“There’s somebody at the door.”
Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Vive Risto; Story by Ernest Gee; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on September 23, 1939.
October is that magical time of year where any mystery is believed to have a supernatural conclusion. To wit, mysterious sounds are being heard at an abandoned building and that means we have to get the police involved. ‘Pig’ might be a derogatory term for those in blue, but in this case, the kop is wearing black. He’ll solve this mystery, and he doesn’t need any “Porky Snacks” to boost his confidence.
The old house is really creepy. Lovely atmosphere shots help build the chills. It’s got bats, rattling shutters, wails and shrieks. That last thing can be explained by the radio inside. So someone is living here? Well, I wouldn’t use the L-word. If the tenet’s voice is any indication, I think this is taking place in the alternate print of “Lonesome Ghosts” in which Goofy didn’t make it out among the breathing.
This goofy ghost loves to scare because that’s just what ghosts do even if they don’t intend to. Whilst waiting for people to scare-ify, he likes to relax with a cigar. I’d tell him those are bad for the health, but I don’t think he has one. Besides, he bathes himself to get the stench out. No sense in scaring folks off before they even lay eyes on you. Officer Porky arrives on the scene, and the ghost lures him in. Here’s wishing you a sporting chance buddy, because my Porky worship tells me that he ain’t a scared of no ghosts.
The ghosts plan? He’s going to put some quacking frogs in shoes he’s tied together, to make it looks like they’re walking by themselves. Seems like a waste when you have a real ghost on the premises. (And are the frogs quacking so I can’t make any jokes about the ghost making them “croak”?) Porky doesn’t notice them, so they keep hopping forward because frogs like being crammed into shoes and would never try to hop out of the opening. The ghost opts to bang a serving platter over Porky’s head instead. (Sometimes we have to sacrifice originality for reliability.)
But the frogs come through for ghost boy, as they end up dragging a hat rack into a curtain, and making a decent specter of death in the process. I guess the pedestal I put Porky on must shatter, as he does indeed freak out upon seeing this thing. He wants out. The ghost decides now is the time to reveal himself and Porky is so petrified, he has to rip out the floorboard his feet refuse to move from. He bolts up the stairs, and unknowingly right into the arms of the ghost. Who has the audacity to mock him. (You made your point, dude. No need to be an a-hole.)
Time to leave! Legends say that ghosts won’t follow you out of the house they’re haunting, but those legends were started by lazy ghosts. This one has a work-ethic and is able to overtake Porky’s speeding car. Beware of hitchhiking ghosts! Porky isn’t one to pick up strangers though, and leaves the ghost with his exhaust. Which sadly means we end this fun Halloween treat with a blackface gag. (At least Rochester is a cool guy to reference? ???)
Favorite Part: The awful description the police chief gives for ghosts. “Those white things that go *evil laughter*.” He’s lucky Porky didn’t go arrest Dick Cheney.
Personal Rating: 3