Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Triskaidekaphilia: 'Witchcraft 13: Blood of the Chosen' (2008)

On the 13th of each month, I write about a movie whose title contains the number 13.

I'm pretty sure this is the only movie I'll be able to watch for this project whose titular number comes from being the 13th movie in a series. Yes, Witchcraft 13: Blood of the Chosen is the 13th (and so far final) movie in the seemingly unkillable Witchcraft low-budget horror franchise, which started with the original Witchcraft in 1988. I may be a conscientious critic most of the time, but I did not feel the need to watch all 12 previous Witchcraft movies before tackling this one, so some of the plot details may have gone over my head, although I doubt anything here is complicated enough for that. The main character here is Will Spanner, aka Will Adams, aka Will Stocton, who has been a central character in the series since its beginning, but it doesn't really seem essential to know that in order to follow the rudimentary plot.

Star Tim Wrobel is the eighth actor to portray Will over the course of the series, according to IMDb. I'm not sure how the previous actors fared, but Wrobel does not give off the vibe of "powerful, feared warlock." Instead he's more schlubby office worker, and much of the film takes place in Will's office, where he now works as a lawyer, content to keep his mystical powers at bay and use his legal expertise to help people in need. But he's called back into service when a coven of witches starts killing other warlocks and ripping out their hearts, in hopes of fulfilling a prophecy that connects back to Will's convoluted past.

That sounds way more interesting and exciting than the actual movie, which was clearly made for virtually no money and suffers from terrible acting, bargain-basement special effects (looking like the demos on a free graphics program) and basic technical problems. The picture is often too dark to make out the action, and the sound mix makes much of the dialogue indistinct. Not that the writing deserves to be heard loud and clear, of course; it's a mix of horror-movie cliches, awful softcore sexploitation banter and occasional random absurdities ("If I wanted to make love to a glass of water, I would've gone in my kitchen!" yells some mystical guru right before getting sex-murdered by an evil witch).

Even the requisite nudity and sex scenes are desultory and poorly lit, and it's pretty laughable to watch every female character in the movie throw herself at Wrobel, who looks like a slightly younger, slightly more rumpled Ray Romano. The climax promises an epic confrontation with a character who connects back to the series' origins, but it's just as shoddily constructed and ineptly acted as everything that leads up to it. So far, there has been no word of a Witchcraft 14, but thankfully, I would have no reason to subject myself to it anyway.

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