Curse of the Blue Lights (1988)

CURSE OF THE BLUE LIGHTS was a late 80s direct to video horror flick in the vein of PHANTASM or TROLL wherein some odd creatures, in this case ghouls, try to collect things and influence the world in some way or to some end.  The ghouls are collecting people so they can feed the liquified corpses to their dark god so he can take over the earth.  There are some pretty dire circumstances afoot that can only be staved off by a group of meddling kids. 

The film is set in the small town of Dudley, Colorado (believably portrayed by the city of Pueblo, CO).  Unbeknownst to the denizens of this idyllic farming community, the ghoul king Loath has returned with the ghouls Bor and Forn to summon their demon god, the Muldoon Man, to usher in a new era of chaos on earth.  A group of hormonal teens are at the local spooky make out place, Blue Lights, named for the unexplained appearance of…you guessed it…spectral blue lights.  The investigating teens foil the plans of the ghouls by interrupting their work at digging up the long buried Muldoon Man.  It seems the lights may have been the lanterns of the ghouls as they worked.  This brings the attention of the Loath and the ghouls upon the unfortunate teens.  The surviving teens fight to stop the Muldoon Man as the ghouls fight to bring him back to life.  Finally the teens and the police must contend with a gang of zombies and the newly risen Muldoon Man.  

Mark Sisson capably handled the effects and would soon go on to work on A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4 and 5, SUBSPECIES, and THE UNNAMABLE II.  There are moments when some things look horribly cheesy…a scene involving baked beans doubling as grue comes to mind.  Other moments smack of inspiration especially the execution of the mirror portal and the horrifying scarecrow attack.  CURSE OF THE BLUE LIGHTS brings some genuine heart and talent to the often picked over direct to video table.  CURSE OF THE BLUE LIGHTS is a welcome reminder of some of the better offerings of the video horror premieres.  

The commentary is excellent as the director and lead ghoul meander through the film recalling actors, locations and effects.  The locals who took part in production are fondly recalled, if they are among those who are remembered, and some who passed are lamented.  Its fun to find out how much the town of Pueblo was involved when they provide the police department’s SWAT team to act as the on-screen police force and even provided vehicles and blanks for filming. 

The picture quality is the best this film has ever looked.  It is an HD master from 16mm elements presented in 1.78:1 full frame.  Special features include an audio commentary with director John Johnson and actor Brent Ritter.  Gallery of behind the scenes stills with text commentary by John Johnson and a short reel of Code Red trailers.  Trailers include: JUST BEFORE DAWN, THE POLICE CONNECTION, DEATH MACHINES, and THE VISITOR.  CURSE OF THE BLUE LIGHTS is available direct from Code Red on their Big Cartel webshop.

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