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T.9687 (6 reel 9.5mm sound release by Pathescope May 1951)
SPOOKS RUN WILD USA Oct1941 Director: Phil Rosen --------------- Banner Pictures Corp. Producer: Sam Katzman 65mins B/W Cert "U" Released by Monogram Pictures Corporation (Approx 50mins on 9.5) Distributed in the UK by Pathe Pictures Ltd Associate Producer: Pete Mayer Story & Screenplay: Carl Foreman & Charles R. Marion Photography: Marcel Le Picard Musical Directors: Johnny Lange & Lew Porter
Cast: Bela Lugosi .............. Nardo Leo Gorcey ............... Muggs Huntz Hall ............... Glimpy Bobby Jordan ............. Danny Sunshine Sammy Morrison .. Scruno David O'Brian ............ Jeff Dixon Dorothy Short ............ Linda Mason Dennis Moore ............. Dr. Von Grosch Donald Haines ............ Skinny P.J. Kelly ............... Lem Harvey Angelo Rossitto .......... Luigi David Gorcey ............. Peewee Rosemary Portia .......... Guy Wilkerson ............ Constable
The East Side Kids, staying at a camp in the country, lose their way in a graveyard one night and end up in a spooky mansion. They encounter dark hallways, secret panels, dank cellars, a mysterious dwarf, a hearse full of coffins and a vicious killer called "The Monster".
1. The East Side Kids starred in 22 films for Monogram between 1940/45. They developed from The Dead End Kids (who appeared in the 1937 Warner Brothers hit "Dead End") and later became The Bowery Boys. The relative success of "Spooks Run Wild" led to another Monogram encounter between Bela Lugosi and The Kids - "Ghosts On the Loose".
2. Pathéscope omitted from the 9.5mm sound print a couple of "straight" scenes with Lugosi. In one he and the dwarf look around the mansion and in another they visit a graveyard where Bela intones "The City of the Dead - Do they hear the howling of the frightened dogs?". This is clearly a throwback to a similar speech he made in Universal's 1931 classic "Dracula". Throughout "Spooks Run Wild" it is inferred that Lugosi plays another vampire comic character. He is immaculately dressed in tuxedo and cape (similar to the outfit worn in "Dracula") and is at first seen at night driving a truck loaded with coffins.
3. Initially George Pembroke was cast as Dr von Grosch but prior to shooting was replaced by Dennis Moore. However Monogram publicity generally listed Pembroke's name rather than Moore's.
4. Angelo Rossitto, 34 inches high, co-funded the Little People Of America Association, doubled for the young Shirley Temple and ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in 1941. His film career covered 1927 to 1987 - one of Angelo's last parts was as The Master in the 1985 black buster "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" with Mel Gibson and Tina Turner.
5. Phil Rosen was a pioneering cinematographer turned director. In 1919 he became the principal founder of the American Society Of Cinematographers, the industry's oldest professional organisation. 6. Carl Foreman later became a top screenwriter with such credits as "High Noon" and "Bridge On the River Kwai" for which he won an Academy Award. His pay for "Spooks Run Wild" was just $225. Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison was a founder member of the popular "Our Gang" series of comedies, appearing in 28 shorts between 1922 and 1924. He was also the first black actor to be signed to a long-term movie contract. David O'Brian often appeared as Dave O'Brian. His wife, Dorothy Short is the heroine in this film. In an uncredited "bit" part as the bus driver is Pat Costello, older brother of top film comedian Lou Costello. Dennis Moore also played as Denny Meadows.
7. Bill Littman, writing in his book "Poverty Row Horrors!", points out that the music score for "Spooks Run Wild" is credited to Johnny Lange and Lew Porter, a couple of songwriters working for Monogram. However, for the most part, the studio's music score came from the Abe Meyer Synchronizing Service. The names of Lange and Porter may have been listed simply for ASCAP registration or financial reasons. The music over the opening credits and during the climax (as the villain threatens the heroine) is taken from Columbia's "The Black Room"(1936) which was scored by Louis Silvers.
8. Footage from either this film or "Ghosts In the Night" appears in the strange 1959 (or 1951) Lugosi compilation film "Lock Up Your Daughters".
9. The E.J. Fancey company D.U.K. acquired the UK film rights around 1950 and released "Spooks Run Wild" as an eight part serial for Saturday morning children's cinema shows. Look further down this page for the 'flyer' for this "Spooky House Kids" serial.
(Info./illustrations edited from Maurice Trace, Alpha Video and gln) ZT-9687/gln/30.10.2014
Pathéscope Monthly magazine - April/May 1951 edition - May feature film release entry
Flyer from our friend E.J. Fancey for 'Lock Up Your Daughters' which maybe contains bits from "Spooks Run Wild"!
(thanks so much to Cliff Perriman for this illustration)
Another 'flyer' from our friend E.J..Fancey for the children's matinee serial 'hacked' from "Spooks Run Wild"
(thanks again so much to Cliff Perriman for this illustration)
US Re-issue cinema poster
This film has
been released on DVD
Return to: 9.5MM PATHESCOPE SOUND FILM CATALOGUE ........... ALPHA .......... NUMERIC
18Nov2014 - two extra film shots added
Created 39Oct2014 .... Last updated: 09 December 2016 ....... 95flmcatt9687.htm ..... ©MMX1V G.L. Newnham
18Nov2014 - two extra film shots added / 09Dec2016 - E.J. Fancey 'flyers' added