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Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
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09.02.2014
Witchboard (1986)
Movie Review by The Mortician
01.08.13

Witchboard (1986) I remember when this one hit VHS in 1987 or so; it was a nifty little movie with some spooky moments, with the added bonus of having the lead actress be none other than Tawny Kitaen herself---yes, that's right, "Miss Splits" from the classic Whitesnake videos of the same era! ("Here I go again, goin' down the only road I ever know..." Ringin' any bells, metal heads?) So nearly three decades later, I'm in the supernatural viewing mode again and I tracked WITCHBOARD down on DVD. It didn't hold up quite as well as I thought it would, and the acting was pretty hokey (or worse) in many spots. Bedazzled by Ms. Kitaen's beauty in my own youthful years, I noted that she has nearly a scant of acting talent---but she still looks hotter than ever, here in the prime of her life. That gorgeous red hair, that shapely, lithe body, and those pert, full breasts....ahhhhh, all amply on display in a brief but pause-worthy shower scene in the movie. No body double or CGI trick here (take THAT, Jessica Alba in MACHETE), this is the real gal! Oh, the plot? Well, after recently viewing THE EXORCIST on Blu Ray, whew, there's just no comparison. This is EXORCIST LITE plus hokey-jokey all the way. Tawny plays a chick so committed to a new boyfriend (horribly played by one Todd Allen, who sounds like he's READING his lines from a cue card) that she throws a party and invites her old boyfriend (played by soap star legend Stephen Nichols, who handles the acting a bit better than his castmates) for some insane reason. These two boyfriends clash, of course, and there's some ridiculous sub-plot with these two guys being former best buds, but... whatever. Ol' Stephen breaks out a Ouija Board for fun and contacts some spirits, including a kid named Danny, if I recall right. Anyway, the spirit gets mad when former bud makes fun of it all and a tussle happens. Long story short, Stephen accidentally leaves his Ouija board at the house, and Tawny plays with it alone. She starts cursing and acting strange and exhibiting signs of possession. (Same thing as PMS, really, so guys, take note if you notice this in your gals! Could be one...or the other!) So the two bickering buds team up (after new beau is nearly killed at a construction job by said spirit) and have this weird psychic (played in the most annoying, jokey fashion by Kathleen Wilhoite) come to the apartment to "get rid" of the spirit. She goes through the routine, and of course, the spirit later kills her in a bizarre scene where she's knocked out of a window and impaled. Poor Tawny is hospitalized for some reason, I think she falls during a possessed spell, so the two buds make up some more and try to unravel the mystery. Turns out this "friendly kid" they thought everyone was talking to from beyond the grave is really someone else---this serial killer from another era that finally possesses Tawny. Sadly, no 360 degree head turning and green vomit are in sight, Tawny just dresses up in a man's suit (and still manages to look hotter than hell) and brandishes an ax for the big climax. Her voice is also run through a Radio Shack synthesizer of some sort, sooooo...there's that! The boyfriends do their "save the day" thing and in one of the most inane endings I've ever seen (and didn't remember this from when I first saw it), the hero of the piece actually SHOOTS the Ouija Board to try stopping the demon from taking people over and running amok! Really strange and it's no fun to revisit a movie you were looking forward to seeing again and have it feel so...lame! The 80's pop tune forcibly used throughout to ill effect sucks bad and doesn't fit the proceedings at all---probably one of those "get a song in there so we can get a video on MTV to promote this thing" scenarios. Ah well, still...it's EXORCIST LITE, man. The writer/director, Kevin S. Tenney, was obviously inspired when he made this, it's got beautiful Tawny Kitaen in it (and if you freeze that shower scene right, you can see her pubes, boyz and girlz!) and there actually IS some spooky moments with the POV of the "Spirit" or "Demon" stalking people. I guess it all just doesn't work as well as it did 30 years ago, ya know? But I have to recommend it for nostalgia. For new viewers, ahhhh, you're better off sticking with the classics like THE EXORCIST, THE ENTITY, and ROSEMARY'S BABY, and your PARANORMAL FAMILIES IN JEOPARDY. But if you've got time to waste, you can do a lot worse than checking this one out. If only Tawny would've done some splits during that nekkid shower scene...

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