TWICE DEAD (1988) Reviews and overview

 

‘Beyond the living… beyond the dead!’

Twice Dead is a 1988 American supernatural horror film about a family that inherits an old mansion haunted by the ghost of a gangster.

Directed by Bert L. Dragin (Summer Camp Nightmare) from a screenplay co-written with Robert McDonnell. Produced by Guy J. Louthan and Robert McDonnell.

The Concorde Pictures production stars Tom Bresnahan, Jill Whitlow, Jonathan Chapin, Christopher Burgard and Sam Melville.

Plot:

The Cates family is thrilled to learn they have inherited the old mansion of the deranged, stage actor, Tyler Walker. They arrive to discover that the mansion has turned into a playground for a local street gang. But the gang is not all the Cates children have to worry about as Tyler’s ghost makes it known he is not pleased with their intrusion…

Reviews:

“With its apparition appearing in the reflection of mirrors, and a dark, creepy house as its centerpiece, the film does have a good amount of atmosphere, even if it tends to be hokey. The gore effects are actually quite good, especially considering the budget…” DVD Drive-In

“Those of you nostalgic for Charlie Spradling’s breasts; some gory killings by methods including a dumb waiter and motorcycle; cheesy hair metal songs; Brooke Bundy as a caring mother and wife (unlike her mother role in Nightmare on Elm Street 4), and those of you still carrying your 80s teenage crush on Jill Whitlow who is at her perkiest here (aside from Night of the Creeps), Twice Dead fits the bill…” Jerry Saravia on Cinema

“The prologue about the home’s owner in the 1930s hanging himself seems the standard lead-in for a ghost story. However, the film itself never seems much interested in letting the ghost story element play out. This does emerge right towards the end but there it bizarrely seems that rather than haunting anybody the house is actually aiding the brother and sister in defeating the invading gang.” Moria

” …the director and co-writer, Bert Dragin, has absolutely no wit about this ludicrous premise. Instead, he seems to assume that the double plot will allow him twice as many chances for lurid scenes, like the one in which someone puts the naked female mannequin on the floor and repeatedly drives his motorcycle into it.” The New York Times, November 19, 1988

“The strangeness of the special effects prank angle was fun as was the idea that the ghost is an old movie star who winds up helping the people who live in the house, gave it enough originality within a pretty tired genre. The effects were pretty good both in the story and in the movie overall, plus it’s got some funny moments…” United Monkee

“This decent little B-movie from Roger Corman’s Concorde is always entertaining, has a nice twist in the middle (involving a practical joke) and has likeable enough leads with a cool “dumb waiter” death and just plain awesome “shotgun” moment. Plus we even get Todd Bridges (of Diff’rent Strokes fame) in a bit role.” The Video Graveyard

“I’ve liked the two leads in other movies, but they’re kind of bland and forgettable here. Same goes for supporting players Brooke Bundy and Todd Bridges, who aren’t given much to do. The only one who makes much of an impression is Skinamax siren Charlie Spradling who gets the best death of the movie in which she gets to come and go at the same time if you catch my drift.” The Video Vacuum

Cast and characters:

Tom Bresnahan … Scott Cates (as Tom Breznahan)
Jill Whitlow … Robin Cates / Myrna
Jonathan Chapin … Crip / Tyler Walker
Christopher Burgard … Silk
Sam Melville … Harry Cates
Brooke Bundy … Sylvia Cates
Todd Bridges … Petie
Shawn Player … Stony
Joleen Lutz … Candy
Travis McKenna … Melvin
Charlie Spradling … Tina
Lance Wilson-White … Pizza Boy
Janice Ehrlich … Policewoman
Bob Mclean … Harry Cates, Sr. (as Bob McLean)
Richard Meadows … Potter
Lance Gordon … Calvin
Bud Anthony … Policeman #1
Eric Fleeks … Policeman #2
Steven A. Finly … Policeman #3 (as Steve Finley)
James Devon … Policeman #4 (as Brett Garrison)
Dean Alexander … Garbage Driver
Susie McDonnell … Campus Girl

Filming locations:

2218 S Harvard Blvd, Los Angeles, California
UCLA, Westwood, Los Angeles, California

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

MOVIES and MANIA rating: