Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Witches' Mountain (1972)

A woman returns home to find her cat murdered.  She is understandably upset.  A young girl appears and demands they search for her pet, which is afraid the cat.  As they search, the girl mentions the woman's name (Carla) and also reveals mentions that she was the one who killed the cat.  Eventually they find the pet - a snake - in the garage.

At which point Carla sets the garage, the snake, and the kid on fire.

Roll opening credits.

We next meet Mario, a photojournalist, as he returns home from a long assignment to find Carla waiting for him.  To say that he's not pleased to see her would be understating things: he clearly wants nothing to do with her, to the point of refusing the offer of a plane ticket to Brazil in her company.  Instead he phones his editor and says he will take an assignment anywhere in the world.

Soon after arriving for his new assignment, Mario meets an attractive young writer named Delia.  And by "meets", I mean "takes photos of her while she's changing her swimming costume".  Seemingly unperturbed by this rather intrusive behaviour, Delia agrees to Mario's suggestion that she accompany him on his journey up into the mountains.

And then we get sixty minutes of them puttering around while nominally "spooky" things occasionally happen.  Mario hears loud, chant-like music.  Delia goes sleep walking.  There are photos on Mario's camera that he never took.  Oooooooooooh.

Frankly, it's all rather dull stuff, and you'll probably be very glad when the witches from the title turn up to do ... well, whatever it is they are planning to do.  The movie doesn't bother to explain little details like that.

You may notice that none of the last three paragraphs mention Carla the Child Murderer.  That's because she effectively doesn't feature.  She's revealed to be one of the witches right at the end, but how and why and what the opening scene was all about are also things the film doesn't bother to explain.


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