Search - The House on Skull Mountain / The Mephisto Waltz on DVD

The House on Skull Mountain / The Mephisto Waltz
The House on Skull Mountain / The Mephisto Waltz
Actors: Alan Alda, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbara Parkins, Bradford Dillman, William Windom
Directors: Paul Wendkos, Ron Honthaner
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
PG     2007     3hr 13min

Disc 1:House on Skull Mountain (1974) Disc 2:Mephisto Waltz (1971)


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Movie Details

Actors: Alan Alda, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbara Parkins, Bradford Dillman, William Windom
Directors: Paul Wendkos, Ron Honthaner
Creators: Albert Shepard, Arthur Fellows, Joe R. Hartsfield, Ben Maddow, Fred Mustard Stewart, Mildred Pares
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/11/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 3hr 13min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Mephisto Waltz ...
H. Frick | Boulder, CO United States | 10/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"... is also the title of the purportedly most difficult piece every written for piano, by Franz Liszt. You get to hear parts of that piece quite a bit in this horror film. The aging grandest piano player alive, Duncan Eli (played magnificently by German master actor Curd Juergens), is quite obsessed with this piano solo. While giving a young music journalist Myles Clarkson (Alan Alda) an interview, he recognizes Myles' large hands, and starts to invite him and his beautiful wife (Jacqueline Bisset) into his circle of friends. Of course, he has ulterior motives to do that ...

It is amazing how this film from 1971 can still conjure up a good deal of chills. A demonic soundtrack and moody camera settings together with great acting are all that it takes. No gore is required, and when in one of the most dramatic scenes the devil himself appears, actually showing him would only have detracted from the suspense already built up, and no image of him would have been able to scare you more than the look on the face of Bisset summoning the Master.

Great acting from Juergens, two even in today's world stunning actresses (Bisset and Barbara Parkins as Duncan's daughter and then some), fantastic music and soundtrack, a great story with a few unexpected twists: a classic but still relevant after all these years!
Buy it for "The Mephisto Waltz"...
Redmond Geek | 11/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"... not for "House on Skull Mountain."

Mephisto Waltz is an absolute gem of a horror movie -- one which has been unavailable for far too long. It's wonderful that Fox finally released it on DVD.

It's companion piece on this two-DVD set is hardly worth watching. It's like some weird merging of "The Old Dark House" and "Foxy Brown" (or maybe "Blackula"). I have a real appetite for cheesy horror flix, and even I came away from "Skull" feeling like I'd just wasted a couple hours of my life.

So, I highly recommend this set; but if you buy it, recognize that what you're getting is one DVD and one plastic disk you can use for a drink coaster.

2 Fun '70's Horror Flicks - Midnite Movies Delivers Again!
Forrest C. Hopson | Burnsville, NC USA | 04/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The House On Skull Mountain (1974) **

A dying woman lies in her bed in a large mansion as a Priest reads her "the last rites." She asks her servant to bring her "the letters" and then gives them to the Priest requesting that he send them out. After the Priest leaves her room with the servant, she opens a wooden box and takes out what appears to be a "voodoo doll" and then she dies! The "letters" are invitations to her last surviving family members to come to the house. This opening scene hints at better things to come, however, much of what proceeds is rather disappointing.

The plot involves the classic gathering-of-the-relatives to read-the-will which became standard in many horror/suspense films. A nice element to the story and with a blend in voodoo and blaxploitation themes, and even hints at an inter-racial romance, "The House On Skull Mountain" is unique in its various themes. However, none of these elements really work out and the film comes off as being a hodgepodge. Mike Evans' (Lionel on the Jeffersons) role as a "playboy type" character comes off more as annoying than actually being entertaining or being the "comic relief" of the picture, which is how I saw his character trying to be. Sorely miscast is Victor French (Mr. Edwards on "Little House On The Prairie) as a "white" descendent of the black heiress. His "almost" romance with lovely Janee Michele comes off as more of a "friendship" than anything resembling a possible "romance." There's even a "love song" sequence in the film and while it's playing we see Victor and Janee spending their day together in town visiting shops and holding hands. This scene is completely out of place in a movie that is supposed to be a "horror" film!

There are also some "did you see that!" things that occur in the film, too. One of them is during the old lady's funeral as you see two "white" grave digger guys standing with shovels a few feet from the grave while the Priest is reading his prayers. Then after a spooky occurrence happens and one of the servants says- "Cover her up!" 2 "black" guys start shoveling the dirt onto the casket! And your thinking- "I thought those 2 grave digger guys were "white?" Whoever directed this scene was either drunk, color blind, or both! I enjoyed the ending of the picture the most with the servant using voodoo to summon the dead! The film has a made-for-TV look about it due to the fact that there are really only about 10 or so people in the cast and not much in the way of special effects. "The House On Skull Mountain" is not by no means a "classic" in the way of "The Haunting" or many of the gothic" Hammer Horror" films are, and even with it's flaws and hokey plot it's still an enjoyable watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The DVD's picture quality is excellent and the audio superb! The movie is on its own disc with a cool full color picture illustration of the movie's theatrical poster on it.

The Mephisto Waltz (1971) *****

Stylish and intriguing, "The Mephisto Waltz" is a theatrical entry in the satanic genre which the late 1960's and early 1970's were chock full of and it's sad that we do not see such films today. Alan Alda (TV's M*A*S*H) plays Myles Clarkson, a classical music reviewer, who is granted a rare review by piano genius, Duncan Eli (brilliantly played by Curt Jurgens) who after meeting Myles, and examining his hands, decides he has found the perfect specimen for a devious occult experiment! Unknown to Myles, and his gorgeous wife, Paula (Jacqueline Bisset) the guy is a Satanist, who arranges to have their souls switch places at his death, so that he can be young again and continue to play piano (thus needing a skilled piano player like Alda to switch bodies with) and forever be with his young lover, Roxanne (beautiful Barbara Parkins).

"The Mephisto Waltz" is incredibly entertaining and contains several elements of intrigue and has an incredible "twist" ending! One of the most chilling scenes in the movie is when Paula decides to win Myles back, even if it means summoning the devil!! Paula uses a magic book and draws the infamous pagan sign of "the pentagram" on the floor and summons the devil to "make a deal!" And it isn't TV's "Let's Make A Deal's" Monte Hall that shows up, but old Slew foot himself! You hear footsteps coming down the hall and Paula's on the floor looking up as the door slowly opens...the look on Paula's face as she looks up to greet her visitor is nothing short of chilling!! In the same league as "Rosemary's Baby," "The Stepford Wives," and practically any of the `70's horror made-for-TV movies, "The Mephisto Waltz" is an enjoyable watch and one that you will want to see again!

The DVD's picture quality is excellent and the audio superb! The movie is on its own disc with a cool full color picture illustration of the movie's theatrical poster on it. I wish ALL of the MGM Midnite Movies were released like this, instead of the "two sided flip over" discs!

Fox Does Great Job On Midnite Movies Line!
Jackie L. Holstein | MPLS, MN | 09/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is awesome 20th Century Fox is doing a lot of new Midnite Movies titles and this one including all the others Double features released Sept 11 07 are TWO DISC SETS!!!! They are not flipper discs one movie one side the other movie on the other side! These are great. It is nice to see great quality on these set. and it is great to see The Mephisto Waltz released on DVD! It features an amazing Jerry Goldsmith score."