Plot: Grace (Anat Topol) is a new mother, but the birth process was even more intense than normal and she had some horrific visions, including violent images of witches burned at the stake. Her husband John (Gary Sloane) suggests the couple move in with his mother, which would take some pressure off Grace and allow her to recuperate with less stress. So soon, Grace has transplanted herself to her mother-in-law’s estate and while the place is a little eerie, it is also quite nice. But soon after arriving, Grace notices some odd things going on around the house, but doesn’t know if she is just imagining them or not. Is there some kind of supernatural elements at work and if so, what is the plan for Grace and her new baby?
Entertainment Value: A kind of low rent, often dull take on Rosemary’s Baby, Witchcraft isn’t a genre classic, but it remains rather infamous thanks to spawning well over a dozen sequels. This is especially wild given how slow and drawn out this first movie is, as I can’t imagine anyone seeing Witchcraft and thinking there was enough potential for one follow up, let alone a tidal wave of sequels. I think pace is my main issue with this original installment, as the film just drags at times and the rare interesting moments are just not frequent enough. The odd vibe and wooden performances could have been used to liven up those dull stretches, with off the wall dialogue or more of a focus on the ridiculous mother-in-law, but no such luck. I mean, given how little happens in this one, I would have just let the mother-in-law run wild and at least tried to deliver some wild schlock to the audience. I still think there’s some fun threads here, as there is such a weird, low rent texture to Witchcraft, but there’s just not enough here to justify more than a minor recommendation.
No nakedness. There’s some romance and light sexual elements, but the movie keeps things nice and tame. Witchcraft does involve some bloodshed, all low rent and all super fun, hilarious stuff. A woman’s head is lopped off and looks like the kind of prop you’d find in the Halloween aisle, but it is immense fun, as the head then floats off in a magical turn of events. The mother-in-law seems to love smiling while having a mouthful of blood, which honestly suits her personality fairly well. The only gore is a scene where some entrails are torn out out of an animal sacrifice, but it isn’t realistic or overly graphic. There’s also a few other minor instances of violence, but this is more campy than gruesome. The dialogue is fun at times, but more because of how stilted the performances are, rather than the lines being outlandish. But it still results in a few laughs and awkward moments, so some points are earned. In terms of overall wackiness, Witchcraft has a weird vibe that makes things a little unsettling, but never gets enough craziness unleashed to stand out. But it is an odd movie at times and has the wooden performances to lean back on.
Overall Insanity: 3/10
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