Witchtrap (1989)


Produced, Written & Directed by: Kevin S. Tenney


James W. Quinn .... Tony Vinceti
Kathleen Bailey .... Whitney O'Shea
Judy Tatum .... Agnes Goldberg
Rob Zapple .... Felix Goldberg
Jack W. Thompson .... Murray
Clyde Talley II .... Leon Jackson
Hal Havins .... Elvin
Linnea Quigley .... Ginger Kowolski

Release Date:
Direct-to-Video: September 7, 1989

*Images courtesy at: www.thebloodypitofhorror.blogspot.ca





A group of parapsychologists try to invesigate an inn which is haunted by an evil ghostly resident who kills anyone from trespassing and making it safe for anyone to go there while trying to mark his appearance anywhere he roams but everyone is in for a deadly trap as each person ends up systemiacally slaughtered by evil forces there.


We spot a cheesy beginning with someone in the Lauder house and cheesy shots attacking him like a force was getting at him with good quick close up shots on a picture of the character that's now a ghost trying to make the setting here look scary which reminded me on similar elements of Tenney's previous flick Night of the Demons except that one looked way more effective and then spot this guy crashing through a window dead in which this also looked a bit phony to watch as well.
We have discussions with a Luader family member discussing about his home being haunted and getting the paranromal investigators together as their dicsussions seemed to be a bit cheesy but not over the top terrible. However this moment needed to be a bit more convincing.
We do have some interesting sarcastic situations with everyone while they are at the front of the home which seems to enlighten to story a bit as well we have a moment with the caretaker Elvin snooping towards them adding a good touch to the horror story since we've seen these types in other horror flicks like Prom Night and so fourth.
We have a moment with Whitney O'Shea being frightened on a situation near a window and someone checking it out as there was supposed to be a jumping moment and it almost works but misses just a bit here. Alot of these moments aren't effective at all when they're supposed to be. Oh well.
We also spot a situation with some people having possessed type seizures which seemed to be more laughable than suspenseful as well there's a moment when everyone gathers around to talk to the evil spirit of the home in which it happens way too suddenly in the story and not having time to build up. Yet good camera shots on one of the people possessed talking which is Agned Goldberg so there were good moments here showing the horror material while this happens.
There's a situation with Elvin on a ladder peeking at Whitney getting undressed as well as Leon Jackson catching him in the act as there's a good near jumping moment on Elvin attacking him which showed a nice suspenseful situation here.
Also we have a moment when Ginger is taking a shower which seems to be a drawing card to a sexy woman while doing so while other strange situations are going on with conry possessions. Then a good moment with the water going off and she checks it out with a good shot on the faucett as it springs out towards her which I must admit looked well done.
Alot of neat situations with the camera's rolling looking for paranormal activity as we spot the ghost creeping up on the camera but not seen in the room which looked well done too for a ghost flick. Also neat effects on some hands coming from out of a wall giving it that A Nightmare On Elm Street kind of feel to everything.
We spot a brawling situation between Elvin and Tony Vinceti as the choreography looked a little sloppy and way too cheated out here which needed more improvement yet the setting looked good and dark at the same time. Also we spot more good moments with Elvin attacking in the night as well as being shot making up for the sloppy situations that we spot here.
There's a nice moment when Whitney is driving and spots the ghost standing in the road as well as trying to get help only to realise that she was hallucinating and never left the area which looked pretty clever here using that traiditional haunting moments. Plus some good cheesy moments with her near a graveyard and mist floating around which looked entertaining for a horror flick.
Then we spot a moment with Tony approaching a back turned of what we think is Whitney and then a close up shot on our ghostly villian as this was supposed to take you by surprise but the shots and surroundings looked a bit cheesy to get that feel while watching this. Yet the scene looked partly powerful when the powerful strugglings start to happen but nothing to greatly either. However there's neat effects on what happens to this ghost later on which horror fans may get a kick out of.
Bottom line is that this film is not a sequel to Witchboard although the cover and title may suggest it since it's made by the same makers. It's almost a ripoff to those Amityville haunted house types of films adding extra cheese to everything that we see here. However it can be a fun horror film to watch and entertaining too since there's worst low budget one's out there.

The acting is a little too over the top at times as lead actor James W. Quinn (Tony Vincetti) at times tries way too hard to have an attitude as a detective into his part and his sarcastic behavior falls flat alot too. There are times that he can get into the mode when the suspenseful situations start to happen but sometimes he lacks that too even especially during some of the struggling situations. Does well acting anxious at times as well as getting into a serious conversation which also shows off in an okay fashion too but he was better off performing demonic voice overs for films like Night of the Demons.
Kathleen Bailey (Whitney O'Shea) seemed fairly wooden in her role as someone whom is supposed to act tense with what is happening in the house along with seeming to get carried away when she becomes possessed having a seisure seeming like she's doing comedy more so than doing a horror. However she seems to get into the mode later on when the story really gets going while acting adventureous by trying to put a stop to the evil as her chracteristics show a bit better here yet not enough to be a passable lead character actress.
Judy Tatum
(Agnes Goldberg) seemed to be one of the better cast members drawing a nice serious and business like attitude as the head paranormal investogator as she draws in a nice attention when speaking to other and having a perfect no nonsense type of attitude too. Does a good job while trying to summon up the spirit and seeming to get into what she does here in a decent fashion too.
Rob Zapple
(Felix Goldberg) seemed to have the right looks as one of those nerdy and wimpy types along with how he speaks a little tensely but at the same time he seems a little too stiff by what he does here and needed to act a bit more natural within everything that he had to do. However he does show nice expressionless glances when he becomes possessed as well as throwing a great violent blocking and tons of energy when he acts in a seisure so he had a few nice pointers here.
Jack W. Thompson (Murray) did quite okay as another detective type and coming across nice and sharp with whatever he did in the story and being fairly energetic too which was another nice plus here. He had the right looks to portray this kind of role and seemed to have an okay knack with everything that he did here.
Clyde Talley II (Leon Jackson) had the slick type of behavior but yet seemed to need alot of improvements in many spots in which he was supposed to act funny, charming or even aggressive and this just doesn't look right at all. His energy was there yes but his characteristics at times seemed over the top like most of the acting that we spot here.
Hal Halvins (Elvin) often I found too goofy and over the top with what I've seen him in but however
he shows a different type in this one coming across as perfectly creepy and barely saying a word at all and good expressionless behavior too which was another good moment for him as well coming across as perfectly violent and aggressive too. Yes this was a better role for him indeed. He had the perfect burly looks for it too.
Linnea Quigley (Ginger Kowolski) breezed through in the first half of the film before becoming one of the first victim's in this one as she had the perfect stunning looks as one of the reporters along with showing a nice charming attitude in her role along with adding some nice wit and sarcasm in certain spots too. Did her role pretty good and shows great reactions to certain things along with doing a nice job gagging to death at the end of her performance.

Judy Tatum's character is bare breasted while taking a bath.
Linnea Quigley is nude from top to bottom while getting ready to take a shower.

A person is bloodied dead on cement pavement.
A neck is stabbed by a shower faucet and bloodied.
Man's head explodes.
Axe is chopped on a woman's head.
Person is shot in the head.
The ghost melts away.

There's alot of good deep thumping type synthesizer playing which really fits the mood of the plot as well as some cheesy ghost sounding windy high pitched synthesizer playing as well which has a bit of a chanting sound to it. Also there's the odd string plucking too. Some odd cheesy low grade sounds here and there in different areas with energised music for the suspenseful scene's all put together by Dennis Michael Tenney.

Murray: We need each other.
Tony Vincenti: Speak for yourself, pal. I like girls.

Tony Vincenti: Who the hell are you kidding? You're going up there to take on Casper the fucking ghost. You don't need a detective... you need Bill Murray for Christ's sake.

Ginger Kowolski (Taking a shower and the water goes out): You gotta be fucking kidding me!!!