I usually have zero interest in celebrity gossip or scandals, and certainly have no intention of covering that kind of nonsense here in The Haunted Closet... but today I make a rare exception!
Eager to try out my spanking new $9.98 film projector, I was sorting through a dusty old box of Super-8 film reels...
...when I came across one with an intriguing title, The Girl and the Skeleton. It looks like its from the 1960s, and sounds spooky. Perhaps a Halloween-themed animated short or musical performance?
Well you can imagine my horror---HORROR---when I cued it up only to be greeted by THIS lurid image...
I've strategically blurred out certain hotspots on these screencaps, but there is nothing left to the imagination in the actual film, which was not a scary ghost story for children after all, but rather an adults-only stag loop of an anonymous young lady, not wearing a costume (...or anything else, for that matter) cavorting with a cardboard Halloween skeleton decoration.
And not just any skeleton... could it be none other than the famous Beistle Company skeleton? That innocent totem of Halloween mirth that guarded the front windows of many a trick-or-treat house, and which grinned down at me each October from the bulletin boards of every public school I ever attended?
How could this have happened? Did the pressures of fame cause Beistle skeleton to spiral downward into a cesspool of vice? Was he forced into the smut-picture racket to pay off massive gambling debts? Or perhaps the film was made surreptitiously... a blackmail attempt by an obsessive fan?
Surely he knows if this tape ever gets out, his career as Halloween decoration is finished.
Then again, on 15th or 16th aghast viewing, I'm starting to wonder if that really is the Beistle Company skeleton after all, or just some imitator?
Time for a little detective work. Using my special Crime Computer, I've generated a life-like digital model of our suspect, which I'll then position in 3-dimensions for comparison alongside his frisky doppelganger.
Hmmm...very similar, but the trained eye notices the difference in the size and shape of the breastplate and ribcage. Also, the elbow doesn't quite seem to match. But we'll need to zoom in for a closer analysis.
This confirms it. The shading in the eye sockets, the cracking on the side of the skull, and the vertebrae on the neck all confirm that this ISN'T the Beistle skeleton. Case dismissed. Beistle skeleton, how could I ever have doubted you?
I don't really have a new 8MM film projector, nor a grab-bag of film reels, nor a fancy Crime Computer. I do have a DVD player, and recently discovered The Girl and The Skeleton , (which really is just a few minutes of silent, black-and-white footage of a naked lady and a cardboard skeleton, circa 1960s), among the bonus features on Something Weird Video's The Curious Dr. Humpp (1967).
...Dr. Humpp is a low-budget Spanish-language flick that has something to do with robots, zombies, and a study in human sexual behavior, that reminded me of Ed Wood's end-of-career forays into nudie exploitation, only more competently made (and therefore, lacking Wood's jaw-dropping awfulness, slightly less entertaining).
10 months ago