Blu-ray Review: Ghost Town



Before we get any further, let it be known that the Ghost Town being released on Blu-ray from Scream Factory is not the comedy movie starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear. This Ghost Town doesn’t take place in New York City or involve colonoscopy jokes. What it does have is sheriffs, outlaws and spirits of the Old West.

The movie opens on a dusty desert highway where Catherine Hickland (Witchery) vanishes during a galloping sandstorm. The local cops put out an APB for the women. A sharp shooting deputy (Franc Luz) gets hot on her trail. His tracking takes her to an abandoned wild west town where after a exploration, he discovers that there’s still a few inhabitants of the place. Problem is they are all dead and stuck on the dusty streets until the ghost of an outlaw is put in the grave. Can the deputy shoot fast enough to take out an evil spirit?

The film has a languid pacing that seems more the set up for a Playboy video. It’s rustic in tempo and view. Bruce Glover (Diamonds Are Forever) does well as the blind man who guides the deputy through this slice of afterlife. The only downside in getting to watch this film on a 1080p transfer is that the arrival of ghosts is foretold. The optical effects always have a bit more schmutz than the normal frame. So when you spot the dust, a ghost is sure to materialize in the Old West town. This was harder to spot on the constantly rented VHS copy at Phar-Mor. The physical special effects come off fine in the enhanced resolution. There’s plenty of fine decay work on the screen.

What’s interesting while researching Ghost Town was that it seemed to air a lot on HBO in the early ’90s. Seems that HBO no longer seems to run such off brand movies anymore. Even with nearly 10 different HBO channels to program, the channel seems content to focus on major studio releases around the clock when they’re not marathoning their original programming. The Blu-ray will be a revelation to Ghost Town fans of the full frame standard definition versions.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer brings out the charms of the Western location. The audio is DTS-MA 2.0. They have buffed up the Ultra Stereo mix. The movie is subtitled.

No bonus features.

Ghost Town is a showdown between the living and the dead.

Scream Factory presents Ghost Town. Directed by: Richard Governor. Starring: Franc Luz, Bruce Glover, Catherine Hickland. Rated: R. Running Time: 85 minutes. Released: July 28, 2015.

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