Timothy Humphrey Humphries was a wealthy eccentric, but now he’s dead. He leaves behind an old mansion called The Red House. The house is noted for being really creepy and not having electricity. He also leaves behind a Hades themed nightclub called “The Devil’s Inn” as well as six million dollars. The heirs must report to the house by midnight for the reading of the will. Anyone late will not be allowed to participate in the reading.
Assembled are Timothy’s goddaughter, Mercedes Benz Raddington (Alma Rosa Aguirre), her fiancé, Rory Baxter (Raul Martinez), the housekeeper, Diana O’Leary (Enriqueta Reza), Timothy’s fiancé, of thirty-two years, Amelia Fuchsia (Conchita Gentil Arcos), Timothy’s inept doctor, Hipocrates Pining (Armando Arriola), Timothy’s secretary, Peter Sultan (Manuel Donde), the manager of the Devil’s Inn, Mathew Silvertone (Jorge Reyes) and one of the waitresses at the inn, Angela Orchard (Guillermina Tellez Giron).
The lawyer, (Victor Alcocer) reads the will. In the first part of the will Mercedes gets the house and the inn. The remaining estate, the aforementioned six million dollars, goes to whoever finds it first. It is hidden in the house. Half of the six million must go to Mercedes but the rest is to be kept by the finder. Of course everyone must stay in the house for at least three days to inherit. The first two nights they must meditate and the third night is the treasure hunt.
That night someone tries to kill Mercedes. The next day Rory hires a detective to get to the bottom of things. He hires an idiot named Diogenes Hames (Antonio Espino) and his just as stupid sidekick Lester Pester (Armando Espinosa AKA Periquin).
“The Phantom in the Red House” AKA “El fantasma de la casa roja” was released in 1956 and was directed by Miguel M. Delgado. It is a Mexican comedy with mystery and horror elements. The names were, of course, Americanized for the K. Gordon Murray badly dubbed version of the film.
The movie is full of old dark house elements, including spooky shadows, creepy hands coming out of closets and fake eyes in portraits that follow you around the room. There is also the thunder and lightning outside as well as howling wolves. All this and singing too. Lots of singing.
As soon as Antonio Espino entered the picture the movie went from unfunny to downright tedious. There were a few moments where the movie was a little interesting. They were the moments when Espino wasn’t on screen. Alma Rosa Aguirre as Mercedes Benz is actually just as annoying. The ending has a minor twist to it. It’s similar to the plot of “Bring Me the Vampire” 1963 but not quite as confusing.