The Witch Who Came From The Sea
directed by Matt Cimber
starring Millie Perkins
If you’ve ever wondered about the British term “Video Nasty”; you’ve come to the right place. This film was regarded as so horrible that the British film board refused to even look at it in 1983. Why? It address child molestation, and that’s always a tough topic. Molly (Millie Perkins) raises two preteen boys in a very seedy Venice Beach vintage 1976. She works as a cocktail waitress, drinks a bit and turns the occasional trick. When she’s not racing the kids to the tattoo parlor (operated by the amazing Stan Ross, the Man with the Snake on his Face) she doing twosomes with NFL guys and then castrates them. Where does this hobby come from? Her daddy did horrible stuff to her, like hide in the closet naked when she came home from school. He did the nasty with her, then went out to sea and never came back. Is she crazy? Is she vindictive? It’s a murky path we follow here as she descends into a personal hell where murder and castration are equally important as raising her kids right.
This may not be a great movie, or even a “good” one, but its one that pushed boundaries in 1976 and pushed them today. The casual nudity, the casual drug use, casual castration; all are as provocative now as they were 40 years ago. Cinematically this was show with an anamorphic lens, the letter box wide screen looks pretty good on the flat screen even though there are scratches and some color issues. NFL players are shown in interracial sex scenes, we watch explicit tattooing scenes; and commentary track wanders from Milton Berle to how child abuse is and was accepted or dealt with in society. But there’s a troubling thread running through this film, it’s alternately sexy and disturbing and offers a brutal social commentary that was remarkable for its age. Approach this film cautiously.