The Witch Who Came From the Sea
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“The Witch Who Came From the Sea” (1976) stars Millie Perkins (“The Diary of Ann Frank”) as Molly, a young woman who experiences bizarre and violent fantasies. 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 mutilate them in an attempt to reconcile the sexual abuse she suffered. Director Matt Cimber combines gruesome images with a dreamlike portrait of a woman spiraling deeper and deeper into psychosis via flashbacks, distorted sound, slow motion, and flash cuts. These touches give the film an art house feel and Perkins’ intense performance is much more effective than one would expect in an exploitation flick.
“The Premonotion” (1976) is a tale of psychic terror. After she’s released from a mental institution, unstable Andrea (Ellen Barber) is determined to locate the daughter she gave up for adoption years earlier.Read more ›
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.
Bear in mind, there are only so many undiscovered horror gems left to polish. In fact, each film in the set stretches the definition of horror to the breaking point; more than a few fans will find them too artistic, inept or obtuse for their tastes altogether. But for those with an open mind - and an adventurous film collection - Arrow Video's limited edition will expand your horror horizons.
Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973) is certainly the most difficult of the group to put into words. Shot on a shoestring in a run-down Philadelphia fairground, director Christopher Speeth blends everything from performance art to kitschy set design to cannibal gore effects. The story, what there is of one, centers around nocturnal ghouls who emerge from secret caverns beneath the carnival at the bidding of their mysterious Master. Malatesta's best moments are of the experimental sort, including the use of rear-projection, an illogical narrative and a discordantly memorable soundtrack. Whether all of it was intentional or just regional schlock filmmaking at its worst is up for debate.
The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976) is a much more confident piece of filmmaking that winds up being just as challenging.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Again, Arrow Video is killing the competition with their top-notch release of these 3 obscure indie 70s chillers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is an incredible set. Personally, I enjoyed The Premonition the most, but they are all wonderful in their own ways. It is great that these films are coming to light. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stephen C. Williams
I tried to watch it, but it was so dull and not like the title implies. If you're looking for a WITCH movie, you won't find it here.Published 3 months ago by Kristopher Davis
*I received a review copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review
It seems as if the fine folks at Arrow Video and MVD Distribution keep trying to “one up”... Read more
Arrow Video, the Gods of Cult film, have just released their first collection in hopefully a long line of little known American Horror films - The American Horror Project: Volume... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robert Balducci Jr
A copy of this title was provided for review purposes.
I’ve sung the praises for Arrow Video for months now. Read more
This is pretty much a must-have for every serious indie horror fan, as it's a foray into what has been going on in the genre in the 1970s away from the classics that everyone knows... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michael Haberfelner
This review was originally written for my website From the Mind of Tatlock. The product was provided for review. Read morePublished 4 months ago by From the Mind of Tatlock