The Witch Who Came from the Sea

You could be a top cocktail waitress... Top!
★★
☆☆☆
Released: 
1976
Director: 
Matt Cimber
Starring: 
Millie Perkins, Lonny Chapman, Vanessa Brown, Peggy Feury
The Setup: 
Molly was sexually abused by her father as a child, and now she's a plumb bonkers adult with friends who try to cover up for her murders.
Discussion: 

This film is strange. It seems like it wants to be a serious psychological drama, but, probably based on who is making it [Matt Cimber, who directed b-grade blaxploitation films Lady Cocoa and The Black Six], they didn't feel that they could get an audience for a serious drama, so they added horror and exploitation elements. But there's not enough horror or exploitation to please people looking for that, and I doubt people looking for serious psychological drama would have found it. But this is all 30 years ago, so who knows.

The movie begins with Molly on the beach with her two nephews. Her nephews are apparently obsessed with their grandfather, who is Molly's father, and keep asking questions about him. Molly is a bit distracted by compulsively staring at the big, bulging Speedo-clad crotches of the musclemen working out at the beach [and I'm like: at LAST a movie I can relate to!], including one African-American guy with an astonishing body and-if what's in his pants is natural, I suspect it needs to be registered with the National Rife Association, and I also suspect that he needs to call me-now. Talk about a suspicious package.

Anyway, Molly is clearly at 12 on a one-to-ten bonkers scale, though the people around her try not to deal with it. She drinks heavily and does a lot of drugs. She remembers castrating two football players, in a long scene with slowed-down dialogue. This scene is. interesting. We know she's going to kill them from the start, and while at first you're like "wow, I like how they're taking a long time to set this up and let the menace grow," after a while that turns into "is anything ever going to happen?" But yeah, she hacks their cocks off. We don't see anything, but it happens.

It seems that Molly was abused as a child by her father [who looks a lot like Peter Jackson], an alcoholic ship captain, who is portrayed in scenes that evocatively get across what's happening without showing anything. Because of this Molly shuttles between attraction and contempt for men, and goes into a state whenever she sees something having to do with masculinity, sexuality, the sea, or something specific from one of her memories. For a while the movie gets to be very boring as we have essentially repetitive scenes in which Molly either has a memory, goes into a trance, is attracted to a guy, kills a guy, or denies killing anyone.

Molly does have a sister and a set of friends that are quite devoted to her. They all know she's nuts, but don't want to believe the worst, and even if they do, they don't want the police to get her. My favorite moment is when Molly's sister is telling her that is she really tried, she "could be a top cocktail waitress. Top! Maybe even a bunny." I'm sorry, is there such a thing as a TOP cocktail waitress? Can anyone who is a cocktail waitress truly be said to have reached the TOP? Though it does seem that Molly gets to hobnob with professional football players, television and movie actors. I don't know. Anyway, as the movie goes on, the devotion her friends show, and their efforts to help her and keep her from jail become the most interesting content of the movie.

There's a great deal Freudian/Jungian stuff and themes and imagery, but I didn't find any of it compelling. And since we know that Molly is the killer from the start, there's not really any tension, and like I said, it all devolves into this somewhat pointless psychological drama/case study. Now if they'd devoted a little more time to staring at guys' crotches, then we might have a movie here, you know what I mean?

Should you watch it: 

I wouldn't. Unless you have an interest in sexual molestation movies. though even so, it seems that there are better ones out there.