Witchouse (1999)


The B-Movie tends to get a bad press. In these days of monopoly money budgets and sardonically raised eyebrows at anything less than the gore equivalent of Citizen Kane, its extremely hard to win the cynical, moribund hearts of the modern horror fan, which leaves the film maker two options; go for broke, throwing everything you‘ve got at the thing until something sticks, or take the underdog route – you may not have everything, but if you do it with enough charm, sticking your tongue firmly in your cheek, you may just bag yourself a cult following.

And hey, as Uwe Boll’s ever growing fan base tells us – stranger things have happened.

The latter has been Full Moon Features raison d’être since it’s birth in 1989. Helmed by B-Movie King Charles Band, it’s been responsible for horror favourites such as the Puppet Master (way better than Child’s Play), The Dead Hate the Living, Subspecies, and my personal favourite Gingerdead Man starring the always manic Gary Busey. Although Full Moon Features are never going to be technically great (think CGI screensavers gone wild) or be allowed within a mile of an Oscars award ceremony, they always entertain, and make me laugh, even if it isn’t always for the right reasons.

A group of college students are invited by their weird Morticia Adams type friend, to a party where she dupes (not much effort involved with this particular branch of Mensa) them into a ritual to bring her ancestor (a medieval witch with dire need of a dentist) back from the dead. Hi jinks and much running ensue . The end.

Unfortunately Witchouse is a definite miss in the entertainment stakes, and made me wince rather than giggle, all the way to the credits. As you may remember from a previous blog, I am a huge fan of Night of the Demons and watching a movie that doesn’t so much pay homage to it, as crawl on its bloody hands and knees and beg to be it’s identical twin, while the object of it’s admiration kicks it every time it infiltrates their shadow, doesn’t float my boat in the slightest.

In the case of a Full Moon Features film, you judge by different standards – sure the script was crap and the acting makes a seventies porno look like an audition tape for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but if you had fun watching it then it was a good movie, right?

Wrong.

At least in this case, anyway. The fact that they hadn’t even bothered to try with an original plot, or that the actors (and I use the term looser than a pimps morals) just didn’t seem to actually want to be there most of the time. The boom mike however, did a sterling performance, and I think if I had to pick a favourite character, it would definitely win hands down (or mike down, as the case was.)

If this film was a pet, the vet would have put this lame animal down before you could say ‘His name is Witchouse.’, and you wouldn’t have shed a single tear. You would have felt a rush of relief, that only the destruction of something truly abominable can bring.

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