‘Thir13en Ghosts’ was a semi-remake of the original ’13 Ghosts’ from 1960.
When Cyrus Kriticos, a very rich collector of unique things dies, he leaves it all to his nephew and his family. All including his house, his fortune, and his malicious collection of ghosts!
This movie was a very poorly received haunted house chiller that was the second feature from Dark Castle Entertainment, a film company dedicated to remaking the cheesy horror genre pictures of William Castle.
I know it wasn’t great but this movie is one of my guilty pleasures. I loved the amazingly intricate backstories, the black zodiac, and the Basileus’s Machine that was meant to open the Ocularis Infernum.
The costumes were very detailed and the art work in the arcanum was amazing. I’m still looking for the pages of the arcanum, but in the process I found the concept art for the character concepts by Derek Thompson. (Maybe I’ll ask him if he can post the pages)
His notes on the subject:
I started ‘Thirteen Ghosts’ almost immedietly after finishing ‘Unbreakable’. Steve Beck, who I’d known from ILM commercials, approached me to do ghost designs. He wanted key-concept drawings to give to the makeup FX guys at KNB. It was an easygoing process with Steve, as we’d worked together before. He’d stop by Maverick Studios with feedback and enthusiasm, and we knocked out the designs without too much struggle. Later, he asked me to produce some artwork to be featured in the film. In an ancient tome, the ghosts are seen as antiquated drawings. I did a completely new design pass on each of the ghosts, and tried all the while to channel Da Vinci, Franklin Booth, Berni Wrightson and the journals of Pretorius I’d drawn for ‘Frankenstein’ (R.I.P.).
After the film was unleashed upon the public, Warner Bros. contacted me about producing more drawings for the DVD. Each of the ghosts has an origin story featured. I created 70 new illustrations be cut together with old photos, graphics, and the voice of F. Murray Abraham.
So here are the concepts for 11 of the ghosts. (Click to enlarge)