February 17, 2014

Movie Review: Virgin Witch (1972)

The 1970's were a wild and crazy time for cult cinema. Previous hard and fast rules were being broken at every turn. Horror and erotic cinema were being combined in new ways. A good example would be from Hammer with their films like Twins of Evil and The Vampire Lovers. Then there is Virgin Witch. It is a movie that ignored all taboos in putting flesh on the screen, but it forgot to include any atmosphere and horror. The end result is a movie that is boring. It is more interested in clothing removal than it is being a movie. That isn't always a bad thing, but in this case it is.

Virgin Witch does not waste time showing you what it is about, showing some of the cast members naked in a series of stills and flashes during the opening credits before settling down into its story. It certainly seems that there was not much of a desire to craft a story. It is what it is and I still sat there and watched it.

Sisters Christine and Betty (real life sisters Ann and Vicki Michelle) runaway to find fame in swinging London. It does not take them long before they are picked up by a guy driving into town. Even shorter still, the girls find their way to a modeling agent named Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines), who happens to be a recruiter for a witch coven (and you can tell she is bad by her lesbian overtones). After measuring up Christine, the sisters are sent out into the country for a photo shoot.

It is in this country setting that the sisters learn that their employers are actually witches. It seems they need virgins for their ceremonies. It is a good thing our sisters fit the bill. The problem is that Christine decides to play things to her favor and asks to be a part of the ceremonies and asks to become a part of the coven. She plots to take over the coven. Therein lies the twist of the movie, the one potentially interesting bit. Unfortunately, that is it and it is not executed all that well.

Virgin Witch is just a 90 minute bore. I am sure it was intended to be this big taboo breaking supernatural tale, but merely stripping your lead actresses is not enough. When is sleazy cult film making not sleazy cult film making? When it is Virgin Witch. Sure, the ladies are lovely, but if there is nothing interesting or creepy going on, if there is no atmosphere, there is no reason to care about them. It kind of puts up a wall between the story and its audience. Even the witch revelation is nothing special, it seems all they do, anyway, is do interpretive dance in the buff.

You would be much better off sticking to the Hammer offerings, at least there is some substance there. It does not surprise me that the majority of director Ray Austin's career was spent on television, he does not have a good eye for feature film making, at least he did not here.

Not Recommended.

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