HILLBILLYS IN A HAUNTED HOUSE

Director: Jean Yarborough

Starring: Ferlin Husky, Joi Lansing, Don Bowman

Country and Western singers seek refuge from a storm in a haunted house.

Two Country and Western singers and their business manager (Husky, Lansing and Bowman) are on their way to a Nashville jamboree, but are forced to seek refuge from a storm in a cobweb-strewn haunted house, where they become involved in a communist plot to steal a secret rocket fuel formula. This quite bizarre piece of kitsch, a sequel to 1966ís Las Vegas Hillbillys, is an prototype Scooby Doo-type mystery, peppered with token spy elements designed to cash in on the lucrative Bond franchise, and, presumably, to further broaden its appeal. The 1967 filmís chief attraction is significant supporting roles for three icons of the horror genre, obviously down on their luck: John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr. and Basil Rathbone, (looking terribly dilapidated, in what is his last feature film). They play three ineffectual villains led by Confession of an Opium Eaterís Linda Ho.

The filmís wacky plot is entirely subordinate to the filmís main purpose, which is to showcase numerous tiresome songs by the leads. (At one point one the movie simply grinds to a halt so that one of the characters can watch other acts appearing on TV!) The last quarter of an hour of the film abandons the pretence, and is completely given over to songs. Judicious use of the fast forward button is inevitable unless youíre a devoted Country and Western fan!

The disc has been nicely mastered from a print with robust colour, solid blacks and good definition, but every once in a while thereís a patch of significant damage, and there are a few moments where the sound briefly vanishes. Itís hardly surprising, though, in a film this obscure and this old. The film is presented in full screen, and itís immediately obvious that itís cropped a little at the sides. The only extra on the disc is a montage of footage and trailers for other movies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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