Sunday, 11 February 2018

Witchcraft II: The Temptress (1989)

I have to admit it, I was keen to continue my quest through the Witchcraft series after I discovered just how many dubious treats it might have to offer me. Sixteen films, possibly getting worse with each subsequent instalment? That's the kind of challenge I lap up. And here is the first of the many sequels (as you will all have noted from the title).

Directed by Mark Woods (his only feature film as director), and with a script by Jim Hanson and Sal Manna (neither wrote another film), it's no surprise that this is a wonderful mess, following on from the strange first movie with a recipe that adds more death and a bit of nudity.

Charles Solomon Jr plays William Adams, a much older version of the baby we all saw in the first film. William is about to have a very strange episode in his life, to put it mildly, and it will also affect his girlfriend (Mia M. Ruiz), his friend (David Homb, playing a guy named Boomer), and the man and woman who have brought them up for most of his life (John Henry Richardson and Cheryl Janecky). This is all tied to his past, of course, and definitely tied to Dolores (Delia Sheppard), the temptress the title is referring to.

Okay, I had a bit more fun with this than I did with the first film. As mentioned in that review, when something is trying to be a bit cheap 'n' cheerful in the horror genre then a dose of gratuitous nudity and/or violence doesn't harm things. This film knows that, and it adds some of the easy fun that was missing the first time around. It's not enough to make the whole thing into a properly good movie, but it's welcome as additional spice to the main dish.

None of the actors do very well, seemingly chosen more for their low fees than actual acting talent. Solomon Jr is a poor lead, Homb is awful as his buddy, and Sheppard overdoes her performance in a way that is at least amusing and entertaining. Richardson and Janecky do a bit better as the parents, Ruiz tries to do well in her role, and Kirsten Wagner is enjoyable for the small amount of time she is onscreen (it's a shame that her character, Audrey, isn't given more to do).

Look, this is not a film that you should check out if you're wanting a day of quality cinema, or you're checking prioritised titles off your "watchlist". It's one to watch, as I did, when you find out about this series and feel compelled to check them out. You don't need to concentrate on any complicated plot, you don't need to invest yourself emotionally in the events, and you really just need a spare hour and a half, with or without alcohol to enhance the viewing experience.


You COULD treat yourself here, or watch it on Amazon Prime.
American fans can pick it up here.

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