Here we go again!
Number IX in the series of Witchcraft movies (Can’t believe they have nine of them). I was reading up on the movies that I can find info on (which is not many of them). I’ve become a little more impress with the series, (but not by much). I discovered that none of these movies have a budget higher that one hundred thousand. That makes me a little more impressed by the whole series and it makes sense.
The Witchcraft saga began in 1988 with the original film which coast Troma, it’s distribution company, 80,000 dollars. It’s about a woman who gives birth to a son that a witch’s convent believes to be their antichrist. It’s a well done rip off of Rosemary’s Baby, and as a lasting franchise, it has similarities to Friday the 13th (Cause if you don’t know, Jason did not become the star of the film series until the second movie, in the original, the killer was Jason’s moms).
Starting from Witchcraft II, the series would revolve around Will Spanner, the boy born to be a warlock, who completely abandon his fate, and by Witchcraft III grew up to become a lawyer, but not just any Lawyer, one who can see the supernatural in the cases he takes on thanks to his birthright. For me this element of the film series makes it interesting, from three to Witchcraft VII, Will would take on cases in which the person accused is guilty simply because no one else but Will can see the elements of the occult the satanic and even voodoo all over the case. He even goes up against vampires at one point. Though thanks to budgets of under 100,000 bucks, the production always seemed mediocre to me for a story that could have made a bigger better franchise, yet still I do see it for it’s potential.
Knowing what the budget is on these films, what does boggle the mind for me is the one thing that seems to increase in quality over the film series…the Nudity. Trust me, it’s not just my observation, I do have evidence that does state that the nudity and the sex scenes kept getting better as the films progress. The 1st movie had no nude scenes but by part 2 their was one. It was part three that I really took notice as the woman in the movie doing the nude scene was pretty amazing. This is just my perception, until Witchcraft IV, when they used a b-Queen icon, Julie Strain in her prime to make the sex sell better than last, and that was on purpose. By Witchcraft V, the b-horror series became a soft-core porn crime drama with elements of the supernatural, absolutely perfect for the mid-90s Soft-core porn wave of Showtime and Cinemax. I’m surprise I’ve never saw any of these flicks on the channels.
Though I gain new respect for the film series now that I know how cheap these films are made for, I wonder if those budgets also include the large amount of selling sex that the flicks have become. If these movies are costing between 40,000 and 80,000 and I assumed these ladies are being paid at least between 1,000 and 2,000 that’s a lot of money if you have more than one girl, and now I see why the production has never excelled in these films.
So here we go with number nine. Already a step up from number Eight, as Eight, subtitled Salem’s Ghost was missing one element that I enjoined form the flicks (no, not the nudity…Well…) Will Spanner. Just like with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, number Eight tells a different story than the seven that came before, or rather it’s telling a story without the involvement of Will Spanner (Almost like how Mad Max: Beyond Thunder dome and Fury Road are more about the people Max is helping than Max himself). The character has grown on me for the last few mouths I’ve been watching the film series. From what I understand, Troma wanted to change up the game and make the Witchcraft series about the Salem Ghost, being the antagonist for all of the films coming up. However, Salem’s Ghost did really badly. In fact the film was suppose to stand alone as Salem’s Ghost but it did so badly in test screenings that Troma decided to release it under the Witchcraft banner to increase it’s popularity, only for it to decrease the mediocre integrity of the Witchcraft series, and of course it does not help that the Eighth movie seems to forget the sex sells motto that the witchcraft movies seem to be about and that quality was worse than the last movie (which was it’s downfall)
Anyway, as number nine goes, Will Spanner died in number seven (I say this freely because I don’t remember Spanner dying in number seven so I don’t think I actually spoiled anything). Will’s ghost now haunts a hooker (With a really nice home, it pays to be a hooker), who, thanks to a motorcycle accident has the same perspective for the supernal that Will seems to have and because of this can hear him when others can’t, so he seeks her help to figure out what to do next
A lot of the movie is conversation. Somewhat a brief summary of who Will Spanner is (not a big one cause he was only absent for one movie). The whole thing could have been better as it was the perfect time to reestablish who Will Spanner is, why he exist, and how he chooses to live his life. Noted with this movie I realize in all the films, Will has had a girlfriend, and he’s had one since the second movie. She’s a small part of the movies (Only good for one or two nude scenes), and I could not even tell you if it was always the same girlfriend in each film as they are always played by a different blonde, all I know is that in this movie she is called Kelly.
I will assume that she is also called Kelly in Witchcraft VII. I make this assumption because two more characters from VII appear in this film. Detectives Lutz and Garner, who were actually more of the protagonist of Witchcraft VII, as they brought in Spanner to help them with their investigation. It’s kinda cool because in witchcraft VII they make it seem like this is not the first time they asked for Spanner’s help (I can’t remember if that actual happen in another movie. It does not help that not even Will Spanner himself is played by the same dude in each movie, but Lutz is a police woman, and I can’t recall Spanner dealing with a female cop in any other movie.)
Though Lutz and Garner are investigating a crime Spanner has something to do with, most of the movie is focus on Will trying to solve the case with the help of the hooker who can hear him.
The antagonist in this movie is working with a different type of magic than the other movies, as his cult status is wrapped in Egyptian history. Sounds cool, but once again the movies pure focus on Will Spanner’s not so interesting journey in the afterlife is cutting into the time of Lutz and Garner going after a serial killer cutting out hearts of hot ladies.
Overall, the movie should have been subtilted the return of Will Spanner because that’s what it all seemed to be about. I’m glad the character has return, but it’s odd as his story seems to overshadow a better story they could have developed. Than again, the story of Will Spanner’s ghost walking around, having long conversations with a hot hooker and spying on Kelly is far cheaper than a serial killer hunting young hot women so he can cut out their hearts for his Egyptian cult. So, once again the production quality is limited thanks to the low budget, but the Nudity is better in this film than it was in the last film (thanks to the hot babe playing the hooker, and the girl playing Kelly) and hopefully it will get even better in number Ten (and there is a number Ten), so it looks like The Witchcraft film series is stumbling back on the right track.