The Curator of Schlock #364 by Jeff Shuster

The Ghoul

Not the one with Boris Karloff. 

I’m busy wrapping pennies I found in the scummy water fountain at this abandoned mall I’ve been squatting in. I have a total of twenty one dollars and fifty cents so far. That’ll buy me two weeks of Oodles Of Noodles at the very least. I’ll be eating good.

My life is hell.

This week’s Arrow Home Video release is 2016’s The Ghoul from director Gareth Tunley. This is a British movie so you may want to turn those subtitles on. Remember Sexy Beast with Ben Kingsley? It’s that kind of non-American, not-really-English English.

The Ghoul centers around a police inspector named Chris (Tom Meeten) who’s investigating a murder. He concludes that the culprit must be a “ghoul,” a man obsessed with crime scenes and criminal investigations. His partner convinces Chris to go undercover as a former drug addict who’s mentally disturbed. I guess the idea is he’ll see the same shrink as their main suspect, Coulson (Rufus Jones), and maybe gather new evidence that way somehow.

Chris reveals his dreams to a psychoanalyst named Dr. Fisher (Niamh Cusack). In his dreams, he is a police detective, tracking down criminals. Chris and his old college friend, Kathleen (Alice Lowe), concocted this whole backstory about him being a guy from a well-to-do family who got addicted to pain medication. Oh, and Chris is in love with Kathleen, but she’s dating his partner. Awkward.

Chris stalks another one of Fisher’s patients, the aforementioned Coulsen. He mustn’t do a very good job of tailing him since Coulsen confronts him and forces Chris to buy him a cup of coffee or he’ll call the police. So Coulsen and Chris become mates and start swapping stories about Dr. Fisher. Then they start hanging out with hardened criminals who talk about drug deals gone wrong.

Eventually, Dr. Fisher takes ill and suggests that Chris see her own therapist, Morland (Geoffrey McGivern), to continue treatment. Morland lives out in the country and is a bit of an eccentric. He doesn’t believe in silence during therapy sessions and will ramble on about all sorts of nonsense if Chris doesn’t open up. In one instance, Morland waxes on about a coven of witches who performed a ritual to prevent the Nazis from landing on British shores.

Coulsen is also seeing Morland and hates him with a passion. He sends Chris about a hundred texts and messages warning him about Morland. When the therapist learns that Chris and Coulsen are friends, he demands that Chris cut off contact with him as Cousin has a way of putting bad ideas into your head.

I think it’s about this time in the movie that I’m wondering if Chris is really a police inspector or is he just a mental health patient who thinks he’s an undercover police inspector pretending to be a mental patient that dreams of being a police inspector.

My head hurts.

I think I’ll take a nap where I’ll dream about being a curator that thinks he’s a trucker.


Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, and 477) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.