Tower Of Terror

A movie based on a Disneyworld ride...what's next, Martin Scorsese's Pirates of the Caribbean? Buzzy Crocker (Steve Gutenberg) is a disgraced reporter who's now writing bogus stories about alien abductions and horses possessed by the spirit of Francis the Talking Mule for the National Inquisitor. His young niece Anna (Kirsten Dunst) occasionally assist...read more

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Reviewed by Dennis Dermody
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A movie based on a Disneyworld ride...what's next, Martin Scorsese's Pirates of the Caribbean? Buzzy Crocker (Steve Gutenberg) is a disgraced reporter who's now writing bogus stories about alien abductions and horses possessed by the spirit of Francis the

Talking Mule for the National Inquisitor. His young niece Anna (Kirsten Dunst) occasionally assist him by dressing up for staged photos. But one day an old woman turns up at his door with a wild tale about what really happened in 1939 at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, when five people vanished in an

elevator on Halloween Night. One of the passengers was a Shirley Temple-like child actress named Sally Shine (Lindsay Ridgeway); the old woman claims that Shine's aunt was a witch who dabbled in black magic, and that a spell backfired and trapped the five in limbo, forever doomed to haunt the

abandoned hotel. Buzzy and his plucky niece, along with a slovenly caretaker named Q (Michael McShane) set out to reverse the spell, release the souls and relegitimize Buzzy's career as a journalist. Oh, not to mention how this stunt will get him back into the good graces of his ex-, Jill (Nia

Peeples), and editor at the "L.A. Banner." Thanks in part to the dully workmanlike direction of D.J. McHale, the film's scares are few and far between. Sure, there's green rain, weird music and a headless ghost, but make no mistake; this is no SHINING. It's a kid-friendly spook tale for

youngsters too young to be jaded by the baroque horrors of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series. The manic, puffy looking Gutenberg is by far the most frightening thing in the film, and the talented Dunst probably wishes she could magically erase this entry from her resume. Horror completists may be

interested to know that John Franklin, who was so creepily effective as CHILDREN OF THE CORN's pint-sized prophet of He Who Walks Behind the Rows, plays a nerdy ghost named Dewey.

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