Let's set the record straight! In my humble opinion, there probably hasn't been a great voodoo movie made since "The Dead One" in 1961!
That being said, "House On Skull Mountain" doesn't stand a ghost of a chance! One thing though, I don't know how much money they spent on this awesome opening shot, but they got their money's worth, and it sure as Hell is my new wallpaper!
I love this roadside attraction shot! Skull Mountain is a pretty swell place, "Having A Great Time, Wish You Were Here!"
And now for a word from one of my best friends, Squeaky Doorknocker! "Velcome!"
- Voodoo Stuff, circa 1974 -
This is Mike Evans as Phillippe Wilette, I'll introduce him first, because he's the first to go! Mike made quite a name for himself on TV after he got this film out of his system. Not only did he have the forever recurring role as Lionel Jefferson in both "All In The Family" and "The Jeffersons," he was also the creator and writer of the TV series "Good Times!" Needless to say, his smart aleck persona doesn't work that well outside of the TV sitcom! Michael passed away back in 2006 at 57!
The family's motto is the same as that of the New York Police Department, "Faithful Until Death!"
There was a lot of thinking going on in this film, and here's an interesting tip of the hat to famed American illustrator Charles Allan Gilbert and his artwork entitled "All Is Vanity!"
Here's the whole basic cast left to right, Lloyd Nelson as The Sheriff, who came up through the Jerry Warren Skool of film making, with roles in "The Incredible Petrified World," "Creature Of The Walking Dead," and "The Wide World Of Batwoman! Victor (Highway To Heaven) French as cousin Dr. Andrew Cunningham, the only white guy in the family, Janee (Scream, Blacula, Scream) Michelle as cousin Lorena Christophe, Xernona (Trumpet Awards) Clayton as cousin Harriet Johnson, Jean (Voodoo) Durand as the evil Thomas Pettione, and Ella Woods as the housekeeper Louette in her only role ever!
There is plenty of voodoo drum music in "House On Skull Mountain," and I'm a big fan of percussion, but some of these scenes go on forever, then right in the middle they throw in a love song called "Love Has Gently Come This Morning" when the only two cousins left are out on the town! While this might have been the only movie Etta Woods was in, she was also the one singing this song!
The fare is $5.00, where do you want to go Lady? Hell??
The balance of the music was created by the extraordinaire Jerrold Immel in his first outing, who is responsible for among other achievements, composing the theme to some timeless TV classics like "Dallas," "Knot's Landing," and "Walker, Texas Ranger!"
I thought Louette was on the dark side, but Thomas turned the tide against her! Thomas had some real issues that are unclear, except that he was just inherently evil!
The locals are so caught up in the voodoo that they don't even notice Dr. Cunningham sneaking into the scene!
Bring on the machete, one of the great equalizers of the world, but it isn't enough!
What a banquet of beauties, and except for Janee Michelle in the middle, I don't even know their names!
At the beginning of the movie, in her only role ever, Mary J. Todd McKenzie as Voodoo Queen and Grandma Pauline Christophe dies, and she had sent out letters for all the cousins to come to Skull Mountain! You never got the feeling that she had summoned them to be murdered, so when Thomas brings her back from the grave........
.....Well, let's just say this is the last finger in the world you'd want to pull!!!
Evil Thomas is blown out a second story window, and crashes to death down on the hard cold concrete veranda!
Grandma takes the taxi back to Hell, and the happy cousins couple have a lot of soul searching to do!! A Lot!!!