The Witches Mountain
1 Blu-ray disc
Label: Mondo Macabro
Preorder: 5/19/23 Release: 6/13/23
Catalogue #: MDO258
86 minutes in Spanish and English, with English subtitles
MPAA Rating: NR
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.39:1
DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
Region code: All
Production year: 1973 in Spain
Director: Raúl Artigot
Cast: John (Cihangir) Gaffari, Patty Shepard, Victor Israel, Monica Randall, Ana Farra
Until now THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN has been a difficult film to see in anything approaching the way its makers intended. For complicated reasons, fully explored in the extras on the disc, the film was banned in Spain. This led to a kind of urban legend that it was a violent and misogynistic film full of scenes of sex and depravity. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN is one of the most unique films of the 1970s Spanish horror boom. It’s atmospheric, mystical and elusive – a film that lingers in your mind long after you’ve seen it.
Photo journalist Mario has just broken up with his girlfriend, Monica. To get away from it all he accepts a job that will take him off to the distant and isolated mountains of Asturias, in northern Spain. On the way he meets a beautiful writer, Delia, played by horror legend Patty Shepard. After a rocky start their relationship develops and she decides to accompany him on his journey.
They spend the night in a strange inn, where Delia is convinced she was being watched by a mysterious cloaked figure that appeared outside her first floor window. The next day, while stopping to take some photos, Mario’s jeep is stolen. Setting off on foot they find the jeep abandoned near a deserted village high in the misty mountains. The couple are offered accommodation in a nearby cottage. From the start things get very strange. Mario disappears during the night and when he returns and develops the photos he took, he finds there are people in shots that were not there when he took them.
Gradually they come to realize that their host, the kindly older woman Santa, might well be part of an ancient cult of female witches who still inhabit the lonely mountain places. Events accelerate from this point and soon, to his horror, Mario sees that Delia has been taken over by the cult and will be their next sacrificial victim. He flees from the place, back to his house in the city. But even there, as he discovers, he is not safe from the mountain witches.
English and Spanish audio choice, with optional English subtitles.
Two interviews with actor John (Cihangir) Gaffari. One explores the films he made in Europe and the US, the second interview looks at his extensive body of work in Iranian and Turkish cinema.
A documentary about the making of the film.
Audio commentary from David Flint.
Visual essay about Patty Shepard from Chris O’Neill
Newly commissioned cover art from Justin Coffee.