Being an avid collector of all kinds of horror Blu Rays, I always get an extra special kick out of adding yet another 70s British fright flick to my movie shelf. Well, after all, British horror movies were a huge staple of my TV viewing habits growing up back in the 1970s. It was sheer heaven to me snuggling up on the couch in front of the telly to watch another Hammer or Amicus film, both of which were usually shown late at night.
As well as the classic horror movies from Hammer and Amicus, there were, of course, other productions from the comparatively lesser known UK studios (e.g. Tigon, which was the third British horror studio behind the main two of Hammer and Amicus). Virgin Witch, which I have just watched on Blu Ray and thoroughly enjoyed, is one of them.
Filmed in December 1970, but not actually released until 1972 due to censorship problems, Virgin Witch is set against the backdrop of 1970s swinging London. The story focuses on the exploits of two real-life sisters: Vicki (of ‘Allo ‘Allo fame) and Ann Michelle, playing the parts of Christine and Betty respectively, as they travel to the capital in search of fame and fortune. Needless to say, things don’t go quite the way the two girls had wanted.
Enticed to a mansion deep in the Surrey countryside by model agency manager Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines) on the pretext of a highly lucrative modelling opportunity (that being a cider advert shoot), the two unsuspecting girls soon discover what the real purpose is: the initiation of Christine into a rather carnal, orgiastic white-witches’ coven. All this makes for a copious amount of nudity in scenes involving not only the members of the coven, but also the two sisters themselves. For example, in one particularly striking scene, Christine is depicted sprawling, seductively and sensuously, over a car, completely starkers.
Granted, Virgin Witch is certainly no The Devil Rides Out or Satan’s Slave when it comes to delivering real occult thrills and chills. However, the scant horror notwithstanding, the movie is still a pretty enjoyable watch. I would describe it as a fun exploitation witchcraft movie. It’s a slow burn, I admit, but it also has that compelling quality of keeping your eyes firmly glued to the screen, the characters really holding your attention as you wonder just how it’s all going to end. I especially enjoyed the fight-for-supremacy plot line, with the psychically gifted, hypnotically powerful Christine attempting to wrest power from the current high priestess of the coven, Sybil Waite, through whatever devious and malevolent means she possibly can.
This Blu Ray release of Virgin Witch from Redemption is just fantastic. The picture quality is as gorgeous to look at as the two nubile siblings, and the company really has done a great job with the restoration as a whole. It’s a movie that I shall certainly be returning to again and again, and I am sure YOU will too if you take my advice and treat yourself to a copy today.
You can buy Virgin Witch now by clicking on the image link above this review.
Review by Alan Toner