I was working in the video store back in the late 80s when Witchcraft (1988) hit the shelves. I was on the verge of leaving my teen years behind to become a man, so the sinister satanic sacrificial cover art on the VHS tape couldn’t fool me. I knew this was going to be as bad as all the other direct-to-video crap that was ruining the horror genre as we moved towards the 1990s.
And yet…we are now up to SIXTEEN Witchcraft films. My OCD is letting me down, because I have absolutely no interest in watching every single film to write a massive blog about all of them. So I am just going to stick briefly to the two films released in the 80s, and throw in a bonus stud stalking segment for the rest of the films.
Witchcraft is directed by Rob Spera, who would go on to direct Leprechaun in the Hood and Bloody Murder 2. Use that information in whatever way you must to judge whether this film fits your taste in horror (I own both of those films…use that information in whatever way you must to judge my taste in horror).
While giving birth to her baby, a woman has nightmares of a man and woman being burned at the stake (their faces get nice and crispy).
After she delivers, she goes to recover in her mother-in-law’s mansion, where she experiences a cheesy 1980s version of Rosemary’s Baby.
Approximately 2 exciting horror things happen in this film: the priest who comes to bless the baby ends up hung outside the house with his face a rotted mess, and the new mom’s best friend comes to visit, her head is hacked off, and it then levitates and spins in circles.
Okay, exactly 2 exciting horror things happen in this film. But that’s like 2 more than happen in that snoozefest Rosemary’s Baby. I mean…Rosemary’s Baby is a brilliant, terrifying classic and no one better dare ever suggest this film is more entertaining…
Witchcraft II: The Temptress (1989) is the Look What Happened to Rosemary’s Baby of the franchise. Or perhaps it’s the first of them, because from what I’ve heard, a bunch of them are about the continuing story of the little baby from the first film as a grown man. Here he’s a horny teen who can’t get any from his girlfriend.
Witchcraft II: The Temptress is as bad-good as every non-Freddy focused Freddy’s Nightmares episode, which makes sense considering they both come from the exact same (tragic) moment in horror history. After an 80s leather mistress living next door starts making moves on our main guy, he learns from his dad that he’s adopted, and his adoptive parents have been keeping him hidden from the evil witch coven. This 80s leather mistress is determined to seduce him so he will impregnate her with a hell baby.
Witchcraft II has it all – numerous sexual seduction scenes, the 80s leather mistress going all primitive and simply stabbing people with a knife slasher style, and one intense scene of a chick being harassed by an unseen incubus.
Sure, it’s a bad movie, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – 80s horror is just better when it’s about teenagers.
And that’s about as much as I can take of the Witchcraft franchise. But since this series ends up going the erotic horror route, I did scour as many of the film as I could to find some hunky action.
WITCHCRAFT III: THE KISS OF DEATH (1991)
WITCHCRAFT IV: THE VIRGIN HEART (1992) Let the gay 90s begin…
WITCHCRAFT V: DANCE WITH THE DEVIL (1993)
WITCHCRAFT 8: SALEM’S GHOST (1996)
(un)Holy false advertising! But at least the guy in the movie is as sexy as the guy on the poster.
WITCHCRAFT XII: IN THE LAIR OF THE SERPENT (2002) Warlock of the Nipple Rings.
WITCHCRAFT 13: BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN (2008)
Am I the only one fantasizing that he’s winding up to administer some warlock whacks in that pic on the left?