‘Spooks’ (1953) was the 148th short comedy made by The Three Stooges for Columbia Pictures. It was photographed from Monday, May 11th through Friday, May 15th 1953 and was released a scant one month later on Monday, June 15th of that year (the 166th day on the Gregorian Calendar). The film was shot in the then new 3-D process and thus there are plenty of things hurled at the camera, though when viewed flat they mostly seem to be objects annoyingly being pointed toward us. As I’ve never been a fan of the haunted house bit, I can’t say I find anything terribly funny here. The highlights include a strange shot of Shemp dressed as a bat, Moe’s odd mispronunciation of the term ‘mush head’ (“I’ll take Ma-SHED with me”…), and the name of the man who hires them (they’re detectives) to find his kidnapped daughter: George B. Bopper. (“Oh, a be-bopper!” exclaims Shemp, before degenerating into some very square jive talk). Actually the true highlight for me is the opening credit sequence, wherein Larry has been chosen to plunge into the audience before receding back again for the formal ‘group portrait’ that begins all Stooge films. 3-D was all the rage for about five minutes but the Stooges made one other film in the process, ‘Pardon My Backfire’. It’s around this period, alas, that the lights seem to have gone out for the team; the routines have worn thin, the violence is grating rather than inventive and all three men seem to have their eyes on the clock, wondering what time they can get the hell off the soundstage and get back to what’s really important. In Moe’s case he was apparently an enthusiastic gardener who delighted in growing his own vegetables. Larry, I’ve heard, was a race track junkie. Shemp is a bit of a mystery. He seems to have been a very kind, low-key character and he died shortly after seeing a prize fight, apparently one of his favorite pastimes. Did any of them like Halloween? Did any of them like ‘Spooks’? Do any of YOU like ‘Spooks’? The hell with it. I’m going for a walk…


Sign up for news & updates so you don't miss a thing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *