I’m so desperate to be anywhere but in this moment in history that now it’s not just the 80s that serve as a getaway. So when I saw the Witchouse DVDs on sale on the Full Moon website, I immediately made an impulse buy, happy to go back to the innocent days of the post-Scream era with some low budget Full Moon movies. They were just what I needed.
While David DeCoteau was making his transition to soft core homoerotic horror, he was still spitting out some silly fun video rental flicks, and Witchouse is a perfect example.
Essentially a Night of the Demons knock-off, it has a goth chick assemble all her college friends in her creepy old family house to celebrate Mayday, which includes sitting around a pentagram and reminiscing about her family’s past with witchcraft.
The kids split up to explore the house, a classic decrepit witch is conjured, she levitates vertically like Angela in Night of the Demons, and the kids start turning into sexy demons, especially the guy in his undies. Classic DeCoteau.
It’s not scary, but it has perfect Full Moon horror atmosphere, a pretty cast, a nice short running time of 72 minutes, and a satisfying traditional witch.
WITCHOUSE II: BLOOD COVEN (2000)
The director of The Dead Next Door steps in for the two sequels, and starts things off by jumping on The Blair Witch Project bandwagon, the big horror hit at the turn of the millennium.
After an initial bloody found footage kill in the woods where legend has it that witches were buried, we meet a college professor assigned to go investigate the area with her students…and she’s the evil resurrected witch from the first movie!
They do their research at a creepy witch house that I assume is supposed to be the same one from the first movie, they interview locals about the witches on camera (some funny stuff), and eventually, the professor goes all witchy and starts making demon minions again.
There’s some campy fun here. She tries to seduce one dude, who breaks it to her that he’s gay, but that doesn’t stop her.
She has a catty bitch fest with the main girl, whose character name is Stephanie Zinone! There is no way this isn’t an intentional nod to Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2.
And the final battle features more found footage POV, red-eyed demons, shadowy lighting, mist machines, and the witch going totally gnarly faced.
WITCHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE (2001)
Getting b-movie scream queens Debbie Rochon, Tina Krause, and Brinke Stevens to appear in the third film in the trilogy was the nail in its coffin.
This movie feels like a cheap direct-to-video release and lacks the Full Moon feel of the first two.
An abused woman goes to hang with her two friends at a beach house, and they dabble in witchcraft using a book supposedly 300 years old. They get spooked by some occurrences during the ritual and throw the book in the ocean.
The next morning, one of the women says Bloody Mary into a mirror for the hell of it. Little does she know Brinke Stevens has taken over the role of the witch from the first two films, and although her name is Lilith, calling Bloody Mary works. Ugh.
The three women run around the house acting scared when there’s really not enough to be scared of. The lighting is old school creepy, and Brinke’s witch makeup is cool, but she’s not in the film enough, she’s usually cloaked behind shadows, glass, or veils, and she doesn’t call upon any minion demons. She’s more of an influence than the actual threat in this plot.
But at least we get a glimpse of some furry man ta-tas.