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Not a lot of shocks, but nevertheless a nice slice of sleaze
Like many films on the BBFC's "Video Nasty" list back in the eighties; The Witch Who Came from the Sea baffles the viewer because there really isn't anything in the film that should have lead to its banning. Sure, there's a little bit of blood and the suggestive child abuse scenes are a bit shocking, but this film is never going to corrupt or deprave. Anyway, while the shocks are disappointing, and I can understand why this isn't a widely liked cult classic; I've got to say that I really enjoyed it...and I should also mention that I'm not really sure why. The film features the age-old storyline of someone going insane and turning to murder, but it's surprisingly more relaxed in pace and content that many other similar movies. This one is also different because, rather than seeing a man butcher women; we've got a woman exacting violence against men. Molly is a young lady corrupted by memories of her seafaring father. She turns to drink, and soon becomes a killer after spending the night with two footballers. We then follow her on her dissent into alcoholism and insanity.
The film has that classic, gritty low budget look about it, which bodes well with the atmosphere presented. One of the main reasons why I liked this film is because it seems that writer Robert Thom and director Matt Cimber actually care about the plot and characters, and this is shown by the fact that a lot of the movie is spent building up the situation around the lead character. The movie remains interesting throughout because certain facts about the lead's past are fed to the audience bit by bit, and these help us to see why the character acts as she does. The lead role is taken by Millie Perkins, who actually does a really good job with it. It's easy to believe that she is the character we are seeing on screen, and her performance is above the average for this sort of film. The scenes of gore aren't all that shocking, and only the one that sees a man butchered with his razor is likely to provoke any kind of reaction from the audience. The castration sequences and the child abuse are what this film became notorious for, but I don't know why as they both are put forward in a very casual manner. Overall, however, I feel that The Witch Who Came from the Sea has been unfairly treated and should be remembered with a bit more respect.
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