Wow! Witchcraft X!
Going all the way up to Ten is a pretty impressive task for a film franchise. For the past few mouths I have been exploring this strange Franchise started by Troma back in 1988. I thought I was aware of all of Troma’s best franchises, and I am. I would not actually say that these Witchcraft films are the highest quality. I would say that they are of the most mediocre quality, but give the filmmakers who contributed to the franchise over the years, The most expensive movie seems to be the very first one done for 80,000 dollars while the following nine were done for about half that. It’s a little more impressive if you think of it in the cheapest terms.
Witchcraft is a franchise about…Witchcraft. It all started with a plot that they ripped off from Rosemary’s Baby, in which a mother does not realize she gave birth to a Warlock met to be the personal Antichrist for her husband’s witch cult.
The second movie speeds forwards a few years so that the warlock baby known as Will Spanner (Actually Will Adams in this movie ) can become the protagonist instead of a plot device.
By part three, Will has denounced his birthright as a Warlock met to do evil and decides to do good with his life as a lawyer. A good lawyer! Seems like a joke right, but from here on end, Will would give his life representing people and taking cases in which he senses with his natural draw to the supernatural how some poor guy is going to get screwed over cause no one else can see what Will can, that magic is behind the evil these men supposedly do.
The movies may have been below average but the story of Will Spanner as the Perry Mason of Magic interested me, up until the eighth installment,Salem’s Ghost, in which the film series attempted a different direction possibly trying to create the next Freddy Krugger or Pinhead from Hellriaser. The problem is, that they took Will Spanner out of the equation all together, which did not go over well with the fans (if were fans at the time this series was at it’s peak) and was the worse film in the franchise (an impressive feet cause these movies are not exactly The Fast and the Furious worthy (not even Police Academy worthy)
So by number nine it looked like team Troma was going back to what was not broken, and bringing back Will Spanner to the fold. It seemed like the Witchcraft series was back on track.
But with Witchcraft X, that was not the case. The first thing I noticed off the bat was that the famous Troma logo did not appear at the beginning of the film. Instead it was some super loud and flashy logo from a company I did not bother to remember the name of (not Troma is all you need to know). I was not too worried at first cause I noticed that the hard (for me) to find Witchcraft VII also did not have a Troma logo on the version I saw. Perhaps the YouTube copy I streamed was completely bootleg? It would explain why It has Portuguese subtitles. Also, I did see Witchcraft 6(66) on a Troma special DVD, In which Troma’s big honcho, Lloyd Kaufman did a joke about releasing the films out of order. It’s possible that their might be some legal issue with seven which is why it was not easy to track down a good copy.
Anyway, without the Troma logo, something else was missing from the Franchise. Yet again, Will Spanner is missing from the plot. It was obvious from the beginning of the movie that he would not show up. So now I’m already going into this with a lower than ever rating for what I’m about to see. I feel that the filmmakers don’t see Will Spanner’s ability to drive a story as I do. There were certain films, Like seven and five in which Will Spanner was perfectly a secondary character used to turn the film from a murder mystery to a supernatural thriller (sort of anyway).
However, even without Will Spanner the film is still a continuation of the Witchcraft series that Will is a part of, thanks to the main protagonist, Detective Lutz. In at least three movies that I can recall, Lutz was one of two police officers (The other being her partner Garner ) who are associates of Will Spanner, bringing him into the story when they come up with a murder case that seems unusual or wrapped in some satanic cult. Lutz was the hot big boobed chick who tolerated her partner Garner’s womanizing jokes and was more willing to believe when Will would reluctantly explain that their murder case has to do with actual witchcraft. The character who always seemed like a side step in all the other movies I seen her in now gets her chance to fully shine when she takes on a case alone, driving the leading lady vehicle.
In this case, Lutz travels to the UK to bring back a murderer who escaped there from California, but when she arrives a local clan of vampires break this dude free as he is a key to helping them do something evil. Now Lutz helps Interpol recapture the guy before the evil plot is done.
While these vampires are being hunted by Lutz and her new crew they are also being chased(subplot-like) by Celeste Sheridan, who belongs to some sort of good cult that’s been waiting to stop the evil that is being unleashed. In a lot of ways this woman takes the place of how Will Spanner has been used in many plots of the other Witchcraft movies (or how he should and would have been use if the budget on these flicks were not so low)
So the thing that I did not like most about this movie is that there is now Will Spanner. I do like the attempt to replace him with another long running character in the Witchcraft series, but Lutz is no where near as interesting a charter as Spanner.
The second thing I did not like of number X is a long running theme that they cut out of this film…hot nudity. I dwell on this because for the past eight sequels, sex and been selling the franchise. By the second movie naked breast became a thing. With each movie the nudity kept getting better and better and purposely so. My proof is with Number Four in which they hired b-queen Julie Strain to get naked in the film in order to out do the wonderful nude scene from, number three. It got to the point that Witchcraft was no longer a cheap b-horror flick but a soft-core porn mystery. When they cut Will Spanner out of the eight movie it also seem to forget their motto to never escalate the production quality, except when it comes to the sex scenes.
I feel that they were getting back on track with Nine, but Ten had nothing. Sure their were plenty of really sexy ladies acting like vampires and rubbing up on each other (Rather a lot of sexy ladies actually, they did up the quantity of women in the film), this would be fine if I was not already familiar with what the film franchise was capable of. I think I would have preferred one of two hot chicks getting bare breasted than 100 hot chicks rubbing up against each other (Though I must say…very very close to call).
The worse part about this was that the protagonist Lutz neither got nude or had a sex scene. A strange thing about the Witchcraft movies is that while characters like Will Spanner and Lutz have been long running characters in the series It is rare that the same actors play the same character continuously. In the first three Sequels, Will Sapnner was played by the same guy, than in all the other sequels a different man for each. Far worse is Lutz who was played by a different women in every movie (Which makes perfect sense as Witchcraft became a soft-core porn franchise). From the time I noticed Lutz in Witchcraft seven, I noticed each actress playing the role got bigger and bigger bombs (While their acting skill a lot less and less), and it was killing me that these boobs were not fully exposed in this film cause they were the biggest Lutz has been.
None of the acting was good in this film, everyone sucked. It was amazing how much the acting sucked in this film. I did not even think a British born thespians could stink this badly. I always assumed the the Brits killed these actors and actresses before they could ruin the rep of the country. Although when it comes to b-movies, bad acting is not that important of a factor, I just wanted to give you a head’s up about how god awful these people were. So god awful it boggles my mind even more that these women were not hired to get naked at all.
One thing that I really did enjoy a lot was the cheap fight choreography done in the film. I always love a cheap movie that does not really have the budget to make a really good action sequence but they try anyway. So this is one way in which The Witchcraft series improved the production quality (or at least gave the illusion of), maybe this is where they put their money rather than paying girls who cant act to take off their clothes on camera. They afforded the most cheesiest chop socking fight scenes done by actors who had no clue with what they were doing, but I loved it a lot. It was fun to watch.
They also brought a few late 90s special effects for the supernatural shots. Nothing too fancy just beams of light and shit that were implemented well in the film. Not since Number 666 have they used special effects to visualize the supernatural in this way.
So overall, I’m not unhappy with number X. Will is gone but I’m OK with spinning off the series towards Lutz. to be blunt, I wish she got naked in a sex scene ( I wish anyone did), cause that would be a good excuse for the horrible acting, but they do make up for it with some low budget action sequences that were not performed well enough to kick ass but amused me. The second to worse Witchcraft film (with the 1st being eight, the 1st time they tried something new with the series). It could have been a better experience if it did not have the Witchcraft banner attached to it.