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John’s Horror Corner: Witchery (1988), an aimless haunted house movie starring David Hasselhoff and Linda Blair.

August 1, 2018

MY CALL: Just another B-horror movie in which a bunch of random stuff happens to poorly stitch together an empty plot. I guess it was entertaining. MORE MOVIES LIKE Witchery: I can’t think of much since this was so pointlessly random—although not quite as random as Superstition (1982). Despite the marketing, it’s not really a follow-up to Ghosthouse (1988; although both are pretty random) and is of no relation to Witchcraft (1989).

Also released as Ghosthouse II, Witchcraft, Evil Encounters and even La Casa 4 (i.e., Ghosthouse), this movie begins as haphazardly as its title marketing with a pregnant women being chased to her death by an angry mob of villagers.

Gary (David Hasselhoff; Piranha 3DD) and Leslie (Leslie Cumming; Zombie 5: Killing Birds) visit the ill-fated coastal Massachusetts house where it all happened while working on a book project. During their research trip, a very pregnant Jane (Linda Blair; The Exorcist I-II, Hell Night) and others arrive to appraise the lonely island estate and everyone ends up stranded overnight. Just one problem, it’s haunted by an elderly German actress’ ghost and the island has a history of witch burnings.

Overnight, the house essentially snatches sinners into a Hellish alternate dimension to torture and feed on them in order to open the three doors between their worlds. That’s all fine, but the execution will leave you scratching your head as a bunch of random crap happens but none of it seems related. Like “why is the ghost German” or “why does it matter that she was an actress?”

Director Fabrizio Laurenti (The Crawlers) messily crafted a haunted house movie that makes no sense at all. The scenes include spectral (and actual) appearances of a strange old lady, a psychedelic bathtub drain trip complete with dead fetus shenanigans, some mean lip-stitching (a decent special effect) followed by a chimney slow-roasted old lady, someone is crucified and another is impaled on a wall-mounted swordfish, an infernal rape nightmare sequence and sacrilegious imagery, a very artery-bursting gushy voodoo doll death, a crazy-haired possession of a pregnant woman, and a totally forgettable (and boring) twist at the end.

The only thing that made sense about this movie was that David Hasselhoff needed a paycheck between Knight Rider (1982-1986) and Baywatch (1989-2000). Watch it for laugh… if it’s free… and you have a good back-up movie for afterwards.

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