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FOFF Programs

Oct 1, 2013: 7:00pm
Roxie Cinema
3117 16th Street
San Francisco

The Witch Who Came From the Sea (1976) by Matt Cimber 88 min. Color 35mm Cinemascope
Tagline: Molly really knows how to cut men down to size!!

Cimber reveals in this masterpiece, his only "slasher" picture, an audacious, hallucinogenic, psycho-surreal cinematic vision, abetted by Dean Cundey's (The Thing, Roller Boogie) phantasmagorical photography. As in the films of Sergio Leone, the present is haunted by the crimes of the past, and becomes comprehensible only as that past is brought ever so gradually to light. This revelation dawns with primal force in The Witch as the audience's ignorance is mirrored by Molly's own disassociation and denial. In the screenplay by Perkins's husband Robert Thom--writer of her previous vehicle Wild in the Streets--childhood trauma spawns not so much an inhuman monster pursuing redemptive revenge as a deeply, tragically human one hurtling into mental deterioration. Elements from Perkins's personal history inform Molly's character, and her brave and emotionally naked performance dares the viewer to treat it as camp: an impossibility once its underpinnings become clear. This is perhaps the transcendent exploitation film that can stand tall amongst the very best of '70's cinema.

For its castration-anxiety-inducing scenes of violence, this film would come to be banned in the UK as one of the infamous "video nasties".