WITCHCRAFT V continues in the relatively short but consistent tradition of the previous four movies in the series: low production values, poor scripting, uninspired direction and an ever-increasing reliance on bared breasts to arouse the audience.
Fleeing a violent robbery with his girlfriend Marta (Nicole Sassaman), young punk Bill (Freddy Andreiucci) runs down a Hollywood street bum. The couple meet Cain (David Huffman), an emissary of Satan; he kills Bill and enslaves Marta. At the same time, the dying bum has passed on a spiritual
presence dwelling within him to the Reverend Meredith (Lenny Rose), who witnesses the hit-and-run. Marta assists Cain in his magic act at a club, where all the patrons owe their souls to the devil; Cain claims them at the climax of the act. One innocent patron is the series' hero, good warlock
William (Marklen Kennedy), and his girlfriend Keli (Carolyn Taye-Loren). During the act, Cain puts William under his spell.
William begins to go out at night and claim souls owed to Satan. He also begins to act strangely at home, abusing Keli and coming out of his trances with no idea of what he's done. Keli calls in Reverend Meredith for help, and he brings along an occultist named Anastasia (Ayasha Hauer), who
tries to protect William from the evil influence. But Marta, who has been nightly seducing and ravishing William, kills Anastasia. After a sexual encounter between William and Keli ends in brutal assault, Keli goes to see Reverend Meredith again. Knowing the power of Cain's evil, Meredith refuses
to help, but Cain has realized that the spirit that the bum passed on to Meredith is "worth hundreds of souls" and sends William out to get him.
Realizing what has happened, Keli goes searching for William at Cain's club and is attacked by Marta. Cain is about to sacrifice her when William appears, bearing Reverend Meredith. But he has somehow managed to fight off Cain's influence and engages the villain in a duel. In the process, both
Cain and Marta are killed, and William and Keli are reunited, safe at last.
Although the WITCHCRAFT series began as straight horror, the sequels increasingly emphasize eroticism, complete with both R-rated and sexier unrated editions for this latest entry. Since the film is intended to appeal on the strength of its prurient interest, it should be noted that yes, there
are plenty of bared breasts and buttocks on display, and no, none of the heated encounters packs much of an erotic charge. The only sequence that approaches this kind of effectiveness is William and Keli's impromptu encounter under a heavily leaking water pipe, but the way in which the scene
degenerates into rape leaves a bad taste. Beyond the titillation, there's nothing here that warrants much attention. The script is pokey and predictable, with an especially laborious setup--it's a good 20 minutes before William, the story's hero, even appears on screen--and lacks even the minor
themes of the previous films.
Neophyte director Talun Hsu directs with little sense of dramatic build up, and his cameraman has trouble keeping the actors' heads in the frame; there are many close-ups of shoulders and necks. As if to remind the camera where it should be pointed, Huffman overacts wildly, snarling and spitting
while the rest of the cast try valiantly but vainly to find some dimension to their roles. The production values are threadbare, with some laughable opticals that don't quite deliver the intended sense of supernatural presence. (Graphic violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, extremeprofanity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: WITCHCRAFT V continues in the relatively short but consistent tradition of the previous four movies in the series: low production values, poor scripting, uninspired direction and an ever-increasing reliance on bared breasts to arouse the audience. Fleei… (more)