The Love Witch

*

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Love Witch
"There is smoke, there is a cauldron, there is an altar of sorts and there is a not very Grand Wizard who looks like someone who has crawled out from inside a bin lorry."

Horror buffs and B-picture fanatics are members of The So Bad It's Good club that declares the corny and the cliché to be genuine statements of artistic value. What they admire most is finding humour in dross.

The Love Witch is their kind of film.

Shot in a Fifties style it covers black magic rituals, which means naked chanters bouncing around in a circle. There is smoke, there is a cauldron, there is an altar of sorts and there is a not very Grand Wizard who looks like someone who has crawled out from inside a bin lorry.

Elaine (Samantha Robinson) seduces men and then kills them. So yesterday! But that's the point. Everything is so yesterday. The jokes are heavily disguised in faked terrible acting and yet this is pastiche, not comedy. If you are not a member of the SBIG you won't find it funny. You will walk out.

Love potions turn attractive men into deranged idiots. Elaine is messy in her spells kitchen and yet immaculate with her makeup. Her need for love is like a junkie's need for a fix. She knows how to get it, too. Avoid small talk in favour of sex talk. Straight away. Forget the polite preamble. And then it's a striptease. And then it's... well...

She looks like a top of the range hooker and behaves like one. The guys go ga-ga, even the police chief who wants to arrest her but changes his mind after a sesh between the sheets and a swig of her love juice.

Making a bad film on purpose is harder than you think and writer/director/producer/editor/designer Anna Biller should be congratulated on succeeding so well, The Love Witch is a truly awful movie.

That's what it's supposed to be, stupid!

Bad is good in Biller's book, except it's not. Bad is bad, unless it's meant to be, and then it's camp for which you need an interpreter and maybe a marshmallow brain.

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2016
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Sixties-style film sees a witch use spells to win the hearts of men.


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