Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Honourable Mention: Hysterical

Hysterical was a 1983 vehicle for the Hudson brothers (Bill, Mark and Brett) and was directed by Chris Bearde. The Hudson brothers were not, to my knowledge, a comedy phenomenon that reached the shores of Blighty.

The film starts in an Oregon lighthouse in the nineteenth century. The lighthouse keeper, Captain Howdy (Richard Kiel) was awaiting the ship with his wife on board. Cue ‘jokes’ such as, given there is a storm, “she was wet, he was excited.” He also needs to get shut of his mistress Venetia (Julie Newmar, Monster Squad & Evils of the Night). She’s not too happy about this and throws herself at the light, imbuing it with her spirit, knocking him into the sea and causing the ship to wreck.

Bill Hudson as Casper
The resultant film follows low-brow writer Frederic Lansing (Bill Hudson) travelling to the lighthouse, 100 years later, as he wants to escape the exploitation he normally writes and create the All-American Novel. His presence awakens Venetia, who summons up the corpse of Captain Howdy. She is going to make Frederic (under his assumed name Casper – a ghost writer... get it?) her new lover and get revenge on the town. This involves Howdy killing folks and making them zombies.

the explorers
So, where is the vampire you ask? To work out what is going on, the town's leaders summon in ace explorers Dr Paul Batton (Mark Hudson) and his tape operator and companion Fritz (Brett Hudson), who are essentially a low grade Indiana Jones rip-off. When they are called they are out in Eastern Europe, hunting Dracula (Charlie Callas). As they are caught out by the setting of the sun, Dracula rises and faces them.

Charlie Callas as Dracula
He is not warded by garlic, neither fire nor a gun will kill him. He becomes a crap bat and eventually passes on an urgent telegram summoning them to Oregon and the town of Hellview; population: strange.

And that’s all folks. A very fleeting visitation by Dracula in a film that isn’t that funny but is passable for a single viewing, I guess. I put the poster for the film at the head of the article rather than the DVD cover as it actually has a lot of the vampire motifs displayed. The imdb page is here.


Paul J. Marasa said...

The Hudson Brothers!? Charlie Callas!!? You've been mining pretty deep here. Fun blog.

By the way, "YBLM."

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Paul, those pesky vampires kep on appearing. As I said in article the Huson's didn't mean much over here.

Just to clarify, "YBLM" - I apologise if I'm missing something obvious but I'm not sure what that means.