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  • Witch Who Came From The Sea, The

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 12th, 2005

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    

    Synopsis

    Molly (Millie Perkins) is seriously disconnected from reality. She tells her two nephewswonderful tales about their grandfather, whom she declares a saint, even though we see (indisturbing flashbacks), that he repeatedly raped her. She also enjoys ogling well-built men andfantasizing about their violent deaths. But she doesn’t stop at fantasizing…

    Well! Here she is, Anne Frank herself (from the 1959 film) all grown up and castrating menwith safety razors. This is … rough, gritty and utterly compelling horror thriller, which has allcombined pleasures of grindhouse and arthouse. Perkins is impressive as a woman who is in suchdenial about her past that she unplugs herself completely from the real world. Most of theperformances are very broad, and the dialogue is riddled with non-sequiturs. This takes a bit ofgetting used to, but the result is a fascinating exercise in what one might call kitchen sinksurrealism. One of the film’s most striking moments is an extended (gruesome) fantasy sequencewhich turns out NOT to be a fantasy after all — a fine reversal of the usual conceit. Not to bemissed, and would make a great triple bill with I Spit On Your Grave and Thriller:A Cruel Picture.

    Audio

    The soundtrack comes in two flavours: mono and remixed 2.0 surround. The latter is notvery different from the former, and the surround elements are limited to the occasionalcontribution from the score. There are no surround voices, however, so that’s good, and this isa picture whose grittiness seems to demand mono for the true experience. There is a tiny bit ofbuzz, but not much for a low-budget effort from 1976.

    Video

    Director Matt Cimber and Subversive Cinema are justifiably proud of the transfer, especiallywhen compared to what the film looked like on earlier home video (shown in the intro to thedisc). There is a bit of damage, but it is decidedly minor, and the picture is remarkably sharp andfree of grain — all in all, it looks much better than it has any right to.

    Special Features

    Cimber, Perkins and DP Dean Cundey reunite on the commentary. The recording qualityisn’t the greatest, but it is clear enough, and their discussion, if sometimes digressive, isintelligent and informative. “A Maiden’s Voyage” is a half-hour documentary on the making ofthe film, consisting of interviews with the same participants. There are bios for these three aswell, and trailers for the feature, Living Hell, Battlefield Baseball andGemini. The menu is very loud and fully animated.

    Closing Thoughts

    This is the sort of rescue that makes collecting such a rewarding activity. Essential viewingfor fans of dark 70s cinema.

    Special Features List

    • Audio Commentary
    • Making-of Featurette
    • Biographies
    • Trailers
    Posted In: 2.35:1 Widescreen, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 2.0 (English), Dolby Digital Mono (English), DVD, Horror, Special Edition, Subversive Cinema

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