Saturday, October 17, 2020

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Search Continues

Last year I talked about this movie I have been trying to find.  This movie is about witches and the occult; satanism in particular.  It was on TV on Halloween night. It had to be between 1977 and 1982, I know a huge time frame. I think it was a made for TV movie. The movie had a girl with psychic powers or witchcraft; they were often synonymous in the late 70s.  There is a scene near the end of the movie of a girl (not sure if it is the same one) lying on an altar.  Either she about to be sacrificed OR this is supposed to give her powers.  All I can remember was there a long progression of cultists going up a circular staircase up in a tower and each one put a drop of blood on the girl's forehead.  That is the clearest thing I remember.

This past summer I reached to various horror groups on Facebook to help me out.  These are the movies they suggested.

Mortuary (1981, 1983)
This movie was released in 1983, but everything about it screams late 70s. The copyright date on the movie itself is 1981.  It stars a young Bill Paxton as the son of a mortician. He is love with Christie (Mary Beth McDonough) but she is in love with Greg (David Wallace). 

There are some murders, and a bit with Christie's mom (Lynda Day George, who is only 17 years older than McDonough) being part of a weird séance to contact Christie's dad (which is why I think it was offered to me).  Other than that it is kind of a slow slasher flick that was done better in films like "Fade to Black".  

But it was new to me so, that is something and it does hit that sweet spot of horror films in terms of timing. 

Most of the actors here are normally TV actors, so there was a pretty good chance this one was going to be it.  Sadly not the case.

Viewed: New
The movie I was looking for?: No

Crowhaven Farm (1970)
On the surface Crowhaven Farm should have everything I want. Made for TV. Satanism. Salem Witchcraft. The release date is a bit older than I would have thought. It even has John Carradine in it. Though he is woefully underused here. 

The movie does have a nice creepy feel to it and it even starts out with a creepy kid causing a death, so that is always a plus. It is though fairly typical of the 70s made for TV fare.

There is some 70s interpreted witchcraft ideas, which is always fun. Crowhaven is like "Salem-lite" with more Satanic elements.  So yeah, exactly the sort of thing I enjoy.

Maggie and Ben, our childless couple that inherits Crowhaven, also "inherit" a new child, in the form of Jenifer (Cindy Eilbacher, later to star in Beverly Hills Cop), when her aunt Mercy dies.  Jennifer is also the child (teen really) that causes the death of Maggie's uncle.   Jennifer as it turns out knows all the secrets of Crowhaven and wastes no time getting all creepy with Ben and causing more deaths.  Turns out that Mercy and Jennifer were condemned for witchcraft back in 1692 and Meg was the cause. They are all replaying again in the 1970s. 

Viewed: New
The movie I was looking for?: No

Satan's Wife (1979)

Also known as "The Ring of Darkness."

Gotta love the Occult 70's.  This bit of cinematic trash fits the time frame and has many scenes of occult rituals that are close to my memory, but I doubt this one was ever on American TV.  Too much occultism and nudity. Plus the star of the movie, Lara Wendel, playing the possessed/demonic daughter Daria spends some time in movie topless and nude and she was 14 at the time.  I have not found details on if the movie was banned or not, the 1970s were different and so was Italy.   This is also not the first such scandalous movie involving Lara Wendel. She had other movies in Germany and Italy from when she was 12 as well.  There is a story here and likely not a happy one.  She retired from acting in 1993 and is 65 now. 

The plot should work, women make a deal with Satan, but later they back out so he goes after their daughters. I was unclear whether or not the children were also supposed to be Satan's kids or not.  But it doesn't. Not even close really.  I have heard that is had to be recut and re-edited because it was too much like The Exorcist. So, I guess that could explain it.   

Plenty of ripping off of Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby.  There is a final fight between Daria (who has to do it full frontal) and her mother Carlotta (played by Anne Heywood) and then the movie just ends.

Viewed: New
The movie I was looking for?: One scene was so very close but in the end. No

Watched: 32
New: 21

NIGHT SHIFT Content.
With Crowhaven, first I love the name, great name for a farm where witches once lived but it is also a great little spooky film with some reincarnation.  In my games witches can't be raised from the dead, only reincarnated.  So reincarnation often becomes a theme in my games.  

All three movies have satanic cults in common, so maybe an old school 70s occult style cult is needed again. 



2 comments:

Ruprecht said...

First, outside your time frame and probably to kid friendly to be about Satanism but this movie is about witches and aired once so I thought I'd throw it out there.

https://www.metv.com/stories/a-golden-girl-and-the-guy-who-played-alf-made-a-totally-eighties-halloween-special?fbclid=IwAR0QJPWJTZApM11SRivLWJ9WkSph-1Du9TJ-9ure8j8gzTiPZQPvg1EDox0

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Thanks for that! Yeah about 10 years outside my preferred time, but I will check it out all the same.

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