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Return from Witch Mountain

Return from Witch Mountain (1978) is the sequel to Escape to Witch Mountain (1975). It was written by Malcolm Marmorstein and is based on the characters of Alexander Key. Ike Eisenmann, Kim Richards, and Denver Pyle reprise their roles as Tony, Tia, and Uncle Bené – humanoid extraterrestrials with special powers including telepathy and telekinesis. The two main villains are played by Bette Davis as Letha Wedge, a greedy woman using the last of her money to finance the scientific experiments of Dr. Victor Gannon, played by Christopher Lee.

A made-for-TV sequel called Beyond Witch Mountain was made in 1982.

Plot summary

Having spent a good deal of time enjoying the company of their newfound family and friends at Witch Mountain and intensively studying and practicing their supernormal powers, it is decided that Tony and Tia deserve a vacation in Los Angeles, California. Uncle Bené drops them off in their flying saucer in the Rose Bowl Stadium, after which they quickly become separated from each other. Dr. Gannon and Letha happen to see Tony using his powers, kidnap him, and successfully test the doctor's new mind-control technology on him. With Tony at his robotic bidding, Dr. Gannon hopes to achieve recognition within the scientific community and worldwide power, while Letha merely wants a return on her investment.

Tia must find Tony and foil the villains' nefarious plans. Fortunately, a group of wanna-be tough guys called the Earthquake Gang and hapless truant officer Mr. Yokomoto – whom the guys call "Yo-Yo" – come to her aid. The boys and their relationship with "Yo-Yo" bring a great deal of comic relief to the film, along with the underlying message that it might actually be "cool to stay in school."

Trivia

  • Jack Soo (Mr. "Yoyo" Yokomoto) was ill with esophageal cancer during production, though he was not be diagnosed until Autumn 1978. He died less than a year after the film's release, Return from Witch Mountain being his final movie appearance.
  • The otherwise vacant lot, upon which the children's dilapidated hideout mansion stands, is today the location for One California Plaza, a commercial and (MOCA) museum center in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as the restored Angel's Flight funicular.
  • The gold-bar robbery sequence was filmed at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. The building facing the Park's Rose Garden was used for exterior shots of the museum.
  • The scene in which Yokomoto's van is overturned, and breaks a fire-hydrant, was filmed near the Sunset Blvd. bridge and Glendale Blvd. underpass intersection, in the Echo Park district.
  • The emergency voice heard over Yokomoto's van radio - announcing the problem at the Plutonium plant - is that of Gary Owens.
  • Actors Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann appear in at least three films together: this one, the original 1975 Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain, and the telefilm Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978). Richards portrays the roadside waitress and Eisenmann portrays the Sheriff in an upcoming film, Race to Witch Mountain on March 13, 2009.

Cast

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