Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 16: Ghost Riders (1987)

Robbing viewers of a payoff and leaving them with empty promises.

Synopsis: An outlaw gang hanged by a posse in the late 1880s comes back from the grave to terrorize the descendants of the posse’s leader.

No luck on finding a trailer so here’s a screen capture instead. Johnny Cash would be mighty disappointed these guys couldn’t even pass being the Ghost Riders In the Sky.

Usually it doesn’t take long to realize when I’m watching something atrocious as my body has a built in defense mechanism where it will bring on a headache the longer I continue to defiantly try and  make it to the very end the more my cranium will throb at an agonizing rate. In the case of 1987’s Ghost Riders I managed to make it to the end credits without having to reach for the Tylenol but my ears will never forgive me for subjecting them to the most eardrum piercing soundtrack this side of William Hung singing Hotel California. When I use the term eardrum piercing I’m referring to having both the music and the sound effects cranked up in the mix beyond the point where viewers can’t even make out the dialogue the main characters are woodenly trying to deliver (not that it makes a difference anyways). Honestly I don’t know how I walked away from this without getting a headache than again I’m still trying to figure why the synopsis states that an outlaw gang is hanged when at the beginning of Ghost Riders its only the gang leader who is done in by the noose where the rest of his underlings go down in a firefight. It’s another prominent example of a straight to video logic where the further down you get the more unanswered questions you’ll be asking.

False advertising no matter the year companies will always take advantage of people who can easily be duped. In the late ’80s to early ’90s a lot of low budget distribution companies loved to employ this method by hiring an artist to create a piece of artwork to draw people in. Three skeletons dressed in wild west regalia brandishing shot guns and walking down the middle of a small town is enough to drive a young teenager’s imagination wild. When Dad and Mom finally decide their child is old enough for an R rated horror flick the excitement level ramps up to high expectations and then the glass ceiling shatters with monumental disappointment as the skeleton bandits are nowhere to be found. The second bit of false advertising is in calling Ghost Riders a horror film. In order to be awarded such a title there needs to be a steady amount of blood which there is very little of and as far as the so called Ghost Riders yeah I don’t count regular looking cowboys riding around on horseback and shooting guns as very ghostly. These outlaws were most likely not the most gentlemanly when they were alive so after meeting the wrong end of a shot gun I hardly think any time would be wasted in putting them six feet under. Why wouldn’t these apparitions be decaying more and more with every passing year they’ve been forced to spend in purgatory? They had enough of a budget to blow up a jeep for the finale yet they couldn’t deliver on ghoulish looking Ghost Riders I’m sorry no amount of push broom air guitar or multiple close ups of a spider snaring an insect in its web can save this. You’d almost be better off watching Nicolas Cage make manic expressions as  his skull bursts into flames.

Final Grade: F

Not the Bees! Not the… Oh wait…


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