Hillbillys in a Haunted House
Bernard Woolner for Woolner Brothers
directed by Jean Yarbrough
starring Ferlin Husky, Joi Lansing, Don Bowman, John Carradine, Lon Chaney jr, Linda Ho, Basil Rathbone, Richard Webb, Molly Bee, Merle Haggard, Sonny James, Jim Kent, Marcella Wright, Larry Barton, Pat Patterson, Allen Jung, James Nusser, Jay Jasin, Marshall Wright, Virginia Lee, and as gorilla George Barrows
written by Duke Yelton, music by Hal Borne
Las Vegas Hillbillys
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On their way to the Nashville Jamboree, the musical trio the Las Vegas
Hillbillys - Woody (Ferlin Husky), Boots (Joi Lansing) and Jeepers (Don
Bowman) - stop at an old abandoned house where they decide to spend the
night. What they don't know of course is that in the cellar of the house,
a gang of foreign agents (John Caradine, Lon Chaney jr, Basil Rathbone,
Linda Ho) and their gorilla (George Barrows) have put up shop, and they
are trying to make everyone believe the house is actually haunted, to keep
them away - not that the Hillbillys care too much about that.
Soon though, the gorilla abducts Boots and brings her to his masters
for questioning - though it's not quite clear what they want to question
her about -, and the others are scared shitless by some artificial ghosts
and the like. But at a critical moment, US-agent Meadows (Richard Webb)
enters the scene and sorts everything out, and in the end, all the baddies
are apprehended while our heroes travel on to the Jamboree.
Surprisingly the film doesn't end here but features a good 10 minutes
from the Jamboree as well, having all 3 Hillbillys each perform a song as
well as several contemporary country acts ...
Oh boy, what a dull horror comedy. This one actually works neither as a
horror flick nor as a comedy, not even a single attempt is made to create
atmosphere while the comedy is so unfunny and badly timed that there is
not a single laugh in the whole film - as a matter of fact, director Jean
Yarbrough seems to be totally uninterested in what's going on on-screen.
And Lon Chaney jr, Basil Rathbone and John Carradine - three horror greats
who have all seen (much) better days - are completely wasted in this one,
neither of them has even one good scene. What's more, at best mediocre
country songs repeatedly interrupt/prolong the dull proceedings, and why
the extended Jamboree footage that makes no narrative sense was added at
the end remains at anybody's guess.
Better not watch it.