“The Witches Mountain” (1972)
Studio: Azor Films
Starring: Cihangir Gaffari, Patty Shepard, Mónica Randall
Directed by: Raúl Artigot
Running Time: 80 min.
Synopsis: A photographer and his lady friend go up to these mountains to take pictures. The mountains may be inhabited by witches.
I use to read a book called Video Movie Guide back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, which put out annual editions of its book that rated movies. It would go from five stars to a turkey. For a really bad movie instead of no stars it would get a big fat turkey. That is what The Witches Mountain gets, a turkey. It was a horrible film that is so bad that I want the eighty minutes of my life back that I spent watching this movie. Shall we begin with this godawful review of this terrible movie.
The Witches Mountain or El Monte de las brujas (its Spanish title) starts off with a woman returning home to find out that her daughter has killed her cat because it frightened her pet snake. The woman then sets fire to her daughter. Well, that is what it looks like. It shows the woman turning a nod in the garage and then flames hit the screen and the title comes up. That is all we see of the daughter and they do not mention her again. As it starts off it looks as if the daughter is evil and the story would be about her, but that is not the case.
The movie then jumps to the woman visiting an old boyfriend, Mario, who is a photographer for the local newspaper. He is also sporting a 70’s porn mustache. She asks him to run away with her to Brazil, but he refuses and opts to go on a photography assignment, which is to photograph some mountains. He ends up picking up a girl, Deila, who he meets by spying on her as she sunbathes topless (sorry guys, they don’t show any skin) and takes a few pictures of her too. Deila does not seem to mind and he asks her to go with him to the mountains. And what does she do? She goes with him? Sure, just go up to some creepy mountaintop with a guy who is a total stranger and was just photographing you while you were topless. They escape to the mountains and strange things start to happen when they come across a village that use to belong to witches, or are they still there?
The concept of the film my look good on paper, but the film is just plain bad. For the most part it is very boring and nothing really happens in the film until the end. Most of the film has the couple driving around and Mario taking pictures. Some scenes have either Deila lost somewhere and Mario looking for her or Mario lost somewhere and Deila looking for him. The funny thing is that every time Mario wants to look for something he tells Deila to wait in the car, but she always refuses and goes with him and still they lose each other. There is even a scene where someone steals their car when they are in the middle of nowhere. The sad thing is this is the only exciting thing that happens in the film.
The film does have a creepy setting and there is a scene where Mario is taking pictures of this old village and once he takes a picture we see a flash frame of what use to be there, which were a group of witches. Although these parts are all right it still does not save this film at all. The actors themselves are just as boring as the story. There is even a creepy innkeeper that is actually more annoying than creepy. He cannot hear well and Mario always has to shout when he talks to him. It starts to become a bad comedy skit if you ask me.
So, if you happen to come across The Witches Mountain, just don’t bother with it. It is not even worth a look. It must be in public domain because it was in one of those fifty movies box set of public domain films. I can see why it is in public domain, no one would want to own the copyright on this movie. It was just a really terrible movie that they shouldn’t have wasted film on.