This first sequel in the direct-to-video "Witchcraft" franchise introduces the series' hero, the good warlock William Adams (who in future installments has understandably changed his identity, adopting the last name Spanner). William had appeared as an infant in the original WITCHCRAFT,
but that film, while screened at Cannes' market section in 1989, only came belatedly to video four years after this entry.
Suburban 18-year-old William (Charles Solomon) lives with his loving adoptive parents (Jay Richardson, Cheryl Janecky). One night William is pressuring his girlfriend, Michelle (Mia Ruiz), for sex. She gives in, but before anything happens, they're interrupted by neighbor Dolores Jones (Delia
Sheppard), who's looking for her cat. As she leaves, William notices a box on the stoop; inside is what looks like a small round ashtray.
Next morning, William's parents have suspicions about the box--informing their son that the next two days will bring two more. William, after confirming it's not a practical joke by his obnoxiously smarmy friend Boomer (David L. Homb), asks put-upon brain Audrey (Kirsten Wagner) to try and
decipher its markings. Dolores kills William's mother, then takes on the mother's form, and kills Audrey. William nonetheless finds Audrey's notes, warning about incantations used to induce hallucinations in a witch's prey.
William learns from his father that he wasn't formally adopted, and that in fact his adoptive parents were a witch and a warlock who'd taken him away from their coven, which had wanted to raise the child as an evil Supreme Warlock. Dolores comes around to try and seduce William, but fails.
Michelle, at home, is unexplainedly molested by an invisible demon, then she and William both exhibit blood-red pentagrams on their chests. A second box appears, containing a small metal rod. William learns from Dolores (in the guise of his mother) that his birth parents, John (Gary Sloan) and
Grace Churchill (Anat Topol-Barzilai), were in reality a warlock married to an innocent, unknowing human. Grace, according to Dolores, killed John, his mother Elizabeth (Mary Shelly), who was also a witch, and herself. John and Elizabeth recovered. Now they need their Supreme Warlock back to
continue the bloodline. Angry William tries to strangle "mom," but inadvertently kills his interceding adoptive dad.
Michelle convinces a suicidal William to remember his good, human side; along with her father (Frank Woods), a Methodist minister, they prepare to combat Dolores with crosses and holy water--neither of which have any effect when the time comes, and Dolores inexplicably assumes the form of Boomer,
whom she'd killed. The third box arrives with a small bowl, which magically joins the other two pieces to form a chalice that fills with blood. Dolores and a seemingly bewitched William drink from it. William, after starting to give in, heroically kills her with a pointed crucifix.
Such free-form conflation of witch and vampire myths is only one problem in a static movie filled with stagey, unmoving takes. Sheppard, the titular temptress, speaks with a vaguely British accent, to little dramatic or chilling effect; despite her gameness, she can't even convincingly pose her
arms to cast a spell. Both Ruiz and Janecky are visibly talented actors, however.
The one intentionally funny in-joke involves an exorcism text written by a "Father Merrick"--as in Max von Sydow's THE EXORCIST character; there are no ROSEMARY'S BABY cracks despite that film's obvious influence. Yet the movie takes itself so seriously that a disclaimer in the legal fine print
actually reads, "This movie is not intended as an accurate portrayal of true witches" (as in the non-supernatural Wiccan). WITCHCRAFT II, as either horror or eroticism, is a bland cheat. And as simple dramatic narrative? Let's just say there's not much at stake.(Violence, nudity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1990
- Rating: R
- Review: This first sequel in the direct-to-video "Witchcraft" franchise introduces the series' hero, the good warlock William Adams (who in future installments has understandably changed his identity, adopting the last name Spanner). William had appeared as an inf… (more)