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Witchtrap (1989)

Parapsychologists try to make an inn haunted by an evil witch's ghost safe for guests.

Director:

Kevin Tenney (as Kevin S. Tenney)

Writer:

Kevin Tenney (as Kevin S. Tenney)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James W. Quinn James W. Quinn ... Tony Vincente
Kathleen Bailey ... Whitney O'Shay
Judy Tatum Judy Tatum ... Agnes Goldberg
Rob Zapple ... Felix Goldberg
Jack W. Thompson ... Murphy
Clyde Talley II ... Levi Jackson
Hal Havins ... Elwin
Linnea Quigley ... Ginger Kowowski
Kevin Tenney ... Devon Lauder (as Kevin S. Tenney)
J.P. Luebsen ... Avery Lauter
Richard Fraga ... Amazing Azimov
Lynn McRee ... Q.T. Secretary
Greg Lewolt Greg Lewolt ... Bartender
Virginia Miller Virginia Miller ... Q.T. Employee
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Storyline

Parapsychologists try to make an inn haunted by an evil witch's ghost safe for guests.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This Time, It's Not a Game.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1990 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Haunted See more »

Filming Locations:

Solano County, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$420,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers only had to pay a fifty dollar cover charge in order to gain access to various locations in Fairfield, California. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, when the guy falls over the balcony, in the first shot, he is holding onto the railing when he flips over, but in all subsequent shots he is sailing over a good five or six inches from the railing. See more »

Quotes

Murray: We need each other.
Tony Vincenti: Speak for yourself, pal. I like girls.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits say "This is not a sequel to "Witchboard." See more »

Alternate Versions

A few gory scenes were shortened to avoid an "X" rating:
  • The scene where Ginger's throat is pierced by the shower head.
  • The close up of Elwin's brains being blown out.
  • A longer shot of Felix's head exploding.
  • An actual view of Levi's head being run over by the possessed car.
See more »

Connections

References Candid Camera (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

You've Been Burned
Composed and Performed by Dennis Michael Tenney
Sung by Rod Ellis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My 50 Cents Worth
2 May 2007 | by kasserineSee all my reviews

This is not a sequel to WITCHBOARD. It's written and directed by Kevin S. Tenney, the director of WITCHBOARD. In fact, on the VHS copy I purchased, there's a notice on the back declaring WITCHTRAP a non-sequel. It's also, included, no kidding, as a notice right before the title sequence for WITCHTRAP. I guess Tenney was threatened with a lawsuit? Was Witchboard that successful that he'd be hassled about his obvious sequel to it? Also, on the packaging is the tag-line, "This time, it's not a game." So, what was the "last" time? WITCHBOARD, maybe? Sequel, perhaps? Please see disclaimer.

Anyway, I picked WITCHTRAP up, amongst other gems, at a local library sale for a whopping 50 cents. It was a rental from a now defunct video store called Top Video. Pretty beat up copy, and I usually prefer to stay away from rentals, but couldn't resist, plus it had Linnea Quigley in it. How bad could it be? Pretty bad, actually. The acting is quite awful. It helped that they drove around in vintage 1980s cars, wore Members Only jackets and sported the latest hairstyles. However, the people driving the cars, and sporting the funky clothes, couldn't cut it as performers. It's about the level of porn acting, maybe a little bit better and I suppose, the guy playing the detective, James Quinn, was okay, sometimes, but that's about it. Quigley, doesn't have much of a part and does what she's hired to do. She has a shower scene and she appears to be laughing when she gets killed.

The premise of the film is fairly typical for this genre. A man named Devin Lauter inherits a mansion from his long deceased uncle, Avery Lauter. Avery, it seems was some kind of warlock or other, and died brutally in the home and, naturally, possesses the place and kills erstwhile inhabitants. That's why the nephew, Devin, hires a crack team of paranormal experts and some detectives, for security, to figure the place out. Of course, once they arrive things go horribly wrong. If only they had gone horribly wrong in any kind of an interesting way. The pacing is very slow and the gruesome deaths aren't very gruesome. Flying hatchets were never that scary to begin with, and WITCHTRAP proves that they still aren't.

There is, however, a certain production value to WITCHTRAP. The pacing sucks but the editing and camera work is clearly professional. In fact, there were a couple of things I thought were kind of neat, here and there, like a scene where some hands come through a door. But, believe me, those moments were few and far between. And, by professional, I mean they had some money behind it, so it's watchable, unlike, say, a lot of the stuff from Full Moon video. I have to also say, that compared to a lot of direct to video digital cheapies I've seen in recent years, some of these ultra low budget filmmakers could learn a thing or two from WITCHTRAP. Unfortunately, that has more to do with how bad some current filmmakers are then any particular quality WITCHTRAP has. Again, there is some technical competence in the film but, unfortunately, not enough to redeem it.

Almost twenty years on, it's a bit tricky to consider recommending WITCHTRAP. There's no arguing that it's a pretty bad film. It fails on some of the most fundamental levels consistently enough to irritate just about anyone interested in these types of films. The gratuitous nudity is pretty uninspired, as is the violence, and the poor acting exceeds camp into just plain awful.

Still, if you're a connoisseur of 80s horror, if there is such a thing, you might be able to tolerate the bad film-making. Linnea Quigley is in it, after all and that helps. It also helps that it is so dated. If you grew up in this era, nostalgia might get you through.

So, if you see it for 50 cents, or maybe a dollar, and need something to play in the background as you do other things, WITCHTRAP just might be up your alley. Otherwise, you're better off with almost anything else.


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