House on Skull Mountain (1974)
Directed by Ron Honthaner

Starring Janee Michelle Jean Durand Mike Evans Victor French Xernona Clayton

A kind of 'blaxploitation' horror film without 'sploitation "House on Skull Mountain" made its way to VHS in the 1980s and finally wound up as a double feature with "The Mephisto Waltz" as a Midnite Movie release from Fox in 2007. It's way inferior to "Mephisto Waltz", although damn it looks good on DVD.

After opening credits that feature a candle burning atop a skull, you think you may be in for a film of lasting camp value, but it isn't long until you realize that it's just too bad a movie even for that. An elderly woman is dying and lives long enough to send out letters to four relatives that don't know one another, instructing them to head to teh "house on skull mountain" for her funeral. When they're bumped off one by one, it appears evil spirits or voodoo may be at work. It's all a PG-rated affair and pretty damn forgettable.

There's some very slight camp value, but all in all, the film is difficult to sit through, feeling like a reject episode of "Fantasy Island" or a made-for-TV movie from the '70s that never should have been made -- or re-released. Director Ron Honthaner never made another movie.


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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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