Haunted Country Music
Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967). Sounds like a reality TV show. It certainly has all the ingredients: country singers, a haunted house, a gorilla, a supermodel, international spies and Merle Haggard. (Not making that up.) Heck, this thing would pair nicely with The Real Housewives of Melbourne and Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.
Three country singers – one of which is the camera-ready Joi Lansing – are on the way to Nashville, home of white shoe wearing music legends and good ’ol boy alcoholics. (State law – you have to be drunk all the time in Nashville.)
Car trouble forces the trio to spend the night in an abandoned house with no amenities, except for a TV and nourishment (electricity) to power it. These troubadour squatters don’t know it, but in the basement is a ring of spies trying to get their lips around a top-secret formula for rocket fuel (geez, guys – it’s right on the label of a bottle of Jagermeister™), all of which is made even more entertaining with an unruly gorilla hanging around.
However, this “horror” music comedy is distinguished by music interludes done by Joi and Ferlin Husky (great name – the red-headed country/rockabilly/pop legend behind the classic Champagne Ladies And Blue Ribbon Babies/1974), and footage on the tube of a clean Merle Haggard before he met Jack Daniels™ and made and endless stream of immortal duets.
Numerous knuckle-headed comedy segments with horror legends John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr. and Basil Rathbone. But it’s the last 15 minutes that rocks the haunted house with music performances by Merle (iconic icon), Sonny James (20 Number One country hits) and Country Music Hall of Fame’r Ferlin, sportin’ red hair, white shoes and a tight Chicago Boxcar Boston Back hairdoo. (You can get ahead with a style like that.)
P.S. Hillbillys in a Haunted House is the sequel to Las Vegas Hillbillys (1966). Didn’t see that one as I was informed it didn’t have gorillas playing slot machines while Frank, Dean and Sammy drank rocket fuel and embarked on madcap adventures.