The House on Skull Mountain

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The House on Skull Mountain
The House on Skull Mountain.jpg
Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Ron Honthaner
Starring Jo Marie
Mary J. Todd McKenzie
Music by Jerrold Immel
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) 1974
Running time 89 min.
Country U.S.A.
Language English

The House on Skull Mountain is a 1974 horror film directed by Ron Honthaner.

Synopsis[edit]

After Pauline Christophe, the sole heir for the house/mansion on Skull Mountain dies, four of her family members are called to hear her will. Upon arrival, each of the guests is stalked by a skeleton in a robe, and begin to meet their deaths. Now, it's up to the few left to figure out who or what is killing them off, and how they can escape from The House on Skull Mountain.

Plot summary[edit]

The film opens to people playing the bongo drums, and then to a house on Skull Mountain, where Pauline Christophe, an old woman on her death bed. A priest is blessing her, as her butler, Thomas and his wife Louette, stand by. Pauline then gives the priest four letters, and tells him not to let anyone read them, and mail them right away, she then pulls out a box filled with voodoo dolls and dies. Flash to a hand lighting a black candle on top of a skull, as the credits fill the screen.

It is now a couple days after Pauline's death, and Lorena, one of Pauline's great-grand children, is driving along the highway up the hill towards Skull Mountain. Phillipe, another great-grand child, is also driving to the house, and begins to annoy Lorena by honking at her, and eventually rear-ending her. She then pulls over, as he drives by, and sees the creepy house she is going to, and starts to have second thoughts. Phillipe continues on, only to see a skull appear and disappear in front of his car, after doing this a couple times, Phillipe almost crashes off the cliff and pulls over, only to have an irritated Lorena drive by him. Lorena arrives at the house and meets the priest, while Louette stands by the gravediggers who are about to bury Pauline, since her funeral ended an hour ago. As she stands watching, a raven drops the voodoo symbol of death, a string of beads tied at the end with feathers, onto the coffin in the ground. As Louette watches in horror, the beads start to bleed and then burst into flame, burning through the coffin, and causing thick smoke to fill the air, and Louette hurriedly tells the gravediggers to bury the coffin. Lorena finds out that Pauline has died, and has entitled her as part of the will, which wasn't mentioned in the letter. Thomas takes her things inside, and Lorena finds that Phillipe has arrived and is her cousin, and confronts him. She finds out that he is a horny, annoying twenty year old, and befriends him, despite his flaws and personality. Louette tells Thomas what she saw, and that she is scared, and Thomas just tells her it's her imagination, as she goes to take Lorena and Phillipe to their rooms. While doing this, Phillipe discovers Pauline's old elevator, and finds that it doesn't work. Meanwhile, another relative, Harriet Johnson is aboard a plane heading to the town, and sees a figure in a hooded robe, staring at her, and screams only to have it disappear and the other passengers give her weird looks. She finally arrives at the house, during the night, while it's storming. She is introduced to everyone, who are about to eat supper. The will reader arrives, but finds that he can't read it, for not all four of them are there, and says he will be back in one week. The three relatives then begin to discuss with Thomas why they're the only ones there. Thomas tells them that they never met Pauline, so she wanted them to come, and then describes why there is voodoo related material around the house, as Louette watches from behind a door.

They are interrupted by a white, drenched man: the fourth relative, Dr. Andrew Cunninham. They introduce themselves, and Phillipe begins to call him out for being the only white relative, before they go and eat supper. After, Philippe begins to look around, and is scared by Thomas who is walking around the house. Philippe tells him he doesn't believe in voodoo and picks up a feathered bead, throwing it in Thomas' face, then going to get drunk. Lorena is inside her room, when a skull appears in her mirror, then her windows spring open and a robed skeleton appears, making her scream and run out into the hallway. She meets a drunken Philippe, who tries to kiss her, only to be sent away by Andrew, who comes to Lorena's rescue. Philippe then walks downstairs, and sees that the elevator door is open, and starts to go towards it, led by an imaginary Lorena. Thomas then begins a voodoo ritual with a needle and voodoo doll: as Philippe walks into the shaft, Thomas plunges the needle into the doll, and Philippe plunges to his death down the empty elevator shaft. Everyone is drawn to his screams, and Andrew goes down and finds Philippe's dead body along with the feathered beads. The sheriff is called and takes the body to perform an autopsy to see if alcohol was the factor or not, and forces the others to stay till he can figure it out. The next morning, Lorena and Andrew decide to go to into town to get away for a while, and begin to fall in love, while Harriet stays back at the house to help Thomas and Louette. After purchasing some plants, Andrew and Lorena are bombarded with a storm, and go back to the house. Harriet meanwhile, finds a creepy looking plant in the dining room, and discovers a snake inside, and then watches as it disappears! She quickly goes to her room, only to see the lock on Pauline's door fall off. She goes into the room and sees a voodoo shrine, and as she's looking at it, the rocking chair begins to move. She goes over to see who's there, and is bit on the arms by the rattlesnake sitting in the chair, falling unconscious. Andrew and Lorena find her and quickly take her to the doctor, while Thomas starts his ritual again, this time pulling out another voodoo doll. While Andrew is driving Lorena and Harriet, Harriet awakens and sees the hooded figure again. She starts to scream, only to die after Thomas stabs the needle into the second doll. Andrew is pulled over by the police who discover she is dead, and have them drive to the hospital, where they drop Harriet's body off. Then Andrew informs Lorena on the feathered beads he found at Philippe and Harriet's death, and decides to go back to figure it all out, taking a frightened Lorena with him.

Andrew begins to read one of the many voodoo books in the house, while keeping watch of Lorena who is sleeping. Andrew begins to fall asleep, as Thomas once again performs a ritual, in which a snake slithers all over Lorena's sleeping body, until she awakens and faints. Then she is put into a trance, and gets up and leaves the room. Andrew awakens to discover Lorena is gone, and begins to look for her. He finds Louette downstairs, who leads him to the place where Lorena had gone: a passageway at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Andrew goes in and discovers Louette is gone, and enters a room filled with a bunch of people dancing to a voodoo ritual, all around Louette, who is now tied to a pole in the center of the room. During the ritual, a male dancer begins to dance around with a snake, and Thomas comes out with a knife slashing at Louette who is begging him to snap out of it. Then the male dancer starts to slash at Louette, and Thomas and the dancer take turns scaring her by slashing close to her face and stomach. Then Thomas takes the knife and stabs Louette in the chest, killing her. He then starts to dance and pulls Lorena out from the crowd to join in the ritual, only to have Andrew come in with a machete. Lorena starts to snap out of it, as Thomas magically makes a machete appear in his hand. The two men fight, while the dancer attacks Andrew. After knocking the dancer out, Andrew has his machete knocked out of his hands. As Thomas swings his machete at him, Andrew grabs the skull on a stick that the dancers were all worshiping, using it as a defense. Thomas splits it, and everyone screams. All the lights go out and Andrew finds he is the only one in the room and quickly goes to find Lorena, who is in Pauline's bed upstairs. All of sudden Thomas comes in, telling Andrew that Lorena is his and will do anything he wants, and makes her wake up. Andrew stops her from going closer to Thomas, and shakes her out of the trance, only to have Thomas start to perform a voodoo ritual to get Pauline to come out of her grave. Pauline's grave out back then starts on fire, and she rises from the dead, coming into the house and into the room to kill Andrew. However, Andrew read the voodoo book, and he puts a reversal spell on Pauline who then comes after Thomas. Thomas accidentally backs up, and falls through the window, crashing to his death on the fence. Pauline goes back to her grave, ending all the horror in the house. The next morning, Andrew asks Lorena to stay with him in the house, now that he's inherited it. She tells him she has to go, and he takes her to her car.

Primary cast[edit]

External links[edit]