Ooo Eee, Ooo Ah Ah… – The Witchmaker (1969)

Though it might have a title that suggests a horror film full of intriguing possibilities involving at the very least a witch or two, The Witchmaker ends up being overlong and slightly tedious, but not without a charm or two. The worst sin that it commits is too much exposition in lieu of character development or some good action/horror to spruce things up a bit. That is not to say there is nothing of the sort, but when a couple of the main characters decide to sit down and talk about this or that for a good five to ten minutes, or so it seems and more than once, it really grinds everything to a halt and takes the viewer right out of the picture. If writer and director William O. Brown had the foresight to cut these scenes down a little bit, it definitely would have helped with the pacing of the film and perhaps have made it eminently more watchable.

All of that being said, there is a little bit of suspense and horror to be found as the bodies of beautiful young women are soon being stacked up like so much cordwood by a warlock who worships the one and only Dark Lord – Satan. In fact, some of the best moments are those which find the man beseeching Satan while surrounded by his coven, most of which are lovely young ladies though surprisingly, there are a number of male members as well. The murders that take place are brutal, the manner ferocious and quick, yet it is tempered by those scenes where the protagonists come back into play making this film a little bit of a conundrum. Part of those that watch this film will want to like it while the others will not, yet overall it turns out to be a decent B film that could have possibly been quite great.

There is little blood to be found despite the violence present and what special effects there are turn out to be few and far between. One of the better things about the entire affair is the direction by Brown who turns out to have a good eye and knowing how to bring out the best in the material. Altogether, The Witchmaker is not a film that will ever be remembered in any sort of way, but it is worth a glance for those that love obscure horror.

3 out of 5

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