SEASON OF THE WITCH (1972)
aka Hungry Wives
Article 3263 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-26-2010
Posting Date: 7-21-2010
Directed by George A. Romero
Featuring Jan White, Raymond Laine, Ann Muffly
What it is: Unusual witchcraft tale
An unhappy wife with a neglectful and sometimes abusive husband finds herself drawn to the occult.
Strange as it may seem, this is only the third film I’ve ever seen from George Romero, and only the second for this series. Reportedly, it’s George’s favorite of his first four movies, and I can see why. Granted, anyone expecting horror on the level of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is going to walk away from this one annoyed and frustrated, but I found its character-driven story and deliberately paced buildup to be rather fascinating. It’s also one of those movies where the dream sequences feel authentic and convincing, and the creative use of a recurring dream (where the housewife is being stalked and assaulted by a masked attacker) really adds to the tension. The version I saw, by the way, was the shortened 89 minute version, apparently cut from a 130 minute version by a distributor, and though I’d be curious to see the complete version, I do find myself wondering if the movie would be able to sustain itself for that length. Nevertheless, I quite like this one, though I can understand why it is considered a failure by many.
***NOTE My supposition about this being one of Romero’s favorite of his own movies may be incorrect; I’ve heard from another source that he roundly hates the movie because of its failure to turn a profit.