A poster for wicked witches.
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Ben Nagy reviews ‘Wicked Witches’: Rural Getaway Gets Guy Targeted by a Man-Eating Coven

Flick goes big on gore, but an over-reliance on dream sequences and a lack of garbonzas hold this one down

An Irish bloke whose marriage has gone south rents a room from an old acquaintance but then finds out that he’s been targeted by a sinister coven in Wicked Witches.

Mark (Duncan Casey) is the guy who drops his wedding band (or is that a pipe fitting?) out of his Euro Beamer and decides to drive away, away, away from the pain to a rural locale where he has a bit of history. We can tell that this flick happens in the United Kingdom because of the side of the car the steering wheel is on.

Ben Nagy reviews 'Wicked Witches': Rural Getaway Gets Guy Targeted by a Man-Eating Coven 1
Mark (Duncan Casey) finds his next place to stay the retro way — he looks in the paper! (Photo courtesy Midnight Releasing).

Mark, wearing Tom Cruise’s sunglasses from Risky Business (or a reasonable facsimile) does the way-retro thing of looking in the classified section of the local newspaper and finds out that there is a room to rent and it happens to be listed by an old acquaintance named Ian (Justin Morosa). Ian doesn’t necessarily welcome Mark with the most open of arms after telling him during a terse phone call the room is his, though. This is made clear because when we first see Ian in the flesh, he’s re-creating the James Brolin wood-chopping scene from The Amityville Horror and muttering to himself.

As the new arrangement is established via Mark having a joint, tripping and getting laughed at by Ian one evening while listening to some dark metal,  Ian lays down the ground rules, namely that Mark can’t open up the cellar door because there’s “personal” stuff down there. Mark pretty much agrees to this rule but also takes note that there is a demonic sketch next to the cellar entrance (bare-breasted priestess #4 wearing some sort of hoofed-animal’s skull, if you’re curious).

Mark keeps having dreams of aerial views of the surrounding meadowlands and woods and then witches with huge, nasty, pointy teeth who roar a lot and eat off his face. He also gets contacted by his pal, Stevie (Kitt Alexander Proudfoot), one of those guys who is perpetually high and really pumped about an upcoming party out in the sticks where a bunch of middle-aged dudes get together, drink a lot and ingest multiple controlled substances.

Ben Nagy reviews 'Wicked Witches': Rural Getaway Gets Guy Targeted by a Man-Eating Coven 2
Ian (Justin Morosa), second from left, brings the pain to DumpFest in the form of three members of a cannibalistic coven of witches. (Photo courtesy Midnight Releasing).

Party night comes, Mark gets totally wasted and clutches his head a lot. Ian shows up, escorting three women from his dreams who start dancing around the bonfire.  Guess what happens? I’ll give you a hint – teeth get a bit less human-looking, eyes turn all black, blood is spilled, and cannibalistic attacks are involved.

Ben Nagy reviews 'Wicked Witches': Rural Getaway Gets Guy Targeted by a Man-Eating Coven 3
  • Best Worst Friend Ever: Druggie Stevie snorts something in every scene, meets Mark at a bar and then expounds about his addiction to PornHub (“It’s not like I don’t want to settle down, but there’s too much pussy around to do it yet … Besides, I’m a bastard to live with. I want to wank all the f—–g time … It’s not just me, it’s epidemic.”
  • Best Sign That You Ought Just GTFO: Mark discovers a bunch of maggots writhing around and then decides to explore the forbidden cellar. This gets him in some hot water with Ian, especially after Mark tells him “Whatever you’ve got down there, it stinks!” after brushing a maggot from his hand.
  • Best Way to Ruin a Pack of Tall Boys: As Mark gets back from the local market, he sees Ian at the edge of the woods genuflecting and kissing the hand of a woman (later revealed to be the high priestess of the coven). This incident shocks Mark so much that he drops all of his beer.
Ben Nagy reviews 'Wicked Witches': Rural Getaway Gets Guy Targeted by a Man-Eating Coven 4
One of the man-eating witches bares her huge, nasty, pointy teeth in this scene from “Wicked Witches.” (Photo courtesy Midnight Releasing).
  • Best Way to End a Party: An octet of UK dude bros attending “DumpFest” – the name of the big sausage fest where a bunch of guys listen to a folksy band including co-directors Martin J. and Mark Pickering (they’re brothers, don’t you know) – are led out to the woods by Ian and the witches and then get their intestines ripped out, limbs ripped off, larynxes extracted and heads torn off in the ensuing rampage.
  • Best Evil Dead Homage: In the last 15 minutes or so, Mark finds a journal in the forbidden cellar filled with demonic scrawling (located conveniently next to the coven’s community workstation), chops up a couple coven members and Ian with an axe, jumps in his BMW and then tries to get the heck out of there. Some of the witches take flight and follow him, so he chops them up while driving with Ash’s first weapon of choice before he attached that chainsaw to his hand. One shortcoming from this scene was that it was shot so darkly that you couldn’t tell which witch was which before they got dismembered, O.G. lumberjack style.

The gore and makeup effects by Sarah Panigada are a highlight, but there’s an overreliance on the repetitive dream-within-a-dream sequences (usually ending with Mark exclaiming “Jesus Christ” or some variant). Plus the witches’ big demonic orgy of blood resulted in the revelation of exactly zero garbonzas. The same goes for their big scene where they show enslaved thrall Ian who’s boss after forcefeeding him blood from a severed head, resulting in a half-star deduction.

Two stars.

Wicked Witches is available to stream through Amazon Prime Video. Check it out.

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