MARK OF THE WITCH (1970)
Article 3515 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-5-2011
Posting Date: 3-30-2011
Directed by Tom Moore
Featuring Robert Elston, Anitra Walsh, Darryl Wells
What it is: Resurrected witch tale
A group of students studying superstitious rites performs a ritual to resurrect a witch; though it appears not to have worked, one of them has in fact been possessed by a witch. The witch intends to revitalize her coven and take vengeance on the descendant of the man who betrayed her.
For about the first twenty minutes, the movie is little more than a predictable set of cliches, including the pre-credits sequence where the witch, just prior to being hanged, places a curse on her betrayer. It’s not until the witch is resurrected that the movie starts showing a bit of imagination by incorporating some interesting details in the story; I particularly like the fact that the witch doesn’t come into the present with the knowledge of how the modern world works. The movie also works itself up to an interesting and slightly different ending. It does have moments of silliness, but that’s no real surprise; the movie’s biggest problem is that its pace is just too leisurely to work up much in the way of suspense, and you never really get caught up in the story. That being said, the movie is better than I expected it would be.