Article 5074 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Norman J. Warren
Featuring John Nolan, Carolyn Courage, James Aubrey
What it is: A witch’s very confusing curse
People associated with a film crew that made a movie about the burning of a witch are dying off in horrible ways. Is it the witch’s curse or something else?
I’ve encountered the work of Norman J. Warren before, and I can honestly say that nothing I’ve seen of his work up to this point has done much to impress me. Here, however, I get a few hints of creativity and cleverness; I was especially impressed with a sequence in which a scene of car lights in the distance recalls an earlier scenes of villagers with torches in the distance. However, I must confess that the screenplay here is really a mixed bag. Though I like the way it does some interesting things in the opening “villagers burning the witch” sequence, once the action opens into the present day, the movie seems to go off half-cocked in several directions at once. The movie features several horrible deaths, many of which simply don’t make any sense within the given plot. From what I gather from a user comment on IMDB, this movie was heavily influenced by SUSPIRIA, but that movie (confusing as it is) seems quite focused in comparison to this one, and whatever talents or style Warren possesses, he’s definitely no Dario Argento. The end result is a bloody and confusing head-scratcher. Still, I do have to say of the Warren films I’ve seen to date, this is the one I like the best.