100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck (2012)
Directed by N/A
If Alien Origin which I had the displeasure of sitting through two months ago was the worst found footage flick The Asylum has ever made then 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck is far and away their very best. Granted the bar is set rather low when it comes to Asylum-produced found footage flicks, but in all honesty the only real knocks against this movie are pretty much the same knocks you or I could make about just about any supernatural found footage movie these days. If you’re a fan of the Paranormal Activity movies and similar found footage films like Ghost Encounters then there’s a good chance this one will also give you a few jolts.
Despite boasting what could very well be the goofiest title ever for a found footage horror – 100 Ghost Street, really? I can’t possibly be alone in thinking that sounds like a title more befitting a PBS children’s program about zany spooks that would teach reading and arithmetic to preschoolers. The Return of Richard Speck is competently made, well acted, moves along a surprisingly brisk pace for this genre, and delivers a few fairly effective chills.
100 Ghost Street is also gorier than your typical found footage ghost flick. That might be due to it feeling more like a found footage slasher flick much of the time. The real Richard Speck was mainly known for strangulation; ghost Richard Speck isn’t above throwing in a little disemboweling and dismemberment.
There’s also an unexpected sleaze factor that might be off-putting for some viewers. This isn’t the first Asylum serial killer found footage movie to feature ghost rape but there’s a much rougher edge to what happens to a comely young woman who makes the mistake of taking a nap compared to the humorous spectacle of a male ghost hunter depantsed in mid-air by the specter of John Wayne Gacy in Gacy House.
A ghost hunting television crew has entered the residence of serial killer Richard Speck in hopes of making contact with his spirit. Speck tortured, raped, and murdered eight nurses in a Chicago hospital on a fateful night in 1966 and died in prison in 1991. Seems like that hospital might actually be a better place to go looking for his ghost, especially when you have crew members performing EVP tests calling out to hear from the spirits of any of his victims. Why would their spirits be in his home where no murders took place?
Suffice to say these ghost hunters are not the best at their jobs. Ever notice how ghost hunters in ghost hunting movies tend to be terrible at ghost hunting? I always find myself wondering why it is that ghost hunters in movies such as this never seem prepared to deal with what they might potentially encounter; even more so when the ghost in question is that of a notorious mass murderer. Are they expecting this killer’s spirit will be a friendly ghost like Casper? They actually seem surprised that the ghost of rapist serial killer might want to kill them and maybe give the The Entity treatment to some of the ladies.
When one of your colleagues gets dragged screaming into the darkness by an invisible entity and the blood trail left behind streaks along the floor, up the wall, and across the ceiling into a crawlspace you’ll understandably be tempted to search for your friend but smart money says get the hell out of there ASAP. Leave the house; then call 911. Let the police do the ghostbusting. Of course, that’s the opposite of what characters in these movies do, not that it matters anyway since leaving the house is never that simple what with ghosts being the paranormal masters of blocking exits.
Another important piece of common sense when ghost hunting in the home of a serial killer is to not risk insulting the psychopathic spirit by making comments about his killing spree wasn’t as impressive as other serial killers because they murdered more people. Wanna guarantee you incur the wrath of a wraith; start questioning his mass murdering manliness by insinuating his body count doesn’t measure up to the big boys.
So, yeah, the characters are mostly dopes way in over their heads and there’s the usual found footage overabundance of wandering about and irritating amounts of bickering once the shit hits the fan. However, as someone who is not much of a fan of this particular subgenre and has been mostly bored by The Asylum’s previous found footage offerings, I can safely say that 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck is a major step up and perfectly fine offering of the found footage genre. I’d love to give the cast and filmmaker credit by name for their effort here but all of that information is listed as N/A because, as we all know by now, these Asylum found footage flicks are 100% the real deal. They seemed like talented people; a shame they’re all dead now.
Now the question is which true life serial killer will The Asylum build a found footage around next? I’d say the next logical choices are Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer. I vote Jeffrey Dahmer just because this could potentially be the first ever cannibal ghost flick. I think we’re well overdue for a man-eating ghost found footage flick.
3 out of 5