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Robert Allen Schnitzer
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When I decided to watch THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA, I was expecting some sort of groovy 1970s exploitation kinda film. It looked promising during the beginning: we see a woman on the beach who daydreams about killing the three big muscular guys who are exercising nearby. That moment was filled with gratuitous sexualized violence (the bulging guys are nearly naked). Cool! Then as the film went along, the by-now-crazy woman actually kills two football players by castrating them. Not a pleasant thing to watch but I'm up for some cheap thrills. But after that, there's almost nothing. It's just talk, talk, talk. The castration scene was pretty good. The build-up at least. But once the woman started "operating" on the men, the result was underwhelming. Everything was done off-screen (like the Japanese film, AUDITION) and what little gore there was, if wasn't convincing at all. Not that I wanted to see all the gory details but the result was not very convincing.
Practically everything in this movie was done off-screen, including the movie itself. Seriously, there's no story, there's no semblance of terror or horror. The psychology is silly. The flashback scenes between the father and the daughter were funny but oddly effective (and the reason why this film was considered a "nasty" by the British film board). The actors were good but the script is such a mess or it doesn't know what to do with this crazy character that no amount of good acting could have saved this. It's meant to be seen as a whimsical (yes, whimsical!) psychological portrait of a crazy woman but the film itself comes off looking completely drunk. There's no structure to it whatsoever. It ambulates forward without any purpose. To titillate? To enlightened? To shock? To make us laugh? Nope. None of that.
The most disappointing thing about THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA is that it promises to be trashy and, mainly because in which decade this was made, it would be chock full of gratuitous nudity. Nope. Aside from a few shots of the lead actress' breasts and a few quick shots of some naked people not worth mentioning, there's NO nudity to be seen, female or male. It's odd that for a film about castration, we never get to see what the crazy woman was so obsessed about those men.
It's a film that basically pleases no one: fans of trashy films or fans of quirky and original alternative films.
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