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The Witch Who Came From the Sea (1976)

Millie Perkins , Lonny Chapman , Matt Cimber  |  R |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Millie Perkins, Lonny Chapman, Vanessa Brown, Peggy Feury, Jean Pierre Camps
  • Directors: Matt Cimber
  • Writers: Robert Thom
  • Producers: Matt Cimber, Jefferson Richard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Subversive Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: December 21, 2004
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00068S3K0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,393 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Witch Who Came From the Sea" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Abused as a child by her alcoholic father, Molly is now a dysfunctional waitress in a local seaside bar off the coast of California who casually picks up muscle men from Venice Beach and takes them home to bed... only to castrate them with a shaving razor! Subversive Cinema presents The Witch Who Came from the Sea, which was banned across the world, completely restored to its widescreen and uncut glory for the first time ever on DVD. Shot by John Carpenters cinematographer Dean Cundy (Jurassic Park, The Thing) this cult classic from director Matt Cimber (Butterfly, Gemini Affair) stars Academy Award Nominee Millie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank) as the confused Molly.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
(9)
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very strange--but effective--film March 13, 2005
Format:DVD
The poster art for "The Witch Who Came from the Sea"--which is reproduced in gorgeous color, but frustratingly cropped form, on the cover of the DVD--has absolutely nothing to do with the movie itself. "Witch" is not a horror film, but rather a scathing indictment of child sexual abuse which occasionally veers into horror-like territory.
Millie Perkins plays Molly, a spacy barmaid who idolizes men on TV, dotes on her two young nephews, and often recalls her late, seafaring father with unnatural reverence. She also has ugly castration fantasies that she acts upon about fifteen minutes into the film(don't worry, I'm not giving away the movie's major revelation here). Perkins is really good in this role, and Lonny Chapman also gives a fine performance as her grizzled boyfriend.
What else works in this film? The dreary, battered Venice Beach and Santa Monica location shots. The creepy soundtrack. Molly's sad, uncomfortable, frightening flashbacks to childhood. What DOESN'T work is the dialogue. Robert Thom(Perkins' husband at the time) wrote in the Ernest Hemingway-Rod Serling style; everyone in the film speaks exactly the same way, and they all sound so nutty that you'll often be left scratching your head in frustration. I think that Thom was going for a folksy, man-and-woman-on-the-street feel(for 1976), but the language comes off as goofy and stilted. That said, watch the film anyway--it really is worth it. You'll never, ever forget "Witch". (Without giving anything away, the final scene is wonderful, almost perfect.)
Extras include commentary by Perkins, director Matt Cimber, and cinematographer Dean Cundey; interviews with the same; and trailers for some other movies. What's really interesting about the film itself is that there are two or three scenes which I never saw on the ancient VHS print I used to rent. Brace yourself before you see this; obviously the film is not suitable for children, but many adults will find it extraordinarily unpleasant as well.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than THRILLER, but that's not saying much. April 12, 2005
Format:DVD
Kinda like a strange variation of REPULSION if re-written by Charles Manson. THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA is about a troubled woman named Molly who had a horrible childhood thanks to her dad raping her nonstop. Now as a heavy drinkin', pill poppin' adult Molly has a few problems of her own. The visions of mutilated corpses and the commercials telling her to kill are pretty serious, but that's nothing compared to her habit of hacking off men's dongs with a razor!

You'd think with a storyline like that that things would escalate until finally the film explodes into an orgy of blood, nudity and gore. Well, that's at least what I was hoping for. Sadly things actually slow down as the movie goes on until finally at the end I was getting pretty depressed.

If you're looking a film about female madness then stick with REPULSION, but if you want some psychotic sexy violence that's gonna make your eyes pop out then watch A CHINESE TORTURE CHAMBER STORY 1 & 2.

Also for all you fans of the Don Knotts/Tim Conway classic THE PRIVATE EYES check out Stan Ross in a brief scene as the tattoo artist Jack Dracula. He's even on the back of the DVD case.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An oddity June 3, 2005
Format:DVD
First of all, forget that DVD cover! Theres nothing as fanciful or fantastical as that blatantly innappropriate image in the movie we have here. "Witch" concers a troubled young woman called Molly who's life is going nowhere as she drifts through her job as a waitress in a beach-side bar. Although, unbeknown to her colleagues, the woman is secretly sliding into madness, as she fantasises and hallucinates over football players she watches on TV, and relives an abusive childhood she suffered at the hands of her father. Things start to turn nasty when Molly actually meets a hunky footballer, but after taking him home she is somehow driven to tie him up and castrate him.

The whole film plods along in a limp dreary fashion, which might work if Mollys behaviour was graphically depicted on screen, but all the violence is very low key and nearly all off-screen, so the viewer does not get much chance to be jolted into being interested in what is going to happen. The locations are all run-down coastal bars and apartments, with plenty of ugly decor throughout which firmly plants this film in the 1970's (when it was made). Millie Perkins does turn in a good performance as the central character, her best line being delivered as she undresses her intended castration victim and then, glancing at the small safety razor blade she has to hand, sighs and murmers dejectedly to herself: "This is gonna take forever..."

Aside from that memorable line, the film will probably not hold your interest for much of it's running time. It's marketed as a horror film, but it is more a study of a troubled woman's descent into madness, that ocasionally lapses into lurid territory. Not really much here to get you sitting up in your seat. And certainly no witches coming from the sea...I still wonder what that title is all about.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Close Shave... January 17, 2009
Format:DVD
Molly (Millie Perkins) is a cocktail waitress in a bar. She is also a schizoid murderer on a rampage! You see, Molly was horribly abused as a child by her freakish father, leaving her w/ no alternative other than to castrate any man that deserves it. Molly is guided in her mission by helpful TV commercials that tell her what needs to be done. THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA is an interesting, often tedius relic from the wacky 70s. While Perkins is decent in her role, the rest of the cast is like drift-wood. However, the story isn't terrible, and I never tire of seeing groovy fashions and hearing people say, "Far out!"...
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