The Witch Who Came from the Sea

"Terrible"

The Witch Who Came from the Sea Review


Really, I'd love to know what could make an actress decide to appear in a blatant exploitation film. Here's one Millie Perkins, who'd played Anne Frank and starred in a couple of Monte Hellman pictures, one opposite Jack Nicholson. Here comes a script about a psychotic waitress who murders her boyfriends and is particularly fond of castration. We'll find out why in the end... she's got a nasty skeleton in her closet, not to mention an unhealthy fascination with the idea of mermaids as witches (hence the title). She even gets a tattoo to take on this role personally.

Not only was The Witch Who Came from the Sea widely banned and critically shat upon, it pretty much killed the career of everyone involved with it. Director Matt Cimber slowly faded into obscurity. Star Perkins didn't reappear in Hollywood for five full years (finally resurfacing on TV). She didn't make another movie until 1984. Vanessa Brown never made another movie. Ditto most of the supporting cast.

Why did this happen? Witch is that rare combination of awful story, awful acting, awful effects, and blatant exploitation that invariably makes for a non-enjoyable time. First, the story is utter nonsense, with Robert Thom's attempt to build Wicker Man mysticism into a vapid story. Then there's the acting: Perkins was fine as Anne Frank (though, contrary to the press notes, she was not nominated for an Oscar), but here she's a banshee with a razor blade and sans a top. The blood effects -- as Millie plies her trade every 15 minutes -- are pathetic, with actors smearing ketchup across their necks and stomachs or squirting it on the set. And those costumes: Lace covered blue jeans!? Wow.

Inexplicably issued on DVD, the commentary track which might have shed light on all of this is functionally inaudible. What are we left with? An absurd story with no redeeming qualities. Highly recommended for lovers of bad cinema.



The Witch Who Came from the Sea

Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 1st February 1976

Distributed by: Saiko

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Molly, as Long John, as Cathy, as Doris, as Tadd, as Tripoli, Rick Jason as Billy Batt, Stafford Morgan as Alexander McPeak, as Detective Beardsley, George Buck Flower as Detective Stone, as Clarissa, Stan Ross as Jack Dracula, Lynne Guthrie as Carol, Barry Cooper as Newcomer, Gene Rutherford as Sam Walters

Also starring: ,

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