Oh my God! I can’t believe that I’m up to number 15.
Two years into it’s adolescence, it’s amazing that the witchcraft saga has lasted this long. The longest running horror based movie franchise there is. Impressive, as there are sooooo many better ones out there, and I’m not even talking about Jason (who has 12 movies) and Freddy (Who has 9 (NOTE: counting Freddy vs. Jason on both list), or even recent films like the Saw saga (with 8). If anyone remembers the movie Wrong Turn starring then well known Eliza Dushku, that movie spawned 5 direct -to -video sequels that were pretty good, especially in the development of the monster.
Going thought these movies, I find it amazing that the series has done this well, but not surprised. The first movie that came out in 1988 was Troma’s low budget rip off of Rosemary’s Baby, and it was quite good for being that. Being that good (and being an 80s Horror film) just met a sequel needed to be made. Witchcraft II is not as good as the first movie, but it did have something that the first did not…T&A.
The nude shot may have been brief, but it felt like someone at Troma (Most likely it’s owner Lloyd Kaufman) was like “this is the reason why the movie made money” so they were like, we have to out do Witchcraft II, and they totally did with Witchcraft III, which in my opinion had the best nudity in all of the film series. I feel like I can’t be the only one who thinks that, because it felt like they were trying to out do themselves again in Witchcraft IV starring b-movie Icon, Julie Strain( who bares it in the film). Once again feeling like they can’t top the last one but must, In Witchcraft V the series started moving from a Horror series to a soft-core porn series.
In the 90s when guys did not have the internet to use for their perverted needs they had late nite cable channels like Cinnemax, and with the Witchcraft series movie in the direction of Soft-core porn, it’s no wonder they were surviving.
By the time we get up to Witchcraft X, the production cost began to look even cheaper (than usual) . Most likely this has a lot to do with Troma’s logo no longer opening the film, but instead a production company called Cinema Epoch, but this means they don’t have the cash to shell out to get these ladies topless the way they use to. So instead of Escalating the sex they had no choice but to escalate the characters.
Since the 1st Witchcraft, the main character for all but two movies is Will Spanner. He began in the saga as a baby born to be an evil Warlock, but by the second film, he aged to be a teenager trying to change his destiny. Then by Witchcraft III, he was a lawyer who had the Warlock sense to know when a case he takes on is engulfed in supernatural or not. I’m fascinated enough with idea of Will Spanner that it’s one of the reasons I keep coming back, and with the start of X (or rather IX, cause will was not in X), the series seemed to focus a lot on Will fully using his abilities, as a Warlock to fight evil (Rather than just knowing that a court case he’s taken on has a literal devil behind it, which was the case from three to seven).
They also gave a series of minor characters a chance to shine. Lutz and Garner were two homicide detectives that cross Will Spanner’s path many times. Lucile Lutz was a tough lady, mostly used during the soft-core porn age as another hot babe to parade around (Although she only got naked in one of the movies), she seemed to trust in Will’s gut instinct, mostly because she had nothing else to rely on in cases engulfed in black magic. She was such a cool character overall, that they made her the focus in Witchcraft X. Then you have Garner, a womanizing dick who always seem to take lead, but was never as interesting as Lutz, being used simply as the comic relief, who tells dirty jokes, and is the dude who does not believe in Will’s gut instincts (Every Will Spanner needs that one guy who believes in facts that can be explained without magic).
All this allowed the series to make it to Witchcraft 15. Number 15 is the most direct sequel to any of the witchcraft series . While most of the films act as episodes in a Witchcraft series (which I always like about it), 15 literally starts with the ending of Witchcraft 14, purposely being the direct continuation of that last film. It’s a very 2016 thing to do. In this day and age it seems so important for a film series to be connected, all of the Witchcraft movies before this could stand alone. You did not need to know or love Will Spanner, or any of the other characters to get into the movie, but with 15 you had to see 14 (Actually not really, Although this is the first Witchcraft movie in which all the main characters are played by the same actors playing them in the last movie).
Witchcraft 15 seems to be trying to do what Witchcraft 8 was trying to do. Witchcraft 8: Salem’s Ghost attempted to replaced Will and reboot the franchise in another direction with the Salem Ghost saga, but it did not work, and without Will, the movie truly sucked. 15 takes a different approach, by just putting Will Spanner more into the background while focusing on a new character.
It’s not the first time the Witchcraft series put Will in the background. In a few of the movies, A murder is committed by dark magic, and ether an innocent man is going to hang for it or Lutz and Garner can’t solve it. Then Will Spanner stumbles upon it and becomes a target to the dark magic while trying to help. This time around Will, who no longer seems to be a lawyer, is total background noise as the series focus completely on Rose, a young witch who like Will was born with very strong powers that certain people would like to exploit.
In Witchcraft 14, Rose discovers her dark power, just like Will did in the second film, and like Will is more wanting to denounce her powers, but while it took Will like ten movies to fully embrace what he can do as a Warlock on the side of good, by Witchcraft 15, Rose had joined a convent (the convent that had tried to kill her and her mother but…) in order to learn to control her dark powers, but not shockingly, they still want to use her powers for evil.
I must admit I don’t like the character of Rose as much as I like the character of Will Spanner. On a geek level, I like the series’ move to make Will more of a Warlock, but the Will I did like the most was the lawyer who was drawn to the magic but was more of a Lawyer than a Warlock, that made him interesting. Rose does not have that interesting aspect of not being what she appears to be. It’s more straight forward, which gives the character less depth.
Speaking of less depth, Will Spanner himself is not as interesting of a character as he use to be. Fulling embracing his Warlock heritage the film franchise has forgotten he was a lawyer altogether and now he just acts as some dude who randomly helps Lutz and Garner on supernatural cases. This may not have met as much to me if it was not for the fact that the dude they got playing Will spanner is so bad, they might as well got a piece of wood to play him.
I will say the acting overall, has gotten better since this cast has done number 14. That was a real downfall for number 14. It made me feel like a group of fans of the Witchcraft series just got together and made their own movie. As cool as that might sound, it does make for a bad acting romp, but it looks like they saw that problem too, and for number 15 they took some time to get it decent enough that I will not complain about it (too much)
Witchcraft 15, is very bland. It’s not the best or the worse, but it feels like a sequel that really did not need to be made. If they were trying to develop the character of Rose to take over the series they did a real lackluster job with it. As well as making me interested in anyone in this movie including my favorites Will, Lutz and Garner. I will give it this, the last movie had nudity in it and it looks like they are once again spearheading the tradition of uping the hot nudity with every sequel (Although not with the same results as the single digits did).
The only reason you should see 15 is to find out what happen to Rose after 14, but 14 is not good enough to get you in the mood to even want to know the fath of Rose so I guest you should skip both.