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Wicked Witches Movie Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Released by Midnight Releasing

Wicked Witches Large

Directed by Martin J. Pickering
Written by Martin J. Pickering and Mark Pickering a.k.a. The Pickering Brothers
2019, 76 minutes, Not Rated
Released on August 9th, 2019

Starring:
Duncan Casey as Mark Griffith
Justin Marosa as Ian Pickering
Kitt Proudfoot as Stevie McAllan
Samantha Schnitzler as The High Priestess
Jasmin Clark as The Clan Sage

Wicked Witches 01 Wicked Witches 02

Review:

Can I say that movies like Wicked Witches (originally titled and found on IMDB as The Witches of Dumpling Farm, a name that I’m frankly not sure how I feel about) are the reason I’m so damn in love with indie horror? Is it too early in the review to say that? You may be surprised after reading the entirety herein, but I love this movie.

I also kind of hated it. Hear me out.

Mark Griffith (Duncan Casey; Hallows Eve) is a man who’s just been kicked to the curb by his wife. It’s his fault. He can’t seem to get a handle on his partying and whoring around, and it’s now cost him his marriage. A chance glance at a classified ad in the local paper catches his eye; his old stomping grounds of Dumpling Farm has a room for rent. He contacts his old mate, Ian Pickering (Justin Marosa), and returns home. He’s soon freshly immersed in the life of drink, drugs, and partying. Never mind the fact that his buddy is acting very strangely, and the area is now full of sexy, nubile young women who look ready to eat up the men folk at first glance. What could go wrong? And why is Mark having all these crazy nightmares about black-eyed demon witch women?

Here’s the thing: the Pickering Brothers deliver in spades where it pertains to the nastiness and the gore. They also took a paltry £15,000 (a little over $18,000) and made a film that looks far above that in terms of production value. It’s a thing of beauty, really. These cats are not screwing around when it comes to giving you an ugly and evil vision of witches as carnivorous creatures of deep-seeded evil. There’s an underlying subtext of the power of men over women and just how stupid we really are. I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say the movie demonizes women (see what I did there?!), but we all know that a beautiful woman always holds all the cards. The Pickering Brothers are merely calling ‘em like they see ‘em. I can dig that.

Wicked Witches 03 Wicked Witches 04

The proclivity for aerial shots isn’t a bad thing when you’re filming the English countryside. Many of us in the horror community have a fetish for that British flavor, so you can’t go wrong there. Stylistically, Wicked Witches is an homage to The Evil Dead, and that is also never a bad thing. The fast cam is fun stuff, and Mark’s nightmares are pretty freakin’ jarring.

Unfortunately, the pacing is slow out of the gate and the character development is minimal. That’s not a deal breaker by any stretch, but it does make the first half of what is otherwise a very fun movie a bit of a grind. Once the pace picks up and a couple of truly fantastic set pieces kick in (namely a sublimely splattery Blair Witch-inspired human feast following a too-long party scene), it’s off to the races for a fun finish that’s well-scripted and thought out. Getting there is the problem.

When I said that I love AND hate this movie, that’s not intended to be damning praise. The Pickering Brothers are a duo to keep your eye on. All the signs are there for a bright future, and Wicked Witches is still one hell of a fun watch (overall), even if it doesn’t have a massive amount of rewatch value. I don’t like ever having to use the expression “what could’ve been”, but that’s the thing about those damned double-edged swords, isn’t it?

It’s light years away from being all bad. Give Wicked Witches a peek and keep your eyes on the Pickering Brothers. Something tells this hardened horror geek that the best is definitely yet to come out of these two.

Wicked Witches 05 Wicked Witches 06

Grades:

Movie: Threestars Wicked Witches Small
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About The Author
Stuart Monroe
Staff Writer
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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