IN A HAUNTED HOUSE
Husky, Joi Lansing, Don Bowman
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.
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.