Witchery (1988)


Directed by: Fabrizio Laurenti

Written by: Harry Spalding & Daniele Stroppa


David Hasselhoff .... Gary
Linda Blair .... Jane Brooks
Catherine Hickland .... Linda Sullivan
Annie Ross .... Rose Brooks
Hildegard Knef .... Lady in Black
Leslie Cumming .... Leslie
Robert Champagne .... Freddie Brooks
Rick Farnsworth .... Jerry Giordano
Michael Manchester .... Tommy Brooks
Frank Cammarata .... Tony Giordano

Release Date:
Direct-to-Video: December 1, 1988 (West Germany)

*Images courtesy at: www.killer--kittens.blogspot.ca





Gary (David Hasselhoff) and his girlfriend Linda (Catherine Hickland) visit an island off the coast of Massachusetts where a haunted resort hotel looms to do research on witchcraft and spot some strange situations.
They are joined by the Brooks family including a very pregnant Jane (Linda Blair) who seems to become a target to a Lady in Black (Hildegard Knef) whom is a witch, that prospective buyers of the property. Jane is suddenly in a spell and spots some grueomse events that will unravel her unborn child as well as others slowly being tortured one by one with alot of demonic forces on them that includes burning and someone killed when controlled by a voodoo doll.
Then night happens and are stuck on the island with no escape as this witch seems to keep them on there and will not quit until all of them die.


The beginning seems pretty impressive spotting a pregnant woman running along a dirt path like running away from an evil force along with great shots on her in a mansion and crashing through a window in which this definetely draws to a horror mystery by what we will expect to see in the story about to come up here.
In alot of the situations we spot a halluciantion sequence on the Lady in Black which is the witch about to do an evil spell along with a good close up shot on her shiny necklace which has a bright reflection in the sunlight exposing cheesy special effects on what the two main characters Gary and Linda try to spot at the mansion they're in on an island.
Also we do see this witch watching the pregnant Jane Brooks walking along the street in a city as this moment looked cheesy as well and not as creepy like it was supposed to have been but yet you wonder what will happen with good close up shots on some cable on a crane snapping off and a metal rail crashing down right next to her which can seem good and suspenseful on nearly hitting her as well as getting killed when we spot the surroundings with her in shock as well as construction workers to see if she's okay. I found this a good cheesy plot while we conmtinue to watch this film.
Plus there's a moment with a curious little boy named Tommy spotting an island with a mansion there and a girl in a wheelchair warning him that it's evil in which there was no enthusiasm when this moment occurs here.
There's even situations when everyone is on the ship to the mansion with different interactions on what they are doing including Jane showing Tommy on how to work a tape recorder in which this looked well focused on the discussion here.
Also we have a good moment with people looking at the mansion and their reactions on not having a good feeling which seemed too cheesy to be taken seriously.
There's a neat cheesy special effects with Jane falling as well as her spotting some ghoulish types in a cave like area showing a deformed baby in which you could tell looked fake as well as them acting menacing with it. The surroundings looked good but that was about it.
There's nice mysterious situations when Tommy talks to the Lady in Black with what is being said to one another as this grabs your attention while spotting all this.
Plus we have an irritable character who is an elderly woman named Rose Brooks as you have a feeling that she will get what's coming to her since this is a nice drawing scene. There's some good close up shots on her looking down a chimney but when there's a force dragging her in it doesn't look too convincing but the close up shots on her struggling and scraping her hands against the wall seems to help a bit.
Also we have some cringing moments on her having her mouth sewn shut along with a situation on her trapped upside down in a chimney when someone is about to start up a fire as this doesn't give you a nice feeling at all. Imagining the torture without screaming as some of these elements almost seem similar in movies like Saw and so fourth.
There's some nice close up shots with Leslie and Tony looking at one another and making out which is another drawing card that they will be the next victims in which looked a bit too obvious. However the scenery of them being tortured seemed pretty well set with good foggy effects. Also a nice shot on them being burned alive on an upside down crucifix as there's neat effects with all of this.
Nice artsy shots on Linda having a nightmare as well as being on a stretcher which shows nice horror timing here but yet while spotting this the makers seemed to rip off similar ideas in US films like A Nightmare on Elm Street and so fourth.
Interesting moments when the Lady in Black brings out a voodoo doll and pokes at it as well as spotting one of the character's Freddie suddenly gagging in pain with some disturbing and gruesome results as this can make you cringe while spotting all of this.
Some neat shots on the hallway as well as everyone struggling to get away plus a nice close up shot on Jane with a possessive attitude and acting menacing in which things seem pretty good and intense.
Bottom line is that it's an italian horror film and an unofficial sequel to Evil Dead 3 titled La Casa 4 in it's hometown it has nothing in common with any of them. Although there were some neat settings and effective moments the storyline is a total bore and things happening too fast. It's roughly paced and a little boring to watch alot of the times. Saves from bombing though.

The acting seemed to be performed in an average pace as lead actor David Hasselhoff (Gary) seemed to be better off in his TV series Knight Rider proving that he is not a worthy movie star like he was as a TV star . But again he was never the greatest actor to start with. However he comes across nicely with his charming personality with his presence. He was a bit low on energy at times whenever he was struggling when the terrors started to happen but at times he picked it up a bit too.
Linda Blair (Jane Brooks) however seemed to pull her weight pretty nicely as she shows nice shocked reactions with her behavior like when a near accident happens around her as this looks very natural. Also she does a nice job when helping out a child with something as she was well focused while performing in this scene. Does a natural job while feeling in pain during her pregnancy as she shows some nice emotions here. Plus she shows some great possessive expressions as well as great physical and violent blocking near the end of her performance as well as showing perfect struggling and intense reactions later on. She definetely has that same feel like she did in The Exorcist.
Catherine Hickland (Linda Sullivan) seemed to do well with her troubled expressions as well as drawing a good seriousness into what she does here. Plus she really brings out alot of great emotionas and screaming during a nightmare sequence acting like she's in torture in which this was fairly impressive to watch. She shows nice expressions into what she does as well as showing some nice panicking reactions too during the terrors that happen here.
Annie Ross (Rose Brooks) was pretty effective in her supporting role as she shows off a good bitter attitude as someone who is not a very nice person to be around as well she does a nice job with her fearful reactions too when something happens to her. Also does a good job with her shocked behavior when she's being tortured as well as acting believeable when she is being burned alive too with her groaning reactions.
Hildegard Knef (Lady in Black) really came across perfectly mysterious as she showed a perfect wicked and charming accent whenever she spoke as well as having a good cackly laughter to her presence which was another bonus. Yet she didn't have a fierce look to her like you'd think in a witch at all. Still she did the job with her role and proved to be a worthy character actress.
Robert Champagne (Freddie Brooks) does an okay job as someone who acts a bit sarcastic and closed minded but yet needed some improvements with whatever he does in certain spots of the flick. However he seems to do well with his uplifting and charming personality whenver he tries to act witty which shows off. He does a perfect job acting with intense pain when he seems to be choking to death and really getting into this when a deadly curse is put on him and really rolling within all of this.
Child actor Michael Manchester (Tommy Brooks) seems to be mainly a line reader but yet he seems impressive with his little kid charm as well as doing a good job by acting curious on stuff as this shines off nicely. It's just that he has a hard time getting into character when we watch himself perform.

Catherine Hickland's breasts are revealed with her shirt pulled down in a dream with her being tied up as well as her in bed

A woman's mouth is sewed shut
Spikes are impaled by a person's hand as well as a woman's arm being cut
A body is burned hanging upside down in a chimney
A fellow has blood vessells popping out of his arms and neck with blood splurting out
A sharp object is stabbed through someone's head
A sharp object is stabbed through a person's chest

Some outerspace type synthesizer sharp sounds which seemed to work in well along with alot of hissing and scraping sounds Plus there's low keyboard effects and cheesy organ type of music too. There's some perfect low budget creepy keyboard sounds throughout most of the plot that is very deep sounding along with the odd chiming effects with some chanting too all done by Carlo Maria Cordio and Randy Miller