Ghost of the Needle

Low-key no-budgeter "Ghost of the Needle" strips the serial-killer formula of most customary hyperbole but neglects to substitute any special insight or suspense. Second feature for Brian and Laurence Avnet-Bradley (following not-dissimilar psychological horror "Freez'er") seems destined for equally low-key results as a DVD item.

With:
With: Brian Bradley, Cheri Christian, Leigh Hill, Greg Thompson, Kevin Bartolomucci.

Low-key no-budgeter “Ghost of the Needle” strips the serial-killer formula of most customary hyperbole but neglects to substitute any special insight or suspense. Second feature for Georgia-based team Brian and Laurence Avnet-Bradley (following not-dissimilar psychological horror “Freez’er”) seems destined for equally low-key results as a DVD item.

Aspiring lenser Jacob (Brian Bradley) specializes in landscapes, publicly — but privately he photographs people — or, rather, former people; he lures young women into the disused factory basement he uses as a studio, injects the surprised visitor with a lethal substance, snaps their picture, then vacuum-seals the body for storage. A taciturn young loner not obviously off his rocker, Jacob has kept this hobby secret for an unknown time. But various folk are getting a little too curious: the drunken father (Frank Warlick) he loathes, his pushy agent (Greg Thompson, in the liveliest perf here), a wealthy man’s wife (Cheri Christian), a private eye (Kevin Bartolomucci), etc. More bodies accrue as Jacob loses his grip, imagining his victims coming back to claim him. Protag is rather dull company, feature short on overall atmosphere as well as individual scares. Tech package is just fair.

Ghost of the Needle

Production: An Avenet Images production. Produced by Laurence Avenet-Bradley. Executive producer, Kendall H. Dreyer. Directed, written, edited by Brian Avenet-Bradley.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Laurence Avenet-Bradley; music, Mark Lee Fletcher. Reviewed at San Francisco Horror Festival, March 20, 2004. Running time: 84 MIN.

With: With: Brian Bradley, Cheri Christian, Leigh Hill, Greg Thompson, Kevin Bartolomucci.

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