Thursday, 22 February 2018

Witchcraft IV: The Virgin Heart (1992)

This fourth entry in the enduring Witchcraft series features the lovely Julie Strain in a fairly prominent role. I decided to start this review with that sentence because it is one of the few highlights I can think of, days after having endured the full film.

Directed by James Merendino, who also co-wrote the script with Michael Paul Girard, viewers are once again given a whle load of nonsense to swallow, from the opening credits right through to the very end. Charles Solomon Jr returns (as of this moment, for the last time) to the role of Will Spanner, an attorney who also happens to be a bit of a warlock. He is still reluctant to use his powers, but what is a warlock attorney to do when he crosses paths with an evil music exec/manager who is collecting souls in exchange for fame?

If you are unable to get your hands on a copy of Witchcraft IV: The Virgin Heart then feel free to try recreating the experience in the following way; have two of your friends talk inane nonsense, plug your ears up with cotton wool, and listen to them for about 90 minutes. Because not only is this film bad, it sounds as if all of the audio was recorded and filtered through a bowl of mashed potatoes.

Solomon Jr seems to have assumed that if he kept being hired to play the same character then his acting was obviously good enough to be a valuable cast member. It isn't, making him one of the weakest lead characters I have seen in any "horror" movie series in many years, and I have placed the genre label in quotation marks because these films really only use a couple of fantastical elements to allow for plots that cram in some confrontations and sex. Clive Pearson plays the villain, Santara, and was obviously directed by being told "yes, keep doing that, but less subtle." And then you have Julie Strain being at least gorgeous enough to prove a pleasant distraction while the plot hilariously unfolds, even shoehorning in a moment that feels like a horribly clumsy homage to Blue Velvet. Lisa Jay Harrington and Jason O'Gulhur also appear, with the former almost an interesting character, the sister of the young man accused of a murder that draws Spanner into the whole situation.

There's no sign of competence here in any department. Script and direction are awful, this is one ugly film in terms of the sheer murkiness of the visuals and audio, the acting is laughably bad at times, and it's impossible to care about the events.

If the fifth Witchcraft is worse than this then . . . well, no, I just can't believe that things actually get worse than this. But we'll see. God help me, we will see.


DO NOT buy this here, just get it on Amazon Prime instead.
Americans can NOT BUY this version.

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