The Witch (1966)

THE WITCH (1966)
(a.k.a. THE WITCH IN LOVE/LA STREGA IN AMORE)
Article #1362 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-6-2005
Posting Date: 5-5-2005
Directed by Damiano Damiani
Featuring Richard Johnson, Rosanna Schiaffino, Gian Maria Volonte

A womanizer becomes curious about an old woman who appears to be following him around. When he tracks her down, she offers him a job translating the erotic literature in her library. He then meets her beautiful daughter, and finds himself embroiled in strange events.

This is supposed to be one of those movies that is alluringly mysterious, that toys with the viewer’s expectations and piques his curiosity by portraying a succession of odd and puzzling events intended to leave the viewer mystified until certain startling revelations bring it all into focus. These types of movies can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, this one isn’t, largely because it damn near talks your ears off in the process of unfolding. It also doesn’t help much that the one short plot description I read blurted out the primary plot twist; really, if you’re going to write a three line plot-description of a movie, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to avoid major revelations. Not that the revelation is much of a surprise; the movie isn’t exactly subtle in doling out its hints. On the plus side, it does have a bit of an erotic charge to it, certain individual scenes are quite effective, the dubbing is better than average, and the ending isn’t quite what I expected. Still, I found this one a chore to sit through, and it falls short of its aspirations, though it is aiming somewhat higher than your usual horror movie. It’s ambitious, but ultimately, it’s a failure.

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