Friday, May 16, 2014

#1,369. House on Bare Mountain (1962)

Directed By: R.L. Frost

Starring: Bob Cresse, Laine Carlin, Leticia Cooper

Tag line: "See Frankenstein do the twist with Miss Hollywood!"

Trivia: In France, this film was released as Erotic Vampire

For those who’ve been searching for a movie that combines classic monsters (a la Dracula, The Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s Monster) with nude women, look no further: 1962’s House on Bare Mountain fits the bill to a “T”.

Granny Good (Bob Cresse, in drag) is the proprietor of GGSFG, otherwise known as “Granny Good’s School for Girls”, a facility of higher learning that teaches everything from physical exercise to studying the dictionary. Yet the school itself is only a front for Granny’s real business: illegal moonshine, which, with the help of her employee / werewolf, Krakow (Hugh Cannon), she manufactures in the facility’s basement. Little does Granny know that the police are on to her, and have sent one of their own, the voluptuous Prudence (Laura Eden), to work undercover, posing as the school’s newest student so she can gather enough evidence to put Granny Good away for… well… good! Things finally come to a head on the night of the costume ball, with Granny doing everything she can to get out of town before the cops throw her in jail.

In case the above synopsis didn’t clue you in, House on Bare Mountain is played 100% for laughs, and surprisingly, there are some to be had (an early sequence featuring Granny and a makeshift intercom made me chuckle). Though blatantly ripping off Jonathan Winters’ Maude Frickert character, Bob Cresse does a decent job as Granny Good, delivering plenty of one-liners as the camera focuses its attention elsewhere; in one scene, we watch Sally (Ann Perry) lathering herself up in the shower, at which point Granny, acting as narrator, says “Sally’s mind was so clean, it was bleached, just like her hair”. Throughout the course of House on Bare Mountain, we spend a lot of time in the shower, as well as the girl’s rooms, watching as they “undress” for bed. We even sit in on the morning calisthenics, complete with jumping ropes and beach balls, which the girls undergo on a daily basis (because it’s so hot out, they usually shed their T-shirts before they start). None of the dozen or so young ladies enrolled at Granny’s school stays dressed for very long, and director Frost lets his camera linger over their bouncing breasts and bare asses (in some instances, he doesn’t even bother showing their face).

While the nudity is ample, the film’s so-called “monsters” consist of Krakow the werewolf (who only leaves the basement to howl at the moon), and two guys at the costume ball, dressed as Dracula (Jeffrey Smithers) and Frankenstein’s Monster (Warren Ames), neither of whom interacts much with the girls (though both find time to spike the punch). But even if House on Bare Mountain comes up short in the creature department, trust me when I tell you… there’s still plenty to see!

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