Monogram studios from poverty row made a slew of low budget films utilizing everyone from Bela Lugosi to Leo Gorcey and the Bowery Boys featuring Huntz Hall. For this entry from famed director William “One Shot” Beaudine comes this comedy in a familiar setting, a haunted house. As we open the film the gang which also included Bobby Jordan and Gabriel Dell has graduated from exterminator school and with Leo as Slip Mahoney taking charge they go into business. From one pratfall to the next they find themselves exterminating ghosts in an old house where we are treated to flickering lights, sliding walls, and a caged gorilla among other things. In actuality this plot sure ends up sounding a lot like a 3 Stooges short called A Bird in the Head where a mad scientist in a haunted house wants to put Curly’s brain into a Gorilla. This time around we’ll sub in Huntz Hall as Sach for the would be donor. Not to worry too much as the boys will come out just fine after 68 minutes of slapstick with the ether induced fight near the end a nice bit of fun.
The film is partly narrated by Gorcey in his tough guy act with lines like “On account of the fellas I had to falsify my emotions” as he of course is just as terrified as the rest of the gang. The Bowery Boys films were mainly done by a unit of both actors and people behind the scenes from the producer Jan Grippo who did 24 films with the gang to the writers Edmund Seward and Tim Ryan. Our director Mr. Beaudine has done more films than most logging in over 350 titles on IMDB. He of course was responsible for some hilarious titles such as the famed Billy the Kid VS. Dracula and Lugosi’s The Ape Man.
I have never forgotten when I may have been about 10 years old and claiming to be a movie buff when a friend’s father asked me if I knew who Huntz Hall was. I confessed I didn’t. When he told me he was a member of the Bowery Boys I responded, “you mean the movies with Leo Gorcey”?