The Haunted Palace (House of Ghosts, 2012)
A group of rich socialites is having a dinner party with a special treat. A powerful medium has been invited to put on a show, by opening a door to the great beyond. The group is confronted by the ghosts of their pasts, the dead come back to judge them for their sins.
This is the first Mihmiverse film with monsters that are not atomic/toxic waste or aliens. And it is really effective. Mihm captures those early Castle horror films (he even introduces the film recommending the audience locate their “Fear Guard” which they should have been given upon entering the theater. The black and white really helps make the most of the shadows and creating an eerie atmosphere.
As with the other films, there are ties to the Mihmiverse (the mother of the veteran from Monster of Phantom Lake is a character). One character is a director of schlocky horror films and there are several jokes that reference Mihm’s own output.
I really enjoy the film, including the twist at the end. The recurring monster is an angel of death type of demon or ghost. Its face is unchanging, but with the large bloodshot eyes and sharp teeth, the horned visage is memorable. It is visually moody but still has a wink. Again, not in mockery, but of real love for the work of William Castle.