When a rattled groom and a few of his buddies take a spur-of-the-moment canoe trip, things take an ugly turn, quickly. Ade from the ill effects of too much alcohol consumption, initially all seems… fairly normal. Normal that is, until the group return to their campte to find a handful of gorgeous young ladies awaiting their return. Believe it or not this is the part where things get ugly. These ladies aren’t shy, it’s no coincidence they’re there, and of course - it isn’t long before a few of these freakishly perfect women find themselves getting a little freaky with their newfound friends… if it sounds too good to be true…
Now that I’ve almost (I'd personally leave a few parts out) described 90% of man’s fantaes, I’ll get to the real guts of the matter. As you may have already guessed by the title, these lovely young ladies aren’t lovely at all. They’re not young, and hell, they’re not even really ’ladies’, they’re nasty old witches in search of a sacrificial lamb. Well, cheers lases, ya got four instead of one! After the aforementioned sexual encounters the witches leave the men to be. But that’s not necessarily a good thing, as each member of this now miserable group begin exhibiting abnormally strange mental mannerisms and frightening phycal malformations. And the odd mutations don’t seem to be subding in the slightest.
The decion is made to venture into the woods, track down the nasty broads and resolve this issue. As, well… nobody wants to walk around looking like a Marvel Comics Morlock reject. Their plans don’t turn out too well however. Before long this group isn’t even a group any longer, it’s a bickering bunch consting of a cripple, a blind man, a psychotic freak and a groom determined to make it out with his health intact. Somehow, by the grace of Witch Craft they do manage to locate these dames of death. Unfortunately, their chances of surviving this final encounter are slimmer than a .012 gauge guitar string.
I’ve got to give praise where praise is due, and it’s due all over the place in this instance. The cast (Jeff Christian as Bill and Wesley Walker as Rick in particular) do a great job of cutting loose and letting the essence of 80’s campy fun shine through (It's great to see the legendary Betsy Baker at work as well). There’s good jokes, but the comedy isn’t horribly forced, there’s fair special effects, but they’re intentionally over-the-top enough to conjure a genuine smile, and the set locations are perfect. I mean, come on - the word forest is damn near synonymous with horror (and they almost rhyme). Paul Traynor does a fine job of both writing and directing the picture, and capturing some cool angles. And I for one love the lighting techniques on display, as I find the low, more natural lighting far more frightening than the power of masve artificial overheads.
WITCHES’ NIGHT isn’t a great movie, and it isn’t a horrible movie. It’s a fair tribute to 80’s slashers/campy/monster flicks, offering some cool gore and a few laughs. But in the end, these homage pieces have been done plenty of times before, and while (as I stated) this one isn’t bad, better of the same sort have been released in recent years. HATCHET, CABIN FEVER and THE TRIPPER all come to mind immediately.
There are some cool bonus features on the disc including some decent deleted scenes, a Meet The Cast featurette, and an extra cool bonus feature “Catching Up With THE EVIL DEAD’s Betsy Baker”. Good stuff, check it out!