Monday, August 4, 2014

Warlock Moon (1973)

Satan worship has rarely been depicted with less excitement than in Warlock Moon, an (extremely) low-budget thriller about a college coed lured onto the grounds of a semi-abandoned mineral spa, where the creepy inhabitants have evil designs upon unsuspecting visitors. Stretching about five minutes of story over nearly 90 minutes of screen time, the silly and tedious Warlock Moon includes several familiar clich├ęs of the bad-horror genre—careless characters walking blithely into obviously dangerous places, comin’-at-ya shock scenes that end up being nothing more than nonsensical narrative misdirection, and so on. Yet even with these time-worn tropes, Warlock Moon never manages to stimulate the viewer. Everything is so predictable, slow, and stupid that it’s impossible to care a whit about the characters. When the story begins, perky college student Jenny (Laurie Walters) is talked into a day trip by would-be newspaper reporter John (Joe Spano). After cavorting and picnicking for several hours, the couple stumbles onto the grounds of a spa that appears to be vacant. They’re surprised, however, by aging resident Agnes (Edna MacAfee), who welcomes the visitors as warmly as she would long-lost family members. Despite a few creepy moments during the initial visit, Jenny agrees to return to the location with Joe. Then Jenny starts to see visions of ghosts and murderers, which John (naturally) dismisses as female hysteria. And so it goes from there, in accordance with the brainless formula for such things. Double-crosses, secret identities, terrible rituals, blah-blah-blah. It’s all been done before, and better. Were one inclined to find points of interest in this singularly uninteresting movie, one could note that the stars later enjoyed minor success on television—Spano was on Hill Street Blues, and Walters was on Eight Is Enough. So there’s that.

Warlock Moon: LAME

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