The Witchmaker

The Witchmaker ★★★

Appearing like a regional horror film, it actually has some old pros in Burt Mustin, Alvy Moore and Anthony Eisley and features a then-trendy focus on Satanism to lure the drive-in movie audience. In the immediate wake of Rosemary's Baby, these exploitations were common and effective.

Strong points would be the swamp/bayou setting and some of the most entertainingly Ed Woodian-witches in celluloid history. Oh, they're a lusty and randy bunch and their leader, Luther, is like Torgo's more accomplished big brother. The overall writing is not very inspired but it does feature a jolting twist at the end.

I would be lying if I claimed this was any good, by most peoples' metrics, but my particular life experience enabled me to enjoy it.

As a veteran of the waning days of the drive-in theaters here in the U.S., I recognized this as a prime exemplar of the kind of film that typified 1970s fare. Titles like this would surface again and again (often with new names), even years after their release. The Witchmaker was probably a clamshell-box staple in Mom n Pop video shops when VHS ruled in the 1980s.

Still, if you want to know what it was like to attend a drive-in back in the day, go no further than The Witchmaker. Something like this would be paired with another similar feature at the ozoners and, really, it was the sort of thing you liked.....if you liked that sort of thing.

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