Witchboard (1986)


Written & Directed by: Kevin S. Tenney


Todd Allen .... Jim Morar
Tawny Kitten .... Linda Brewster
Stephen Nichols .... Brandon Sinclair
Burke Byrnes .... Lt. Dewhurst
James W. Quinn .... Lloyd

Special Appearance:

Kathleen Wilhoite .... Sarah 'Zarabeth' Crawford

Release Dates:
Limited Theatrical: December 31, 1986; Theatrical: March 13, 1987





A woman named Linda Brewster (Tawny Kitten) uses her friend's ouija board to entertain her guests at a party which is all for fun and games but later on she heavily gets into this summoning up a dead friend in which her boyfriend Jim Morar (Todd Allen) is off to work and encounters a tragic accident that killed his assistant Lloyd (James W. Quinn) along with Linda being taunted in her nightmares as well as her having an emotional and obnoxious personality in which she thinks she's pregnant but the doctors find this false and not knowing as to why she is behaving this way.
Jim and Linda realise that this dead friend is evil and more deadly events are going to happen as well as controlling Linda's thoughts and dreams along with seeing an image of a hatchet for a futuristic killing. Jim tries to find a way to try and protect her from this evil but he might be too late


The beginning looks interesting with the cheesy low budget looking background with the openin credits along with people partying later on in which this seemed all too obvious and set out as well as unnatural. In other words cheesy looking. There's even moments when they all try a ouija board in which this also looked too set out. Yet there's a good moment when one of the main character's named Brandon Sinclair gets frusterated with Jim Morar when he acts drunk and not taking himn seriously which very much reminds you of idiots you have to deal with but yet Jim himself gets violent in which needed to look a little more intense here since it didn't look very natrual. Later on in the story when it exposed 4 of the main character's doing this later on it seemed to blend in a little more and making it seem more entertaining too.
We even spot the main woman Linda Brewster toying around with the ouija board as this looked very corny to watch in which the story tried to look serious but it seemed a little too campy. However it seems to work in with a scene when her boyfriend Jim and his friend Lloyd are on break doing construction at a house when we spot a hatchet on top of a roof area in which gives you a hint that something is going to happen when things are quiet with them having a discussion and then BANG! The roof falls on Lloyd with a shocking result. This moment almost makes you jump but slightly misses by a little bit. It was well done and almost unexpected.
Nice shots on a funeral scene as well as a detective talking to these main characters which draws in nicely to the story on what we may think will unravel later on.
There's a nice twisted situation when Linda tries to talk to Jim with him giggling and then she goes in a psychotic rage by acting violent and then crying which deliovers some nice intense surprises while we spot all of this on her acting like a switch. It leads you to think that she is slowly becoming possessed by the ouija board she's been toying with. This moment was nicely written in.
Nice camera shots zooming around a room in a ghostly fashion with Linda sleeping which looked very impressive. Gives the story a perfect feel without a doubt. Also we have a moment with her going near a coffin in which things look still and a hand from the coffin shoots up to grab her neck in which this makes you jump for sure. Very well done here. There's even a moment with a knife flying in the air and landing on the ground with some ketchup spilling with it which looked amusing to watch and a nice warning on what is going to happen since this is controlled by an evil spirit.
We have some nice cheesy humoress moments with a medium named Zarabeth acting goofy and just someone who isn't serious in what she is saying to help call up the main character's dead friend in which she came across as someone who seems like a phony. But yet the moments change when she performs this ceremony with neat sound effects when she is talking showing nice timing here and alot of fun to watch too.
A nice camera shot zooming in on Zarabeth in her home with her screaming and running away which looked impressive to watch. Plus a great shot on her door closed looking dark with a light and steam oozing through it as this gave the moment a nice eerie feel to everything.
Nice shots on Linda taking a shower and then the water getting too hot controlled by an evil force with her trying to get out but the shower door is stuck which seems to be a common situation in a horror flick. Yet it works in well since it makes you feel like being in that situation as this gives you the chills.
We spot a good moment with Brandon trying to get demanding towards Jim while he tries not to pay attention to him and getting in his face in which this makes you watch closely wondering if he will snap and a fight will break out.
We spot a nice scene with the two of them having a personal discussion as to what had happened to them and talking about their memories in which this scene was nicely written in and looked serious as well as touching. The scenery looked perfect with them at a pier in a n ocean. We have a good shot on some barrells tumbling down on them which looked suspenseful as well as a moment with Brandon getting up on a pier and then a quick shot on a hatchet flying to his head which looked right on target without expecting this to happen. A nice moment with Jim struggling from an ocean and a nice surprise shot on a hand grabbing him. Another nice horror feel here but not what we expect after we find out who this person is. It looks very sad and tragic which shows more decent writing while this moment happens.
The action gets going even more when Jim is struggling against Linda who is now fully possessed with a cheesy demonic speaking in her voice along with teasing moments making you think that she's better only to fool him as the timing here is perfect and will catch you by surprise big time. The low budget horror feel to everything surrounding these moments was timed in a decent fashion. Then afterwards we spot a cheesy special effects shot on him falling through a window in slow motion which you could tell wasn't real at all but makes it a mystery since it doesn't fully expose him falling down alltogether. Yet this looked fun and suspenseful to watch all of this.
Then there's a scene at a church as this was a good teaser scene making you think that it's a funeral while spotting the people in their seats until the camera focuses on what is really happening here offering to fool you big time.
Bottom line is that the film is made on a low budget offering a few scares, many cheesy moments but not as intense as it was made out to be. Still it was well done for what it was and a fun one to watch. This marks Kevin S. Tenney's debut with his first nationwide horror film before doing others like Night of the Demons or Pinnochio's Revenge for example.

The acting seemed to be at a good pace here. Lead actor Todd Allen (Jim Morar) seemed to do well with someone who has a hard time taking stuff seriously and coming across as a true idiot who likes to have too much fun which shows off nicely here. However he doesn't come across intense from time to time when he gets aggressive or violent as the energy needed to be picked up a bit. However he does show a good drive in certain spots. Plus does a nice job with his serious speaking and concerned attitude too. Really brings it out big time with his emotional atttitude especially while he's crying and letting it all out which looked extremely believeable. He also does a good job with his choking and gagging words while being attacked showing a perfect surprised expression on his face.
Tawny Kitten (Linda Brewster) seemed to show off some nice characteristics into her part of the film but yet when she tries to talk to the ouija board she seems to break her seriousness and comes off cheesily performed here. However she seems to do an okay job when she screams but yet at times seems to lack some energy. Does a nice job crying as well as freaking out and going berserk in a situation bringing up the high intense energy while doing all of this. She also shows some decent blocking when she becomes possessed while acting possessed along with having nice evil expressions while doing all of this which shows off nicely.
Stephen Nichols (Brandon Sinclair) does a good job whenever he acts aggressive in which he brings the level to a powerful pace. Also does a good job by acting good and serious within whatever he does in the flick along with having the right looks within all of this. He even does a nice job by acting persistent and demanding in a certain part of the scene really showing this with a good driving force here.
Burke Byrnes (Lt. Dewhurst) shows a perfect attitude as a detective in the flick in which he does a nice job by getting to the point with stuff as well as showing a good and stern expression whenever he speaks. He also does a nice job with his demanding attitude whenever he tries to get information through others. Plus shows some good energy near the end of his performance while shouting out and holding a gun in his hands. He also reacts well to the pain when he gets shot.
Kathleen Wilhoite (Sarah 'Zarabeth' Crawford) showed a ton of great spunk and energy into her appearance here and showed that she was a natural ham with what she does having great timing with her comedic side in which she does a nice job acting hyper and full of life and really getting into that mode a great deal. She also does a nice job acting still and expressionless when she is summoning a spirit showing a good versatality when her body is taken over. She also shows a great fearful energy during the end of her performance along with some decent screaming too.

Brief exposure by Tawny Kitten while taking a shower with a camera shot looking down on her as well as cleaning herself with a towel exposing them too.

A sharp object is impaled through a woman lying on top of it after crashing through a window
A hatchet stabs someone in the head

A cheesy low keyboard playing for the opening credits but yet it wasn't terrible. There's alot of good high pitched synthesizer music for the suggested terror as well as deep sounds too which showed a nice combination that will unveil while watching the movie. Plus there's alot of great windy sound effects making it seem perfectly haunting like. There's also good string strumming too all done by Dennis Michael Tenney.
Plus there's a great metal songtrack by an artist named Iannis Xenakis for a scene with a wild character listening to her music at her place which suits the moment with a great guitar playing and perfect vocalising in which was shown on the closing credits too titled "Bump in the Night". It has a total 80's feel to everything in the song.

Zarabeth: TTFN
Brandon Sinclair: What's "TTFN"?
Jim Morar: Ta Ta For