semicomatose state, and being cared for by his gardener in a nearby barn. Unfortunately, whenever Mrs. K takes one of her nocturnal somnambulent strolls and Bela catches a glimpse of her, he becomes a mesmerized maniac and kills off another of his household... Anyway, this Bela outing, while perhaps not quite as much fun as another of his pictures that I saw recently, 1942's "The Corpse Vanishes," is still far, far superior to the surreally stinky "Scared to Death" (1947). It is interestingly shot and features some stylish direction by Joseph H. Lewis, who would go on to helm such cult classics as "Gun Crazy" (1949) and "The Big Combo" (1955). The film moves along quite briskly and manages to pack quite a bit into its brief 64-minute running time. And I like the fact that Bela's butler, as played by Clarence Muse, is devoid of the embarrassing black-stereotype behavior so often encountered in films of that era; indeed, he might be the most dignified character in the entire film. I also like the fact that, unlike so many other Bela films, this one is not presented on yet another awful-looking/sounding DVD from Alpha Video, but rather given a nice, clean treatment from the fine folks at the Roan Group. The bottom line, I suppose, is that "Invisible Ghost" is piffle, but still an engaging and entertaining time killer.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Bela Lugosi at his most... unusual
binapiraeus4 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Not only is "Invisible Ghost" one of the most unusual crime dramas I've ever seen - it would certainly puzzle even the most experienced psychiatrist, and the average crime movie fan sooner or later starts to doubt his own sanity - but it's also one of Bela Lugosis best and unusual performances. Although it gets far too little attention today, this film goes deep into the analysis of psychology, love and hatred, and crime; and NO one could have played such a rare case of schizophrenia caused by the fact that his beloved wife ran away with another man like Bela Lugosi did.

A most gentle, sweet, caring man with a deep sorrow in his heart - that's how he is when he is 'himself'. BUT at night, his wife's 'ghost' turns up in the garden below, and as soon as he sees her figure from the window, he turns into a somnambulist murderer... A very tragic film (with the hint, by the way, that the American 'Justice' DOES makes mistakes: they send an innocent man to the electric chair for one of the murders!) that weighs heavily on the audience (another example for Monogram's ability to produce films way beyond the usual 'Poverty Row' level) - but it gives Bela a GREAT opportunity to show ALL his immense repertoire of emotions; and in the end it makes us feel more sympathy for his tragical character as ever. A really high-class, serious movie that makes one think - something that by far not every product of Hollywood's 'dream factory' achieves...
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Invisible Wife.
morrison-dylan-fan4 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Picking up a parcel from the local collection office,I was shocked to discover that an extremely kind IMDb'er had sent me a Mill Creek boxset,jam packed with a number of great sounding titles.With the "Horror Challenge" being held on the IMDb Horror board in a few days time,I decided to take a closer look at the titles contained in the set.Being in the mood of taking a look at another movie of Bela Lugosi's pre-Ed Wood low-budget era due to having found Lugosi's Ape Man to be a wild,wacky title,I was delighted to discover a more serious sounding Lugosi title contained in the boxset.

The plot:

Keeping hold of the things that he held dear to his wife,despite her having recently left him for a younger man,Mr.Kessler celebrates their wedding anniversary all on his own, as a mark of respect for how deep the vows that he made to his wife are contained within his heart.

Distressed over seeing Kessler's waiting for his wife's return to have no end in sight,and also seeing Kessler's daughter become desperate to pull her dad out of this dark trance,loyal servant Jules begins to seriously wonder if he should tell Kessler that instead of being away with her boyfriend,his wife is actually hidden in a darken corner of the house,after being pulled from a car crash that has left her permanently brain damaged.Fearing that Kessler's and his wife's reaction to each other might make things worse than they already are,Jules decides to stay quiet,and keep the secret all to himself.

Getting ready for bed,Kessler suddenly hears a strange tapping noise coming from outside a window in the living room.Entering the living room,Kessler discovers that the tapping sound is being made by the "ghost" of his wife.Shocked at what he is seeing,Kessler finds himself unable to deal with the supernatural sight in front of him,which leads to Kessler's sweet nature being left in ruins,when "the image" causes Kessler to have a strong desire to go on a killing spree.

View on the film:

After having been disappointed by the flat directing style of past titles that I have seen in the public domain,I was happily caught by surprise,thanks to director Joseph H.Lewis showing a keen eye in creating a wonderful Gothic chill.Keeping 95% of the movies setting limited to the Kessler house,Lewis uses tracking shots to show the shadow that is being cast around the darkest corners of the Kessler's lives,and also expertly covers the movie in rain,so as to create a wonderful atmosphere of there being no where for the character's to run away from Kessler's murderous urges.

Whilst the screenplay sadly avoids trying to look at the psychological reasons behind Kessler's changing personality,the screenplay by Al and Helen Martin takes things into an unexpected,sharp proto-Slasher direction,with the Martin's making sure to keep the viewers on their toes by making Kessler attack and kill some of the main character's early on,in scenes,which impressively still have a real edge around them.

Showing both sides of Kessler's conflicting personality,Bela Lugosi gives a terrific performance which carefully balances Kessler's warm hearted,wholesome image with the monster that becomes unleashed when the "ghost" of his wife appears.Along with Lugosi,the very pretty Polly Ann Young gives a good performance as the Kessler's daughter Virgina,with Young showing Virgina being unable to stop the "invisible ghost" from taking over her dad's life.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Is "real" real or imaginary?
hasosch5 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the really great Bela Lugosi-movies. However, this did not prevent a majority to underrate it shamefully with less than 5 points (5 of August 2009).

"Invisible Ghost" takes a very special place amongst the horror movies. Mr. Kessler's wife had left him 16 years ago. Every year, to their anniversary of marriage, Kessler celebrates a feast as if she were still there, comparable only to the wonderful "Dinner for one" where the lady has invited all her meanwhile dead friends to the occasion of her 90st birthday. However, Kessler does not know that his wife, mentally disturbed, is kept by one of his employees in a cellar nearby his house. Due to the long and disappointing waiting for his wife, Kessler's mind, too, got darkened. So, when his wife keeps appearing in front of her windows in the long lonely night which he spends reading before the chimney-fire, he thinks it is his mind that plays him a trick. Well understood: this is one of the seldom cases where reality is taken for imagination, not vice versa! And the sight of his real wife whom Kessler must have thought to be dead, although he tells everyone that one day she will return, turns him into a kind of sleep-walking during which he commits fully senseless murders. The killing of his daughter is just prevented by a sudden lightening by which Kessler, fully unaware of his mental state and his deeds, awakes for a few seconds.

One can learn from this movie that there are no convincing proves of what is real and what is imaginary. The philosophers knew that for a long time, but it is astonishing that in the "Invisible Ghost", the relation between reality and imagination is handled in both ways. Lugosi's performance is, as usual, unsurpassable.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What Did I Watch?
gavin694231 May 2006
Maybe this is a spoiler, but I don't think anyone should watch this movie without knowing the following: this movie makes no sense.

Bela Lugosi stars as a wealthy estate owner who misses his wife and thinks she is dead. But she's not dead -- the gardener keeps her in a shed in the backyard. And sometimes she escapes in a bathrobe to steal a piece of chicken from the kitchen, only to be spotted through the window by Lugosi who thinks it's a ghost. This causes him to enter a trance and kill some random person. Even after several murders (maybe dozens) in the same house, the police never suspect Lugosi.

On one occasion, they arrest the boyfriend of Lugosi's daughter and execute him. A minute later in the next scene his twin brother shows up.

If you like Lugosi, this film is decent and quite fun. But seriously, don't try to figure out why the wife is in a shed or what causes him to go into a trance or why the police are so stupid. Because you will never make sense of this preposterous film.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What Made HIm Do It?
Hitchcoc23 February 2006
The movie begins with a man being executed on circumstantial evidence for something he did not do. He was engaged to the daughter of the main character. Shortly after this, his twin brother shows up. Bela Lugosi, walking around with his hands in front of him (ala, a somnambulist), losing control because his mad wife is out in a hovel in the back yard. This movie makes absolutely no sense. In an old house lives a kindly man named Kessler, played by Lugosi. The problem is that people are being murdered routinely around him. The police, who are always without a clue (no pun intended) come and go and seem to think: Gee that's odd. Another murder. Lugosi is asked why he doesn't move, but he just waits for his wife to return from wherever she went. It's never clear what happened to his wife, but she seems to come and go from a little building in the back yard that is tended by the gardener (one of the early victims). For whatever reason, when she shows up, Kessler puts up his hands, walks into someone's room and murders them. There is comic relief from Clarence Muse. He is a black man and probably the only fun character in the movie. When he discovers a body, he has the great line: "Do I look pale? I feel pale." He is the most stable character in the movie which I thought was cool. When they try to pin the murders on him (a psychiatrist comes to see if he is crazy), he holds up very well. Eventually, of course, the true murderer will show what he is made of. The problem is that there is no wrap up other than possible mental illness. The wife figured into this somehow, but shouldn't we be told a little more. Oh, well, poor old Lugosi probably made about 50 dollars for this.
16 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Murder So Strange
zardoz-1319 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Invisible Ghost" casts iconic horror actor Bela Lugosi as a deranged man who has been separated from his wife and has turned unwittingly into a homicidal somnambulist. The fact that he can recall nothing about the murders that he has committed imbues an air of mystery to this bizarre, sometimes surreal Monogram Pictures' release. Mind you, the outlandish story and screenplay by Helen and Al Martin seems to take a lot for granted, especially the short-sightedness of the local authorities who have put their best brains on the case and remain baffled by the shortage of clues. Horror filmmakers rely on our fear of the unknown to scare us, and so much of what "Invisible Ghost" consists of is so preposterous that it acquires a creepy, provocative quality. The Martins even insert a pair of look-alike brothers to shake up the characters. Nevertheless, despite the lack of cohesion in the plot, "Gun Crazy" director Joseph H. Lewis makes this brisk, 65-minute, low-budget murder-mystery look better than it has any right. He uses pans, tilts, and interesting camera set-ups, including shooting over the flames in the fireplace to give "Invisible Ghost" a hypnotic look. The crisp black & white photography of co-lensers Harvey Gould and Marcel Le Picard adds a luster to this routine Sam Katzman production.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Quiet dignity and grace...
cairnsdavid18 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
A demented masterpiece from director Joseph H Lewis. Faced with a script that makes no sense (Lugosi's wife is mentally unbalanced after a car crash, so the loyal servants keep her in the garden shed and pretend to Lugosi that she dies, in order not to upset him!) Lewis pulls out the stops, adding startling and classy and baroque and unusual directorial touches everywhere he can.

The film must have been shot it a week, and feels like it was scripted in an hour. No time for re-writing - the hero goes to the electric chair, but we need a romantic interest - quick, give him a twin brother!

My favourite moment is when Lugosi, having hammed it up at every opportunity, however inappropriate, has to describe the sight of a man briefly (and pointlessly, in narrative terms) rising from the dead. "It was horrible" he remarks, casually, over breakfast. The one moment where a bit of passion would have been useful, and the great Bela belatedly discovers underplaying.

He will be missed.

Kudos to Clarence Muse for keeping it real, and check out the references to "a lot of murders" which have been committed in this house - are there so frequent that no one can remember how many? And nobody thought to question Lugosi, who is known to be several bats short of a belfry...
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not uninteresting Lugosi/Monogram horror film
preppy-320 June 2001
Dr. Kessler (Bela Lugosi)is a kind doctor whose wife ran away with another man and then died in a car crash. However, it seems she survived and Kessler's gardener is keeping her hidden in the gardener's cottage until she recovers. Periodically she walks around and stares at Kessler. He sees her, goes into a trance and kills people.

OK--the plot is stupid and makes no sense. Also the dialogue is bad (even by Monogram standards) and has plenty of laugh out loud lines and just beyond belief plot twists. Still it works. It plays quickly (it's only an hour long), has a very handsome actor (John McGuire) who can't act but is very easy on the eyes and two excellent performances. One is by Bela (even when he acted in low low LOW budget work like this he gave it his all) and Clarence Muse who plays the black butler but is very dignified and intelligent--a real rarity in those days. The other actors are terrible (especially the police lieutenant who ALWAYS has a huge cigar in his mouth--I'm not even going there!). It's also well-directed (considering). But, what's with that title? There's no ghost or anything invisible in this! So, it's worth seeing (sort of).
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great Old Dark House Spooker
wdbasinger17 November 2004
This is my favorite of Bela Lugosi's Monogram potboilers. This film is perfect in black and white because of the use of light and shadow as well as thunder and lightning in a creepy old house that has the feel of an old tomb. Throughout the film, the house setting with its weird shadows and spooky atmosphere sets the tone for the film

A series of unsolved murders take place in this old house and the authorities fail to close it up due to legal technicalities. From the beginning, one knows that the guilty party is Bela Lugosi under the bizarre hypnotic influence of his estranged wife. The story rolls on with additional murders and an innocent suitor being sent to the electric chair for a murder he did not commit. After a few more people bite the dust, the real murderer is uncovered in one of the most bizarre climaxes in "B" movie history.

Great late night fun.

Dan Basinger
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Abort common sense
Spondonman21 March 2004
To begin - so many previous comments for a Monogram cheapie! And I agree with all of 'em, especially concerning the merits of the wonderfully eerie atmosphere of this strange film. The print I watched (@ 65 mins) was surprisingly good and non creaky so it didn't lessen this aspect and make me concentrate more on the plot ... shortcomings and generally hokey acting.

In this film as the real world and the Ghost are Invisible we naturally don't see them.

Although thankfully Muse's part was not a Manton type role nevertheless he was still earning his crust in the usual Hollywood position of servitude and not as some kind of equal. Did he ever play a doctor etc?

With Lugosi's mad dead wife locked up by the gardeners wandering about freely at night and hypnotising her live husband into strangling people it kept reminding me of Plan 9's crazy story. If it had been made in the 50's with their even lower production values it could probably have been a contender for Worst Ever.

Does anyone know approximately how many times Monogram used that set of the hall and stairs in filming? I feel that I've been up and down those stairs more times than my own.

All in all one of my favourite Monograms, together with some of the Toler Chan films.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Diverting and well-acted
kd-white18 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Invisible Ghost is an above-average low-budget horror/suspense movie, mainly thanks to the solid acting and excellent camera work. Bela Lugosi is Bela Lugosi (as always) and plays his part with consummate professionalism and more restraint than one would have guessed. The roles of the butler and Kessler's daughter are well-acted as well, with only John McGuire occasionally seeming ill-at-ease in his role. While the explanation for Kessler's psychotic episodes remains elusive even after the movie is over, the plot itself isn't as terrible as many have portrayed. It just doesn't feel whole, that's all. If any of the persons involved in this movie would have just shot 5 additional minutes explaining and further justifying Kesser/Bela's actions and the reason for Ms. Kessler being locked up in the basement to begin with, I would have given this an 8. As it is, this is still an excellent way to waste an hour plus.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The One Redeeming Feature of This Piece of Tripe
joelbklyn21 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
What a pathetic, degrading waste of talent on the part of actor Bela Lugosi, cast ludicrously in what comes close to equaling such bottom-of-the-barrel schlock as BRIDE OF THE MONSTER. And yet...and yet...

...if you love Lugosi's mellifluous, Hungarian-accented intonations (as I do), just sit back and ignore (or "enjoy") the film's imbecilic dialogue, implausible plot, stilted acting, and utterly hilarious direction, and allow yourself to be carried away by the erstwhile treasured voice that gave Bela Lugosi the fame and stature he so rightfully deserved back in the 30s from such memorable films as THE RAVEN, THE BLACK CAT, THE INVISIBLE RAY, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN and, of course, Dracula.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sic Coyote21 November 2004
The acting is just about par for the course.

The plot is very silly going on near incomprehension.

It does feel a lot longer than it's 64 minute running time and the way everyone reacts after the poor guy gets executed gives off an air of, 'oh well, swings and roundabouts'.

Don't let any of this make you think this movie is a fun one in the so bad it's good category, it's not it's just plain dull, stupid and repetitive.

I'm just glad I only paid £1 for the DVD maybe I can get 50p credit if I take it into Blockbusters.

This is one for people who 'have' to see all of Bela Lugosi's films, trust me there are to many good movies out there and to little time in a life to bother with this 64 minutes. 2/10
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A diamond in the (very) rough
grghull10 June 2006
Through the courtesy of cheap DVDs I (like many others) can finally catch up on a lot of old horror movie that no longer play on TV. It's a special delight to watch some of the ultra cheap second features from the 1930s and 40s, and what I'm discovering is that they have a lot more legitimate entertainment value than I would have suspected. Back before there was cable with hundreds of channels to chose from twenty four hours a day a night at the movies was big entertainment, and I can imagine that sitting in a local movie house with all your friends watching a creaky old Monogram melodrama must have been a lot of fun. And some of them are still a lot of fun. INVISIBLE GHOST is a case in point. It had a stylish and inventive director (Joseph Lewis) doing his best with limited resources, an excellent cast, and even production values which must have seemed much better when the film was released because (and this will shock a lot of younger viewers) TIMES CHANGE! Much that seems "cheesy" (how I hate that word!) in hindsight is merely a reflection of the fact that half a century ago THINGS WERE DIFFERENT!


About the cast: Lugosi was fun, leading man/men John McGuire was capable and had a good look, Polly Ann Young looked strikingly contemporary with her lean body and angular features, Betty Compson as Lugosi's wife was genuinely creepy, and Clarence Muse was a breath of fresh air among the stereotypes of the day. I particularly liked his exchange with Ryan the cop who arrogantly demands to know where he was on the night of January 20th (or something like that). Muse merely pauses a moment then asks "Have you had your coffee yet?", effectively putting the cop in his place with a minimum of fuss or show.

(By the way, it was tough to take the actor playing Ryan (Fred Kelsey) seriously, since I'd recognized him from an identical part in a Three Stooges short.)
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The master carries this movie
manicgecko26 October 2005
If you want to see great Lugosi, this is your movie. Unfortunately the entire movie was based on him. As Mr. Kessler, Bela got to perfect the eccentric tortured soul whodunit movie lover's come to expect. We even got a few "Good Evening"s thrown in - just in case somebody doesn't know who he is. I only wished that there was some other way Mr. Kessler could walk when he was in his trance.

This movie would be awesome as a silent, the picture quality, lighting, and backdrop was as expertly done as anything in that time. The dialog just did not add anything to the plot, other to indicate Ralph is now Paul. I actually watched it in mute and felt it was much better that way.

Nothing creepy, nothing ghostly, but a good ol' tortured soul in a classic old movie. Just remember to turn off the sound.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Poor, poor Bela....He means so well!
Coventry4 June 2005
Mildly entertaining 40's chiller that gives Bela Lugosi yet another chance to play a severely tormented character. He stars as Mr. Kessler, a sinister yet sophisticated and eminent gentleman who lives in a large villa with his daughter and a bunch of household staff. Whenever Mr. Kessler sees the appearance of his supposedly dead wife (long story....), he gets into some sort of trance and murders people. Other persons are wrongly sentenced to death for these crimes while Kessler himself doesn't really realize what he's doing. I'm not exactly sure what the film tries to accomplish by focusing on the "whodunit"-element so much while the story practically opens with Lugosi committing murder. It's like playing a game of 'Clue' when you already know it was Colonel Mustard! Oh well, I guess the mystery automatically vanishes when Lugosi stars in the film: he always did it! Don't expect logic neither as the whole dead-wife situation doesn't make the least bit of sense. Still, "Invisible Ghosts" has some atmospheric moments and occasionally offers a modest scare. The acting is above average with Lugosi in one of his best post-Dracula roles. The sequences in which he's 'tranced' reminded me a little of Dracula, as Bela's grimaces and gestures are very similar. This is an okay movie, good to waste an hour of your life with.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed