IMDb > The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976)
The Witch Who Came from the Sea
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The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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5.4/10   605 votes »
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Down 45% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Robert Thom (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Witch Who Came from the Sea on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1976 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Molly really knows how to cut men down to size!!
Plot:
A disturbed woman is haunted by memories of childhood abuse, which culminates in a murder spree. | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(8 articles)
Cinema Epoch Acquires New Titles for DVD
 (From CinemaRetro. 27 June 2013, 12:25 PM, PDT)

Interview: Kier-La Janisse
 (From GreenCine Daily. 26 November 2012, 8:38 AM, PST)

“Psychotic Women” and more at NYC’s 92YTribeca
 (From Fangoria. 15 November 2012, 7:36 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Good low budget oddity, hard to find these days See more (28 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Millie Perkins ... Molly
Lonny Chapman ... Long John
Vanessa Brown ... Cathy
Peggy Feury ... Doris
Jean Pierre Camps ... Tadd
Mark Livingston ... Tripoli

Rick Jason ... Billy Batt
Stafford Morgan ... Alexander McPeak
Richard Kennedy ... Detective Beardsley

George 'Buck' Flower ... Detective Stone
Roberta Collins ... Clarissa
Stan Ross ... Jack Dracula
Lynne Guthrie ... Carol
Barry Cooper ... Newcomer
Gene Rutherford ... Sam Walters
Jim Sims ... Austin Slade
Sam Chu Lin ... Newscaster
Anita Franklin ... T.V. Commercial Girl
John F. Goff ... Molly's Father (as John Goff)
Verkina Flower ... Young Molly (as Verkina)

Directed by
Matt Cimber 
 
Writing credits
Robert Thom (written by)

Produced by
Matt Cimber .... producer
Jefferson Richard .... line producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Herschel Burke Gilbert 
 
Cinematography by
Ken Gibb (director of photography)
Dean Cundey (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Bud Warner 
 
Casting by
George 'Buck' Flower 
 
Makeup Department
Gale Peterson .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Jefferson Richard .... production supervisor (as Jef Richard)
William Swenning .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Tull .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Robert Florio .... assistant sound editor
Jay Kaufman .... assistant sound
John Vincent .... sound mixer
Colin Waddy .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James Andrien .... best boy (as Jim Andrien)
Mark Buckalew .... second assistant camera
Bill Coker .... gaffer
Don Coufal .... grip
Dean Cundey .... associate director of photography
Bill Drake .... grip
Tom La Monaco .... grip
Jim Salazar .... key grip
Raymond Stella .... assistant camera (as Ray Stella)
Gil Valle .... grip
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Caroline Davis .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Jan Wesley .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Herschel Burke Gilbert .... music director
 
Other crew
Dean Cundey .... technical supervisor (as Dean Cundy)
Robert Lubin .... gopher
Norma Rosenberg .... production coordinator
Lynne Twentyman .... script supervisor (as Lynn Ward)
James Yousling .... title designer
 

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Runtime:
83 min | UK:88 min (uncut version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
George "Buck" Flower not only acts in this movie as one of the homicide detectives investigating the murders committed by Millie Perkins in the movie, but also served as the film's casting director. In fact, Flower cast his own daughter Verkina to play young Molly in the disturbing flashback sequences featured in the movie.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Dean of Darkness with Dean Cundey (2013) (V)See more »

FAQ

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Good low budget oddity, hard to find these days, 29 November 2003
Author: FilmFlaneur from London

A weird and obscure little film from exploitation director Cimber, The Witch Who Came From The Sea gained a degree of notoriety some years ago when it appeared on the UK's controversial 'video nasties' list. With its prominent themes of child abuse and castration that's not surprising, even though in the event much of the objectionable material is fairly low-key. Mollie Perkins plays Millie, whose treatment at the hands of her father when young has left her emotionally scarred, even though she half-idolises his memory. At the time the film opens she is supporting two children, works in an "advice centre" (a bar) and is in an off/on relationship with the owner, Long John (Lonny Chapman). Soon two footballers are castrated and killed, while Millie enters into a obsessive relationship with McPeak (Stafford Morgan), a film star appearing in a frequently run shaving commercial on TV.

Cimber's film is focussed on what is presumably Millie's downward spiral of mental collapse, and this is its biggest weakness. Haunted by a series of painful flashbacks (in which it becomes more and more clear exactly what was the nature of her traumatic childhood experience), Millie's inner torment is otherwise rarely articulated to the audience, although Perkins does her best to project some sympathy into the character. These days the two castration scenes, fake blood, cutaways (no pun intended) and all, are far less provoking to an audience than those of child abuse. In a modern production, typically issues would be 'dealt with' from a psychological standpoint. She remains curiously mute however, and we miss the catharsis. "Millie's the captain of her own ship," says Long John, who recognises this distant quality of his employee/lover - one who, even in bed with him, cannot confide her sexual history. But while keeping her own confidence may suggest inner strength, this woman who 'looks liberated' is ultimately as much a mystery as when we first see her.

Without any internal keys to Millie's psychology, apart from her murderous compulsions, the audience is forced to look for answers elsewhere. Fortunately the film is full of enough symbolism, Freudian and otherwise to give ample hints, considerably enriching the narrative and providing its principal interest. 'The witch' in question does not refer to supposed supernatural skills of the heroine. Millie is human and emotionally damaged. Much is suggested when she admires a reproduction hanging on the wall of a lecherous male admirer. Botticelli's well-known Birth of Venus features a female figure standing on a shell, incidentally reminiscent of the mermaid tattooed on her father's chest. (Millie shortly thereafter has a copy done on her belly.) Venus' "father was a god" we learn, and "they cut off his balls, the sea got knocked up, and Venus was the kid." The Botticelli neatly encapsulates the themes of consummation and emasculation running through the film. It's the tension between the two that ultimately wrecks Millie, ruinously torn between admiration of her father and knowledge of what men can do.

Castration of course is an obvious form of unmanning, as demonstrated by Millie's treatment of the footballers, then McPeak (the second instance achieved, remarkably, through the misuse of a safety razor). Her first lover, the aptly named 'Long John', has a beard. He and it remain thankfully intact at the end of the film. In Cimber's film, shaving is associated explicitly both with sex ("Someday I'd love to shave you.") as well as with explicit genital injury. Like a peculiar Delilah to various Samsons, Millie quickly reduces men by her barbering attentions, destroying their vitality, and thence their threat to her. Her fantasises run along the same lines from the very first. The viewer initially sees Millie on the beach, reassuring her children about their grandfather's heroic status, while absent-mindedly staring at bodybuilders working out - in effect going from groyne to groin. We assume that her fixation on their bulging swim shorts is straightforwardly sexual. Only later do we realise that crotches are targets in more ways than one.

All of the performances are adequate, though none are outstanding. In the central role Mollie Perkins, despite the aforementioned drawbacks of her part, gives a reasonable impression of a divided and damaged personality, emotionally numbed by her own demons. During one key scene, the murder of the football players that features drug abuse, bondage then castration, she looks remarkably unfazed by the material - assisted by the nightmarish feel created by Cimber's direction. Perkins had come to this film after appearing in some Monte Hellman films, notably his outstanding existential westerns Ride The Whirlwind and The Shooting (both 1965), and perhaps felt that more such off-the-wall material suited her style. Certainly after this period in her career she was unable to find such striking material again. (Cimber's next film was with Orson Welles in the Pia Zadora turkey Butterfly, 1982)

The Witch Who Came From The Sea has a quiet ending, but one that is nevertheless apt and poetically very effective. Scriptwriter Robert Thom (whose previous two credits were for the classic B-movies Crazy Mama and Death Race 2000, both in the previous year) builds on the seafaring imagery already featured throughout the film to send his heroine on a last voyage of her own. Millie's departure, in the bosom of her family and friends, is far away from the Grand Guignol conclusion common to the genre. It is as if formal justice has no part to play in a sad tale, which revolves almost entirely around the wounding of the psyche, and in line with this, the police investigation during the film is remarkably muted, and un-cynical. Remarkably hard to find these days, presumably because of its downbeat subject matter, this is a film that still holds up well. A stronger supporting cast would have made it into a mini-classic. As it is, it still serves as a reminder of the imagination possible from a low budget film, a novelty from a period rich in bargain basement experiment.

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