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(aka "The Glass Cage" )

 

directed by Michael A. DeGaetano
USA 1977

 

Apache woman Abanaki discovers that a French priest and a Union officer are stealing gold and they accuse her of being a witch. She is sent into the desert to die of exposure and the gold is never found. One hundred years later, English actress Jennifer Baines (Ann Michelle, VIRGIN WITCH) is on her way back to Hollywood after a visit home and her car breaks down at the Apacheland Movie Ranch, run by Michelle (Virginia Mayo, WHITE HEAT) - hysterically blind since a supernaturally-induced car accident that killed her husband - her sons Patrick (Jim Negele, FRATERNITY ROW) and Russ (Brad Rearden, SILENT SCREAM), and gruff caretaker Andrew (Aldo Ray, RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP). While her car is being fixed in Phoenix, Jennifer is invited to stay at the ranch. The same day she arrives, a telephone booth is installed in the nearby cemetery. Patrick decides to commit his mother to a sanitarium and take his younger brother with him to Milwaukee. This means shutting down the ranch, but Andrew has been searching for the gold. After a phone call in the mysterious booth from Abanaki, he consults Rosarita, an old witch, who tells him that Abanaki has been reincarnated in Jennifer and that he must kill her if he wants the gold she protects. While Patrick goes into town, Andrew abducts Jennifer and plans to kill her. "In 1865, Abanaki, an Indian woman was sent to the desert to die. Legend says that her spirit roamed the mountains for 100 years and that she reincarnated in the body of a young girl named Jennifer Baines to protect the secret for which she died. Some say it was madness. Others say it was reincarnation." So says the opening text screen, but about half of that never happens in the film. Just in case you forgot this bit after the badly-acted pre-credits flashback, Billy Vera's awful theme song "Indian Woman" relays this all to you again (only it's stretched out over 3 1/2 minutes of credits) and then later Patrick tells Jennifer the legend. Reportedly a large chunk of footage was ruined by a fault in the camera (the person in Hollywood in charge of checking the rushes did so on a Moviola screen rather than a projection screen and did not see the fault) necessitating reshoots and trimming of scenes, but what remains is deadly dull. That said, the loss of supposedly important plot-related scenes does not excuse the poor acting - particularly Mayo and Ray, who was known to imbibe heavily on several of the later career exploitation jobs - and muddled plot (I get the love triangle subplot between Andrew, Michelle, and her dead husband and its relation to the plot, but it might take a few more viewings than some first time watchers are willing to give it for some of this information to get across). Other than some horrid vocals, Lor Crane's score only otherwise stands out during Andrew's visit to the Indian witch. Prolific TV cameraman William Hine's cinematography features some beautiful landscape shots, but the night scenes (and day-for-night) scenes are impenetrably dark and some attractive shots do not make up for long stretches of nothingness (save for the sight of former starlet Virginia Mayo getting groped by a muscular blond guy intercut with Virginia Mayo getting groped by Ray, who really should have waxed his back before the shoot).

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release:

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DVD Review: Code Red Releasing (Maria's B-Movie Mayhem) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Code Red Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:21:45
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.43 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Option to watch with or without Maria intro and closing segments
• Interview with actor Jim Negele (16:9; 10:15)
• Maria's Fantasy Music Video (16:9; 5:33)
• Trailers for LOVE ME DEADLY, CURIOUS CASE OF THE CAMPUS CORPSE, SCREAM, BLOOD MANIA, THE HEARSE,
• I'M GOING TO GET YOU ELLIOT BOY, THE BABYSITTER, and THE BLACK GESTAPO

DVD Release Date: September 20th, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

HAUNTED has been given a high bitrate, progressive, anamorphic, dual-layer presentation. It goes without saying that it improves over the early eighties VCII cassette. The night scenes are still impenetrable, but that's down to the original cinematography. The grain looks natural and there is no evidence of edge enhancement.

The mono audio is in good condition (the better to enjoy the ear-puncturing theme song "Indian Woman" which is also heard in its entirety on the main menu screen) revealing some subtle touches in the mostly misguided music score. Actor Jim Negele provides a short video interview in which he describes his debut role as an unrewarding learning experience. One of Code Red's new line of "Maria's B-Movie Mayhem" titles, the disc offers the option of watching the film with or without Elvira-esque intro and closing remarks by WWE wrester/singer Maria Kanellis (Kanellis' music video "Fantasy" - which also scores her intro credits - is provided as an extra). Trailers for other Code Red trailers (seemingly titles that will be released in the "Maria" line) round out the extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menu
 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Code Red Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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