Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#2,127. Virgin Witch (1972)

Directed By: Ray Austin

Starring: Ann Michelle, Vicki Michelle, Keith Buckley

Tag line: "She has the power to love, kill, torture and arouse. The Virgin Witch can do it all!"

Trivia: This movie was rejected by the British Censor in April 1971, but was passed with an X rating by the Greater London Council

I went in expecting a horror movie, and instead a playboy photo shoot broke out!

Yes, there’s a lot of nudity in 1972’s Virgin Witch. A LOT of nudity; we get a gander at three or four naked young ladies during the opening credits alone. There’s a story of sorts as well, concerning a pair of sisters and their initiation into a coven of witches, but even here the movie focuses more on female flesh than it does the black arts.

Christine and Betty (played by rea-life siblings Ann and Vicki Michelle) live together in a London apartment. Christine (Ann) wants to be a fashion model, while the only thing Betty (Vicki) has on her mind is making out with her boyfriend Johnny (Keith Buckley). One day, Christine answers an ad for a modeling job, and immediately impresses Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines), the head of the agency, who hires her on the spot (the fact that Ms. Waite is a lesbian and has the hots for Christine might have helped).

After showing off her “assets” to her new boss, Christine gets her first gig: a photo shoot at a posh country estate owned by Dr. Gerald Amberley (Neil Hallett). With Johnny out of town, Betty decides to tag along with Christine and Ms. Waite, and both sisters are anxious to enjoy a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. What they don’t know, however, is that Dr. Amberley and Sybil Waite are witches, and have plans to entice both girls into joining their coven. To their surprise, one of the sisters doesn’t need as much coaxing as they thought!

If the nudity-laced opening doesn’t convince you of this movie’s laid-back approach to sexuality, then an early scene on the streets of London surely will. As Christine and Betty stroll past some shops, a complete stranger walks up and pinches Betty on the ass. How does she react? She and Christine dart across the street, giggling, as if it was all a game.

From there, neither sister keeps their clothes on for very long. Shortly after arriving at the estate, Christine gets down to work with the photographer, Peter (James Chase), who, after snapping a couple of pictures, unbuttons Christine’s blouse and tells her to run around a little, giving him a look at practically all of her. A few scenes later, Betty, while exploring the grounds, suffers a bad fall, but instead of treating her wounds, Dr. Amberley advises that she take a bath, then proceeds to watch her through a peephole while she's sitting in the tub! Christine’s initiation into the coven offers a chance for even more naked flesh, as well as some physicality when the good doctor, who is the head honcho of this particular group of witches, evokes his “rights” as leader and has sex with her on the alter.

The movie does take a few steps towards horror in the final act, when Christine tries out her newfound powers (once a full-fledged witch, she discovers she can control people’s minds), but it’s too little too late. Truth be told, Virgin Witch is more likely to terrify the National Organization of Women than it is members of its target audience.

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