The Series Project: Witchcraft (Part 4)
Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood (dir. Ron Ford, 2000)
Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood, along with Witchcraft 666: The Devil's Mistress, may easily be the highlight of the entire series. Perhaps I was just elated to have a real movie after the doldrums of parts IX and X, but Witchcraft XI has an interesting story, above-average acting, real production values, actual sexiness, and maybe even some palpable religious themes. I mentioned in my article two weeks ago that, in trekking through long strings of crap, I seek oases of goodness. Witchcraft XI is one such oasis.
Sisters in Blood is about a trio of college girls attending the St. Sebastian College drama school. Our main character is Colleen (Miranda Odell), the younger sister of Keli, now Kelly (Wendy Blair). Keli, if you'll recall, is Will Spanner's longtime girlfriend, now fiancee, and who has never been played by the same actress twice. Will Spanner is back too, played by James Servais. Will, however, is only a supporting character in this one.
Colleen has fallen in with Keri (the blank-faced Kathleen St. Lawrence) and Maria (the deliciously enthused Lauren Ian Richard, who just may well be every horror nut's new B-movie crush). The three of them are playing the Wyrd Sisters in their school's production of “Macbeth.” Their drama teacher (Don Donason, who looks like a porn version of Ron Burgundy) is secretly a Satanist. Partly to get them deeper into their roles, but also because he likes Satanic rituals, he asks Keri – his secret mistress – to lead a satanic rite in the local graveyard with the other girls.
Maria is possessed by the soul of one of the original Wyrd Sisters that “Macbeth” was based on. She turns into a murderous bisexual minx who spends the bulk of the film trying to lure her two friends, and her teacher, into the Satanic fold. Is it me, or is that a really cool story? Sure, it has its share of bad acting and tits, they use dictionaries as Bibles, you can see the strings in the special effects, and the dialogue is still pretty golden (“Someone killed a priest!” “Was it murder?”), but I'm so happy to have a modicum of cleverness in the baseline story.
Maria is also looking for a stone key that can unleash Satan onto Earth. For all the talk of Satan in these movies, this is the first time we actually see him. Well, actually, it's a sub-demon named Abadon, which sounds a lot like “Grab a donk.” Along the way, Maria kills a monsignor, rapes a priest (!), takes a bite of a guy's face, and murders an elderly nun. She beats a man to death with a crucifix. At one point, two women have a threesome with their teacher, and stab his eyes out with a pencil. The special effects could be compared to a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie in this scene.
Colleen announces early in the film that she doesn't believe in God, and she and Keli, a believer herself, have some conversations about faith and its place in their lives. Here is a cheap, smutty exploitation movie that actually has a conversation about faith in it. It's not a very sophisticated conversation, to be sure, but that the filmmakers actually bothered to include it shows ambition.
Lutz and Garner (Stephanie Beaton and Mikul Robins, both back from previous films) appear to investigate. At one point, Satan bamboozles them, and they are both ghost-raped. Whee!
What a fun film. This has been the highlight of my journey, really. The spirit, however, will not be kept alive. Let's take a look at…