Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ghost Dad (1990)

Seen: On our projector set-up, streamed from netflix instant.

Well, I have this weird thing where I've never watched a full episode of The Cosby Show, and I just haven't seen Bill Cosby in much in general. No reason for it, just something I was never exposed to as a kid and never sought out as an adult. Sorry. So it was with little expectation that I sat down with some friends to watch Ghost Dad, mostly on a whim. Cosby stars as Elliot Hopper, a hardworking single father struggling to support his family while making a name for himself in his unspecified business. A few days before a big deal that would basically solve his money problems, Hopper is killed in a car accident, but returns almost immediately as a ghost. He discovers he is only visible in the dark, and fights to fulfill his duties at work without anyone realizing he's dead, while finding new ways to help out his kids with his ghostly powers (they are aware of his condition). But in a few days he'll be forced to move on to the afterlife, a reality he's trying to ignore.

With a tone that's all over the place, a script laden with holes and inconsistencies, and buckets of cheese, Ghost Dad seems to be aiming for "so bad it's good" family fare. Mostly, it's just WEIRD. This movie cannot figure itself out, and in turn I could not figure out this movie. It's kinda silly, kinda morbid, kinda dramatic, kinda fantastical, but then kinda none of those things. I legitimately enjoyed the opening segments when Hopper is still alive- he goes about his daily routine narrowly avoiding various deadly situations, and it's a bit Final Destination-y. Once he actually becomes Ghost Dad everything is just so stupid, it's barely entertaining. There are business meetings and boring subplots and not very much logic. I liked some things- mainly the film's clear stance against rich white businessmen, who are all assholes, and the inclusion of subtle black pride elements into a mainstream family comedy. The early 90's fashion sported by the gorgeous Kimberly Russell is great, and the appearance of Dana Ashbrook (Bobby on Twin Peaks!) as a lusty teen jerk was pretty silly, because Bill Cosby HATED him so much!

Not the worst movie ever made, but weirder than I expected, and still not very good. But at least now I've seen something with Bill Cosby? Eh?


Pair This Movie With: The cheesy humor and ghostly narrative reminded me of Heart and Souls, one of my favorite RDJ movies.


  1. I remember watching this movie as a kid. I think I liked it...and then I saw it again as an adult. Oh boy.

    1. Haha yeah if I had seen it as a kid I'm sure I would have liked it more! But I couldn't help but be like "wtf?!" the whole time seeing it now.

  2. Don't know where to put this so I'll just put it here. Great blog! I haven't met a chick before with a movie blog! And it's good to see a girl NOT reviewing tons of chick flicks ;) Will definitely keep an eye on your blog! ;)