Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Flamboyant, giallo-style gore effects are the only highlight of this otherwise pedestrian supernatural horror film, which was originally filmed in 1981 as The Witch and shelved for four years, before it experienced a mild midnight-movie revival in the wake of The Evil Dead's success. The ghastly goings-on begin when a clergyman (Larry Pennell) and his family move into an eerie mansion built near the lake where a powerful local witch was drowned four centuries earlier. It soon becomes evident that the spirit of this evil sorceress, whose powers have increased exponentially after her death, is not content with conducting the standard haunted-house scare tactics, and the bodies begin to pile up at an incredible rate. (These audacious death scenes peak with one poor soul's dismemberment courtesy of a flying circular saw.) When a homicide detective (Albert Salmi) and a minister (James Carl Houghton) discover the cause of the macabre mayhem, they prepare to conduct an exorcism (in the mode of The Amityville Horror), much to their own peril. Overblown performances, a scatter-shot screenplay, and hilariously messy gore effects make this movie impossible to take seriously, but it does have a certain tacky charm.
house, bishop, curse, family, ghost, haunted-house, investigator, killing, supernatural-forces, terror