Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Movie Review: Witchcraft (1988)

Witchcraft a.k.a Witch and Warlock 
Vista Street Productions, USA, 1988. 
Witchcraft a.k.a Witch and Warlock title

Another film that I picked up for 50 Euro cents. BTW, your Pentagram is upside down.

300 years ago a witch-couple were burned at the stake. In present day Grace Churchill (Anat Topal-Barzilai) and his husband John (Gary Sloan) get a baby, William. Grace's friend Linda Swanson (Deborah Scott) tiptoes around the hospital and for a while the film looks like a comedy. Grace and John move to John's mother's house and everything is nice. Except for scary and mute butler Ellsworth (Lee Kissman). 
Anat Topal-Barzilai
Mary Shelley
Deborah Scott
However happiness will not last as John and his mother Elizabeth (Mary Shelley) are Devil worshippers. Grace begins to see terrible visions. Priest Father James (Alexander Kirkwood) throws up when he sees the baby, that can not be a good sign. Later James gets terrible skin disease and hangs himself. The diary found in the basement reveals that John and Elizabeth are reborn witches who want to turn the baby into Antichrist.
Alexander Kirkwood
Father James
Gary Sloan
Lee Kissman
Low-budget clone of "Rosemary's Baby" was the first of the sixteen part direct to video movie series. In the same year was publisher other film with the same title starring Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff. I haven't seen the other films of the series and the first movie did not make me particularly interested in seeing the rest. If there is any truth in the IMDB ratings sequels didn't get any better than the first. Apparently the series evolved into "Omen" clones and later into "X-Files" of "Angel" clones with gratuitous nudity (nothing like that is here though). I suspect some of the actors appeared under aliases as Mary Shelley and Victoria Ressurection are unlikely real names. The worst sin of the movie is that it is so damn dull. Ominous synthesizer music jumps in all the time and nothing much happens. Except then when some lousy gore scenes appear. The lack of suspense is screaming. Instead we get some Z-grade soap opera as John does not have enough time for his wife. Only Deborah Scott brings some comic relief. Also technically it looks adequate, like a TV-level production.

Most of the actors involved appeared later only in a handful of other films. The director Rob Spera went on to direct more direct to video films and also episodes of "Criminal Minds" and "Army Wives." Origional (sic) screenplay by Jody Savin who has later written scripts for better films such as "Bottle Shock." It is no wonder that many early works of movie professionals are terrible as they are just practicing their skills. What is a wonder is why "Witchcraft" got all those sequels.

In the cover picture Grace has a bad hair day with skull growing from her head. 
Rating: Bad 

Starring: Anat Topal-Barzilai, John Stocton as Edward Ross, Mary Shelley, Deborah Scott, Alexander Kirkwood, Lee Kissman, Ross Newton, Charles Grant, Lilian Lane, Karen Michaels, Cynthia Bell, Victoria Ressurection, Ofelia Montano, Steve Decker, Trevor Narom, Sarah Neece, Florence Stone Fevergeon, Lou Starr, Rocco J. Basile, Louis Brill, Blanche Brill, Eliabeth Peterson, Liz Kane, Bandy Stillwell, Jay E. Joyce, Alan Levy, Paul Kowalcyk, Caroline Guyer, Jody Savin, Brett Meehan, Aaron King, Taylor Green, Aquiles Pietri, Bill Shirreffs, Dorothy Brittner, Kristine Crewse, Lori Singman, Kathy May, Jeffry Fox, Rick Roberts, Laura Rosen, Susan Kowalski, Dean Guillies, Moshe Mashiach, David Fox, Ina Matherly, Shay Chan, Wendi Otto, Toni Witt, Erin McCoy, Deborah Spera 
Director: Robert Spera

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