The Witch Who Came from the Sea (VHS)

Wow, here's a pile of mutated, rotting, festering, very-bad-smelling human fluid and waste products.  Let's get something straight around here.  I love bad movies, love em.  And there's no sense in arguing why, because if you're reading this, you've been there too.  The troubling filming techniques, the poorly articulated dialog, the horrid acting, the ridiculous soundtracks, the laughable plots, it's one of the greatest things in human existence; the movie that's good because it's bad.  But, as I've always said, some films are just bad because they're bad, and that's it.  The Witch Who Came from the Sea would be one of those, sadly.  Unicorn Video released some real crapcakes back in the day, but now and then you'll come across a good one.  There were so many little hopes in my being this would have been one of them, if not only for the stolen Frank Frazetta artwork from an issue of Vampirella, no, we were hoping for the good-but-bad phenomenon with a touch of class, but the wife and I found it took us roughly three days to stomach, just for the sake of finishing it to say "been there, done that."  In an era of rape-revenge films, this one really had the potential to be confrontational, troubling, maybe a bit scary, all of that, and it could have maybe taught a lesson, too.  But it does none of the above, it doesn't even do anything below, whatever that means.

  

The plot of The Witch Who Came from the Sea has absolutely nothing to do with the artwork.  Is this about some literal witch in the Dark Ages?  No.  Does she wear a skimpy cape outfit thing?  No.  Does she wield a scythe with one arm?  No.  Does she chop off heads?  No, not even that.  Well, what in the Hell does she do?  The "witch" is poor Molly, a young woman who works at a bar near an oceanfront.  She was sexually abused as a child (revealed in flashbacks throughout the film), and this causes her to have severe mental problems.  She takes medication for it, on occasion, sometimes too much, in order to cope, downing it with alcohol at times, but really it's ineffectual and it can't stop her from doing the one thing she needs to do, kill.  Molly kills men.  Okay, great, got that out of the way.  How though?  She lures them into bed, and then she kills them, in a variety of ways.  Alright, simple, plenty of room for plot there.  Sometimes she imagines doing it, and you wonder what in the Hell is going on, and then you realize she's simply daydreaming, but the majority of the death scenes involve her taking out her molested rage upon men.  Fine, pretty good plot idea for a rape-revenge type film, in fact it was kind of cutting edge in the way it approached molestation, because it certainly isn't pretty, at all.  But unfortunately it's also not a pretty film in the sense that it sucks.

 

And it's largely because it's confusing.  The plot never develops properly, in fact you're never sure what's exactly going on until you take the time to seriously think about, and no one wants to work this hard for a movie like this.  The camera angels are odd, the filming grainy in a bad way, the music poorly written, and, more importantly, the story is never really told in any sort of logical fashion, but it can't capitalize on this effect because the director simply didn't have the skill.  When Molly kills, you barely see anything, the bit of gore that's captured is incredibly weak and sometimes you're not even sure how it got to that point.  Wait, why did she lure and kill these two football players?  Because she saw them in a commercial on television?  What?  God, keep me away from those commercials, I guess  There's simply no connection given for how Molly gets from point A, rage/revenge urge, to point B, killing men.  That critical middle between the two is completely severed, and you don't even get any proper slaying scenes out of it.  She's here, and then she's there, the end.  This is further confounded by the presence of her sister and two nephews, who have this weird cult-worship thing going on for their aunt.  Then you have Long John, the only man who truly loves her, apparently, who she never kills.  And then you have the horrid scenes of child rape.  Nothing graphic is ever shown, but boy is it suggested.  This is really the only point where the film has anything to say, it confronts the viewer by juxtaposing these scenes with Molly going insane.  That, thankfully, is the one thing going for it, because Millie Perkins does a generally incredible job of portraying a woman who's constantly suffering from her past.  But, just when you think The Witch Who Came from the Sea is going to blow you away with an ending for the ages, she suddenly daydreams she's on a raft and the credits roll.  What?  Suffice to say, there's a reason why this particular film, if on VHS, is rare as piss, and why you should never watch it.  The DVD release contains some extra scenes, but it's not worth seeing in any capacity.

 

Written by Stanley Stepanic

The Witch Who Came from the Sea
Unicorn Video
2.5 / 5