5.3/10
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15 user 16 critic

Warlock Moon (1973)

A young girl meet a boy, they take a trip to the country, and they wind up meeting a creepy old woman who lives in a closed-down resort.

Director:

(as William Herbert)

Writer:

(as John Sykes)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Laurie Walters ...
Jenny Macallister / Ghost Bride
...
John Devers
Edna MacAfee ...
Agnes Abercrombi
Harry Bauer ...
Hunter
Charles Raino ...
Sheriff
Ray K. Goman ...
Deputy Luther (as Ray Goman)
Steve Solinsky ...
Axman
Richard Vielle ...
Axman
Michael Herbert ...
Lecturer
Joan Zerrien ...
First Girl
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Storyline

Young lovers John and Jenny decide to go for a drive in the countryside one day when they happen upon the remains of a long-abandoned resort spa. After doing some exploring, they find that an elderly couple is still living in the crumbling building. They tell the youngsters that the resort was shut down long ago because it was the headquarters of a satanic cult that performed cannibalistic rituals on unsuspecting visitors, and then invite the pair to stay for dinner. Will John or Jenny make it back to civilization alive? Will anyone believe their story? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A horrifying tale of the supernatural See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

PG

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Spa  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Soda Spring Spa was actually the Arroyo Del Valle Sanatorium, a treatment center for tuberculosis in Livermore, California which opened in 1918. With TB cases in decline, the sanatorium was closed in 1960 and sat vacant for more than a decade before the movie was filmed. The ruins were cleared in 1999, and Camp Arroyo was constructed on the site. See more »

Goofs

The main axeman's hair and beard change length throughout the film. See more »

Quotes

Jenny Macallister: What kind of meat is this, Mrs. Abercrombi? Is it beef?
Agnes Abercrombi: No.
Jenny Macallister: Well then, lamb or pork?
Agnes Abercrombi: No.
Jenny Macallister: What is it then?
Agnes Abercrombi: It's an old family recipe. I call it hunter's stew. It'd spoil all the fun if I told you how I made it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The finale plays out under the end credits and the film concludes after the credits have ended. The filmmakers later stated the credits were devised as such so viewers would be forced to read them. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Smelly Car (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Local Favorite...
26 April 2003 | by (Livermore, CA) – See all my reviews

The premise of Warlock Moon is actually pretty simple: girl meets intriguing boy, boy courts her, takes her to a mysterious building, strange things happen, mystery becomes terrifying and then not so, and then ends in a scream. In effect, this is a Gothic Mystery!

Gothic stories always center around an old ruin or haunted building which acts as a center of mystery. The plot device serves to ratchet up the tension by challenging the heroine (sometimes a hero, but not often) to distinguish between what is real, and what is a result of their own nervousness. H.P. Lovecraft used the same sort of device in his famous horror stories. A proper Gothic creates its own atmosphere of mystery and creeping terror. Unlike a mystery, however, a Gothic tale also has an element of romance in it; if, however, the romance can survive the fear that ensues.

Warlock Moon fails, however, because the characters never really emerge from their cardboard-cutout status. It's hard to root for the heroine, Jenny McAllister, because you always want more from her. She foresees the poisoned drink, but never quite breaks free from the mysterious events surrounding her.

Compounding the problem is the stultifying pace of the film. Sometimes it seems as though the actors themselves are deliberately moving slowly so as to use up time blocks. It doesn't help that at times the picture seems to have a "frosted glass" effect on the fringes of the screen, adding to the Gothic feel of the movie.

Filmed in the small town of Livermore, California, the movie still has a bit of celebrity status in that community. When Warlock Moon had finished production, it had a Grand Opening show at the local Vine Theater. All the local residents including notables like the mayor made a great show of attending the premiere screening. Of course the film bombed, which made the event all the more enjoyable, sort of in the style of MST3K!

The setting for the film's climax was at an abandoned tuberculosis treatment facility, which burned down about ten years later. That area is now the site of Camp Arroyo, and is almost unrecognizable from the mysterious ruins shown in Warlock Moon.

A member of the Livermore Heritage Guild, a local historical society, is looking for a copy of Warlock Moon for posterity's sake. He has asked me to relay word to any other filmmakers that he's also looking forward to seeing a much better film made in Livermore.


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