Skip to content

Bad Movie Tuesday: Witchcraft II: The Temptress (1989), just boring, boobs and bloodless.

May 7, 2019

MY CALL: Like part 1, only witchcraft could compel me to watch this movie again. There are bad movies (that are fun to watch), and then there are just plain awful movies. But hey, at least it’s better than part 1, right?

Well good for this sequel. It opens with incantation, alliteration and gross ingredients as the spell components for some manner of witchcraft are combined to transform an older experienced witch into a younger-looking seductress. Armed with a potion of bewitched blood, she comes for her target and in just one scene, that already matches (or even exceeds) the witchcraft I recall from the previous movie Witchcraft (1988).

Now all grown up after being rescued as an infant in part 1, teenager Will (Charles Solomon Jr.; Witchcraft III-IV) finds our recently transformed and provocatively wardrobed witch Dolores (Delia Sheppard; Rocky V, Dinocroc vs Supergator, Sexbomb)—actually this is the witch from part 1 disguised in a younger more attractive form to lure Satan’s yet uncorrupted heir to evil using the power of seduction.

When you think of 80s horror films what pops in your head first? Gore, cheap jump scares and gratuitous nudity, right? You’ll find only one of these things here: nudity. And from what I glean on IMDB, that will become a theme in subsequent sequels.

Dolores delivers a mysterious magical box (which will unleash zero special effects) and cleans her rain gutters dressed like a hooker. The sexuality is far from subtle. Released just one year after its lame predecessor, director Mark Woods (his only feature film, not surprisingly, and only a year after making a Playboy video) shows off his softcore chops with over-shot sensual scenes and occasional adult film dialogue. The sex scenes with Will’s girlfriend Michelle (Mia M. Ruiz; Demon Wind) are probably more raunchy than the era mandates.

Back when I reviewed Witchcraft (1988) in early 2012, I was mortified to learn there were 12 sequels building up to Witchcraft 13: Blood of the Chosen (2008). Well, good news if you love this drivel! Because now I’ve discovered they made it all the way to Witchcraft 16: Hollywood Coven (2016). So fans of the franchise can sit back and watch as the Witchcraft series pelts out over a dozen TnA-driven sequels! But, if we’re being fair, part 1 had no nudity and this 1989 sequel was nothing I’d call a “smutty” film even if the sex scene was more graphic than most 80s horror.

This movie is WAY better than part 1, not that this means it’s “good.” But the acting is less wooden, the writing isn’t as annoying… it’s a bit more of what you’d expect from a lousy 80s horror you never heard of, I guess. The most noticeable fault of this craptastic flick is that none of its budget went to death scenes, blood and gore, or “magical” special effects. At one point Dolores breaks a horny teen’s neck and it couldn’t have been more boring. Even a throwaway scene of her uttering some incomprehensible spell making someone cough up blood, tremble and die would be an improvement.

As the movie progresses Will is tempted here and there, he learns of his devil-touched family history, there’s a little more nudity and not enough blood, and it fails to build to anything meaningful. Even if not as bad (but still pretty bad), this was every bit as forgettable as its predecessor. Even Blood Gnome (2004) was better than this.

Witch Movie SIDEBAR: Some excellent witch movies that actually feel like witch movies include Warlock (1989), Warlock 2: The Armageddon (1993), The Witch (2016; podcast discussion) and The Witches of Eastwick (1987). Beautiful Creatures (2013) and The Woods (2006) may appeal to young adult audiences.  But I would sooner direct you to Hocus Pocus (1993), The Witches (1990) and The Craft (1996). I’m leaving Harry Potter out of this discussion, by the way. Fantasy sorcery (Willow, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and wizardry (The Lord of the Rings) is to be considered its own thing entirely. The campy The Kiss (1988), Spellbinder (1988), Necromancer (1988), Necropolis (1987) and Cherry Tree (2015) are entertaining but bad. And speaking of campy, Superstition (1982) and The Haunting of Morella (1990) are allegedly witch movies but don’t feel like it. But even if you want a bad movie, definitely skip Witchcraft (1988) and all sequels.

The dark noir Lord of Illusions (1995) is intriguingly edgy and, while more a “magic movie” than a “witch movie,” it hits a lot of the same dark arcane notes. And, of course, The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) were awesomely stylized in their own unique ways despite never actually showing us a witch—at least, not until Blair Witch (2016).

Check out Pumpkinhead (1988) for a great depiction of a witch, though it’s not a “witch movie.” Meanwhile Deadtime Stories (1986) and The Theater Bizarre (2011) features a pretty cool witch short story, and The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) addresses witch trials.

Witches can come in so many flavors, can’t they? Lords of Salem (2013), Mother of Tears (2007), Suspiria (1977) and Suspiria (2018) deal with witches’ spirits and covens in the form of dark ritual and possession. Quite the opposite, Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), The Last Witch Hunter (2015; podcast discussion) and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) offer action and effects-driven popcorn fun—Season of the Witch (2011) attempted this, but failed miserably.  But the witch from The Brothers Grimm (2005) was pretty cool.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: