Reviewed by JONATHAN LEWIS:         

THE HOUSE ON SKULL MOUNTAIN. 20th Century Fox, 1974. Victor French, Janee Michelle, Jean Durand, Mike Evans, Xernona Clayton, Lloyd Nelson, Ella Woods. Director: Ron Honthaner.

   Let me speak true from the outset. In no manner can The House on Skull Mountain, a low budget production filmed in Georgia, be considered a “good movie.” In terms of acting, direction, and plot development, this 1970s B-film falls short. It wouldn’t be completely unfair to call it a clichéd mess of a horror movie. There’s voodoo, racial politics, snakes, a zombie, and a gathering of people to are forced to spend the night in seemingly haunted house. There’s even a dark and stormy night. You get the picture.

   And yet I watched to the very end. Mainly because it’s not all that often that you find a horror movie with a nearly all African-American cast. But mostly because, despite everything I just told you, the movie is so clichéd and so over the top that it ends up being a delightfully guilty pleasure.

   One even gets the sense that at least one actor, namely Mike Evans (Lionel on the 1970s sitcom The Jeffersons) was in on the joke. For the movie is indisputably silly. Example: no one in the movie seems to ever mention that the house is on a mountain with a giant skull carved into it. Granted, it’s just a cartoonist matte painting. But whatever. It’s Skull Mountain and it’s got a house built on the very top. And voodoo is all around. Because of course it is. Just listen for the bongo drums.