Friday, October 15, 2021

#2,638. The Witch Who Came From the Sea (1976)


Matt Cimber’s The Witch Who Came from the Sea features a storyline so unsettling that it earned the film a place on the UK’s video nasties list.

Whenever she babysits her nephews Tadd (Jean Pierre Camps) and Tripoli (Mark Livingston), Molly (Millie Perkins) regales them with stories about her father, a sea captain, who she claims was lost at sea. But the truth of the matter is that - as a young girl - Molly was molested by her father on a regular basis.

Her current job, a waitress in a dingy bar, allows the alcoholic Molly to meet all kinds of men, some of whom she becomes romantically involved with, including Alexander McPeak (Stafford Morgan), the star of a popular television commercial.

Unfortunately, most of the guys Molly dates eventually turn up dead!

Millie Perkins delivers a stirring performance as the deeply troubled Molly, whose optimistic outlook on life masks a trauma that haunts her every waking moment. Though it features a handful of violent scenes (Molly’s weapon of choice is a razor blade), it’s the movie’s flashback sequences, when a young Molly (played by Verkina Flower) is raped by her father (John F. Gott), that will make your skin crawl.

Shot by Dean Cundey (who a few years later would lend his talents to John Carpenter’s Halloween), The Witch Who Came from the Sea is a visually exciting movie; the opening on the beach is unforgettable, as is Molly’s “date” with two football players (a sequence that has a dreamlike quality to it). But it’s Millie Perkins’ performance, coupled with the film’s dark, troubling depiction of a woman whose mind has turned against her, that makes The Witch Who Came from the Sea so unnerving.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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