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Ghosts Can't Do It Reviews

Pull on your hip boots and restrain the horses: it's the worst-ever movie from John and Bo Derek, which makes it one of the low points of what passes for civilization in the 20th century. Billionaire Scott (Anthony Quinn) suffers a heart attack while cavorting lustily on his Wyoming ranch with his young wife, Kate (Bo Derek). Though he survives, he is weakened, too much so to engage in sex with Kate; however, he cannot obtain a heart transplant because he is over 60 years of age. Despondent, he follows the example of his literary idol Ernest Hemingway and kills himself with a shotgun. At his funeral, Scott contacts Kate from beyond the grave. Both regret what he did, but agree that life devoid of physical contact would have been unbearable. They discuss the possibility of finding a new, young body for Scott to possess. At their retreat in the Maldive islands, a likely candidate seems to present himself in the person of Fausto Garibaldi (Leo Damian), an attractive young grifter. After taking time to establish her control over Scott's financial empire in the face of corporate raiders, Kate returns to the island to plot Fausto's demise. Even though he provides her the perfect excuse by burglarizing her house, she is unable to bring herself to poison him. But when he drowns while scuba diving in the local pearl beds, Kate revives him via mouth-to-mouth resuscitation just long enough for Scott to be able to take over Fausto's body. Reviews of bad movies often compare them to the work of Ed Wood, but GHOSTS CAN'T DO IT gives the impression that John Derek actually studied Wood's oeuvre for this exercise in uxoriousness. The dialogue has that same quality of having been typed but never uttered aloud, and the situations are so wholly (but unintentionally) nonsensical that one can only guess what Derek had in mind. (The plot synopsis above eliminates a number of scenes, like a mini-recreation of RAIN, that seem to have been made up on the spot. No editor is credited: none seems to have been employed.) The characters talk endlessly about sex but never engage in any; Bo Derek has a few nude scenes but they are done so nonchalantly that it's impossible to ascribe any erotic intent to them. Sandwiched between a black backdrop and a curtain of gauze presumably meant to suggest the afterlife, Quinn bellows his dialogue with the same fervent but uncomprehending conviction Bela Lugosi brought to Wood's GLEN OR GLENDA (1953). (Presumably, when the script calls for the dead Scott to tell his widow "You look good enough to eat, but it's probably too late for that now," it was meant as a joke, but Quinn delivers the lines straightfaced.) Worst of all, Bo Derek is asked to act. From the very beginning, before we've had proper time to lower our expectations, she is made to engage in emotional displays that would tax her limited (to put it kindly) abilities even after a proper warm-up. Highly recommended for bad movie buffs. (Nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)