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Ghost Story [Import]

3.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 55.64
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Craig Wasson, Alice Krige, Fred Astaire, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas
  • Directors: John Irvin
  • Writers: Lawrence D. Cohen, Peter Straub
  • Producers: Burt Weissbourd, Douglas Green, Ronald G. Smith
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 25 1998
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6305077614
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Product Description

Upon its release in 1981, John Irvin's version of Peter Straub's bestselling horror novel was deemed one of the worst adaptations that the genre had ever produced. Now it's available on DVD, and for the first time in widescreen presentation, and not much has changed. It's still a nearly unwatchable dud. Fred Astaire, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. play old friends, members of the self-created Chowder Society, who get together and tell ghost tales. The scariest story of all, however, is the one they never speak to each other. Fifty years ago, the four men accidentally killed a young woman, and now she's back (with much less meat on her bones) and seeking vengeance. Sound chilling? Well, in Straub's hands it was, and the novel remains the author's finest achievement. Irvin, however, distills Staub's rich characterizations, gradual tension, and creepy atmosphere, and replaces them with aging golden oldies (only Houseman appears to be having any fun) hamming it up and hokey special-effect shots of a rotting corpse. The film moves about as quickly as its ancient cast could during a relay race. The whole thing has arthritis. --Dave McCoy

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've seen bits and pieces of Ghost Story on television over the years and finally decided to purchase the dvd. I also decided to read the Peter Straub novel in which this movie is based right before watching this film. Considering this film was made in the early '80s on a modest budget I knew a lot of the book would be sacrificed in order for the studio to keep the film just under two hours. What a shame though in all things considered. That being said however, the film is technically well made by director John Irvin and production crew. The film is rich with creepy atmosphere in regards to production design and cinematography. The film's story is about a group of four elderly gentlemen played perfectly by silver screen legends Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and John Houseman who have formed a club called The Chowder Society spend an evening once a month dressed in their best suits sipping brandy and telling each other ghoulish ghost stories. Telling these stories as we later discover is their own therapeutic way of blocking out an incident that happened in their lives fifty years ago. Things do not go as planned as something has come back after all these years to exact revenge on these men one by one unless something can be done about it. One of the sons of one of the club members named David is killed in a tragic accident early in the film and his twin brother Don played by Craig Wasson in a duel role comes back to town and believes his brother and later his father was murdered by a mysterious woman who seems to have been involved in all their lives between the past and present. Don and the remaining members of the Chowder Society worked together to piece together this mystery before they become damned themselves.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Several elderly gentleman are tormented by the ghost of a beautiful woman who is also in hot pursuit of one of the men's sons. The reason behind her revenge makes an interesting story that may please soft-core fans of the genre.

Based on Peter Straub's novel (which I have never read), "Ghost Story" stars several famous, accomplished actors, Fred Astaire (devoid of his dancing shoes), John Houseman, Douglas Fairbranks Jr and a new comer, the beautiful Alice Krige. Overall, the performances are good by the ensemble cast but the real star, in my opinion, is Krige as Eva/Alma, the ruthless ghost who has risen from her frozen surroundings to get her revenge. Aside from being possibly the most attractive killer cadaver ever screened, her performance really stands out. She is seductive, cold and calculating and her voice, along with that accent, makes her rather unpleasant character kind of irresistible. She was indeed perfectly cast and it looks like she had a great time playing the elusive ghost tormenting the cowardly men of The Chowder Society. She also has some of the best dialogue in the film and delivers each line with a mixture of seduction and malice - "Dance with me you little toad", "I think I'll take a bite out of you", "I thought you'd be dying to see me", "I will take you places you have never been, I will show you things you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you".

The cinematography is also excellent here and the overall look and feel of the film is effective and at times, chilling. We get some beautiful, eerie shots of the sleepy, quaint village covered in ice and blankets of snow adding much needed tension and fear, a frozen lake, a dark crumbling house with leaking, crumbling walls and colourful period costumes.
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Format: DVD
It's been at least fifteen years since I read Peter Straub's Ghost Story, and I must admit I've forgotten almost everything about the actual story. What I do remember is my conviction that Straub's novel was truly a masterpiece of the horror genre. Straub is a complete writer, not some penny dreadful hack, and that almost guarantees that no film can possibly do any of his writings justice. Movies revolve around characters and actions, and Straub's fiction really plays on a much higher level. Frankly, I'm surprised that anyone would even attempt to adapt Straub for the big screen. Robbed of its atmospheric build-up, Ghost Story (the film) proves quite incapable of immersing you in the dark shadows haunting the Chowder Club Society meetings. Unable to take on a life of its own onscreen, Ghost Story feels to me like an old made-for-TV movie.

The four elderly, distinguished gentlemen who make up the The Chowder Society have been trading ghost tales and scary stories for decades. For fifty years, however, not a one of them has ever even thought about mentioning the most disturbing story of all, one that they all secretly share. Eva was her name, a saucy little newcomer who had all four of their college-age hearts pitter-pattering as they stumbled over one another pitching woo in her general direction. It's weird enough for four best friends to all be wooing the same girl at the same time, but the director manages to make it even stranger and more confusing. Two of the guys constantly giggle like schoolgirls, none of them seem to have a clue about the essential nature of man-woman communications, and they all combine to make one of the film's most climactic scenes little more than pedestrian in terms of their emotional reactions.
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