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Ghost Canyon

'The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery'
(Gabriel Dell, Will Geer, Jackie Coogan, Barbara Harris, et al / DVD / NR / (1975) 2011 / Warner Bros. Archive Collection)

Overview: A chicken hatchery owner and a novice private eye solve the arrow murder of local milkman, philanderer and animal fetishist.

DVD Verdict: This movie is not a Dead End Kids reunion, although both Huntz Hall and Gabriel Dell are in it. It is instead a warped 1970s version of a film noir with utterly bizarre comic elements that hit you more with each viewing. Dell shows magnificent comic timing and utterly dry wit as the trailer park loser who is doing genetic experiments to make chickens lay colored eggs while he also pursues his private detective business.

The comedy style here is a mix of some Airplane! style gags and some extremely subtle dark humor involving animal sex, incest, suicide and drugs. All tastefully handled, mind you, because it's so doggone off-the-wall, one cannot be offended. It also features: The most bizarre gunfight in movie history; A straightfaced plea for understanding for those who practice bestiality; Grandpa Walton popping pills like a madman; Barbara Harris being her brilliant self; Hall and Jackie Coogan as a bumbling cop duo; and some of the worst lighting you'll ever see!

This movie was extremely hard to find, but now it's been re-released on DVD you should rush out and buy it - if only for everything detailed above! I implore you to give it a look and see comedy ahead of its time! (FYI - This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.) This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Warner Archive Collection