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La Casa 4 (Witchcraft)

Witchery
Witchcraft / Ghosthouse 2 / Witchcraft: Return of the Exorcist

Italy/USA 1988
produced by
Joe D'Amato for Filmirage, Production Group
directed by Fabrizio Laurenti (as Martin Newlin)
starring David Hasselhoff, Linda Blair, Catherine Hickland, Annie Ross, Hildegard Knef, Leslie Cumming, Robert Champagne, Rick Farnsworth, Michael Manchester, Frank Cammarata, Victoria Biggers, Ely Coughlin, Kara Lynch, James Haynes, Richard Ladenburg, George Stevens
written by Harry Spalding, Daniele Stroppa, music by Carlo Maria Cordio, Randy Miller, special effects by Maurizio Trani

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Gary (David Hasselhoff) and his virginal girlfriend Linda (Catherine Hickland) are investigating the goings-on in an allegedly haunted house on a deserted island when a family keen on buying the place - matriarch Rose (Annie Ross), her sleazy husband Freddy (Robert Champagne) and their kids pregnant Jane (Linda Blair) and young Tommy (Michael Manchester) - arrive with their realtor Jerry (Rick Farnsworth) and their nympho architect Leslie (Leslie Cumming) ... and before you know it, the house shows why it's called haunted: A woman in black (Hildegard Knef), supposedly a witch, appears out of nowhere repeatedly and disappears again, the water taxi and only link to the main land, takes off without its passengers and with its caaptain hanged by the neck on the main sail, Rose ends up hanging down the chimney and burned by the fire in the fireplace, Jerry and Leslie are whisked off to some parallel universe where they are crucified and burned, and Freddy starts to bleed from pretty much everywhere until he's dead. Furthermore, virginal Linda is raped by the devil and Jane is possessed (can't the devil ever leave poor Linda Blair in peace). And young Tommy starts acting strange too.

In the underwhelming finale, everything seems lost, especially when he-man Gary loses his life too, though I'm not quite sure how, but then, thanks to a tape recording of her voice, possessed Jane remembers her former self and throws herself out a window ... and Tommy and Linda are saved. Thing is, Linda now learns she's pregnant, and in all her life she has been with but one man - who just happened to be the devil.

 

It's not that the screenplay of this film would have been too bad, it's a bit of a clichéed but not entirely uninteresting haunted house story. Director Laurenti's handling of the plot however destroys all the promise the plot might have had, his direction is entirely free of atmosphere, his choice of special effects is nothing short of unimaginative  (apart from the scene of the woman slowly burning to death in the chimney above the fireplace most probably), and he doesn't even try to create any kind of suspense at all. Add to that underwhelming camerawork and lighting that resembles carelessly shot homemovies and a bunch of increasingly wooden actors (David Hasselhoff - need I say more ?), and you've got one movie you needn#t have seen. It's not even so-bad-it's-good, it's just so-bad-it's-bad-again.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD