Recovering from a broken heart and a nervous breakdown, sexy lovelorn witch Elaine (Samantha Robinson) relocates to a small town in Northern California intent on starting a new life up among the Redwoods after the mysterious poisoning of Jerry, the husband who’d just left her (men just have a way of dying mysteriously around Elaine).

Elaine’s gonna have to face it, she’s addicted to love and just won’t feel complete without a man, the perfect man, setting her sights first on a hipster college professor (Jeffrey Vincent Parise), then her new BFF, realtor and interior designer Trish’s (Laura Waddell) weak-willed but good-natured hubby (Robert Seeley) and finally square-jawed local
cop Griff (Gian Keys), breaking out her book of spells and glamouring them with her sex magick. But the path of true love does not run smooth, especially when Elaine’s suitors prove to be less than perfect…

A breathy, gloriously kitsch collision between ‘60s sexploitation flicks and the supernatural thriller, The Love Witch is a lush, lurid confection, the sort of film Douglas Sirk might have made if he’d made Italian giallo or Dario Argento if he’d made Russ Meyer-esque titty spectaculars. With its earnest, presentational performances, its rich, evocative colour palette and the hyper-artificiality of its interiors, The Love Witch almost exists outside of genre, outside of time, writer/director Anne Biller crafting a  Technicolour world of her own in which to explore and critique post-feminism identity politics as well as patriarchal America’s terror of unrepressed female sexuality and empowerment, a world where Stepford Wives-inspired English tea rooms and Victorian apartments nestle in Northern California, a world of po-faced suburban Black Mass orgies and groovylicious psychedelic love scenes, a world where the local apothecary co-exists with the mobile phone.

As the titular spellsinger, Samantha Robinson is an alluring presence, a sexy, raven-haired enchantress and hapless serial killer, first bewitching then fatally discarding the frankly useless specimens of masculinity who disappoint her, her knowing, mannered performance just the right side of earnest while tipping a wink to the audience.
But as good as Robinson is, the true star of The Love Witch is the immensely talented Anne Biller who wrote, directed, produced, edited, designed and probably made the sandwiches as well, her satirical skewering of gender politics a playful provocation that’s as seductive as its lovestruck protagonist.
An instant kitsch, B-movie classic, The Love Witch is a freaked out happening to rival the mighty Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls.
Movie Review: The Love Witch
4.0Overall Score
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