So I’ve been going through this Witchcraft Marathon phase. Witchcraft is an Horror movie franchise distributed by Troma. I was never familiar with this film series until I found it on amazon a few mouths ago, which is strange cause I love Troma and I’m familiar with their outer more franchises like Nuke em High and of curse the Toxic Avenger, but obvious this franchise must be just as successful (somehow) as I’m now up to the 8th one in my marathon and I still have plenty to go.
I’ll tell you were the film series is at the moment…so, in Witchcraft, a woman gives birth to a son who a cult a witches, that her husband belongs to, wants to turn into their Antichrist. As the series goes along, the child grows up to become Will Spanner. As a teen in Witchcraft II, he goes through the process of somewhat denouncing his horrifying birthright , and by Witchcraft III (my personal favorite), Will becomes a lawyer whose background attracts him to cases that seem to evolve the supernatural . At first it seems that the supernatural element revolved around voodoo, but by Witchcraft V we were back with dealing with the occult and satanic rituals that the franchise was based around. Although in the last movie, the hard to find Witchcraft VII, Will seemed to be dealing with a vampire.
Now, there is a specific reason why Witchcraft III is my personal favorite. Now, the first movie had a good story, despite being a copy cat of the Roman Polanski film , Rosemary’s Baby, and it was implemented pretty well for a low budget b-movie. As the franchise went on with a focus on Will Spanner, I loved the whole concept of Will being a lawyer who takes cases due to what seems to be a natural draw to the supernatural. All of his cases seemed to be situations (mainly murders) none can solve because unlike Will, they have no idea what to look for. It’s a great idea worthy of a series of films.
The only problem with the series is that the production of the movies does not seem to get any better. I don’t know exactly what the budget is on every single film, but it feels like each one is the same. despite being…”good” enough to produce more than eight sequels, Troma or whoever is putting up the cash seems to never believe in it enough to raise the production scale in order to make a better film out of it.
Except in one part of the production. With every new Witchcraft film the R in the Rated R gets harder thanks to every movie uping the amount of bare chested women in each picture. I can’t complain and I’m definitely not complaining. It’s just a obvious note that there is no nudity in the original movie than in part 2 they have one nude scene. Than we come to three, and the body is so amazing on the woman doing the nudity! You don’t have to take my word for it. I would recommend watching the film yourself, but in explaining it to you, the only trivia IMDB has on number three is about the amount of money this low budget movie needed to pay to get this scarlet to bare it all.
Another clue is the fact that in order to outdo what they did in the third movie, the forth movie had to cast b-movie goddess, Julie Strain as a way (and only way) to make Witchcraft IV better than it’s previous. This was a tactic that the series continued to do. With every movie the series quality of production never seems to change but the amount of nudity and sex scenes seem to increase, transforming the film from a low budget b-horror franchise, to a Soft-core porn genre series, something that was actually popular in the early to mid 90s when most of these films came out, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. Troma possibly made their best money on the Witchcraft series selling rights to Showtime and Cinemamax so that the cable channels, notorious for their Soft-core porn, could play it after midnight to an audience of horny teenagers and young men who not fully experience the pleasure of porn on the internet for another two decades or so. So as much as the film series amuses me now, It probability would have a higher fandom over me if I had discovered it during the time it was made for.
But I was getting to like the nostalgia of the whole thing. They are not the best films but the are fun to watch if you take them for what they are. However the fun might stop here with Witchcraft eight.
From the start,I begin to judge witchcraft VIII harshly. This is the movie in which a great change to the franchise happens. That change happens to be Will Spanner, the movie does not have him as the main or even supporting protagonist. I guest the adventures of Will Spanner are over. That’s too bad, because beside all the hot girls prancing around half naked, his story was what kept me coming back, and liking it. As weak as the story was told it was still a story that interest me.
Speaking of the nudity, the film series takes another backslide when it comes to Witchcraft’s motto of sex sells. Once again the production scale does not seem to increase with the 8th sequel, but this time, neither does the sex scenes. It’s like the nudity quality slides all the way back to part 3 (but not really. No offense to the beautiful women willing to take their clothes off to entertain me in this feature, but Lisa Toothman really had something).
This movie starts me off on the wrong foot, almost like Witchcraft VII did, but number seven being so hard to find that I had to settle on watching a bad quality copy on You Tube with Portuguese subtitles, was not as bad as the idea of Will Spanner not being in the film. If there are other cult status fans out there I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.
Witchcraft VIII starts off with a new character. A professor and his wife start a new life after he cheats on her. He gets a new position at a college in Salem and they buy a house that ofcourse belongs to a Warlock that was burred alive in it during the Salem witch trails. Shit happens to the couple as the Warlock manipulates them. Adding to the stress is a super hot college chick whose trying to get the professor to step out on his wife like he did before, and a next store neighbor who actually awaken the warlock while trying to hustle some plumbing work out of them.
the next store neighbor and his wife did make for an interesting sex scene as the husband whose a plumber actually looks like a plumber and his dizzy blonde wife actually looks like the plumber has money. Not that this guys is all that unattractive but I don’t every think I’ve seen a soft-core sex scene in which one of the participants does not have a perfect body (makes me wonder which one was more uncomfortable with the sex scene cause the slobby actor hit gold having to grind up on this penthouse like cover girl type, but I’m sure he wished he had a few weeks to do more sit ups before the scene)
For the most part, the neighbor couple was more of comic relief than a story arc. As was the case with McCarther, a young rookie Witch hunter with a dumb Irish accent that tries to destroy what was awaken.
Witchcraft VIII is a very so-so movie. like the other movies the production on the film is not better or worse than the other films, but what is worse is what seemed to keep the franchise interesting throughout the series, the progression of great nude shots and hot sex. Without that I don’t see the point of even making another movie. Plus, The story of Will spanner also kept me interested in going further and without that, this movie is so pointless.
Possibly better for me if I just think of it under the subtitle Salem’s Ghost rather than Witchcraft VII: Salem’s Ghost.