John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Fifty-Seven : The Witch Who Came From The Sea

"Good thing you don't work out. I hate sports."
"Good thing you don't work out. I hate sports."

This isn't an easy movie to watch or to get through. In fact, I've seen it twice, and the second time I literally had to force myself to watch it. That doesn't take away from the excellent nature of this very underrated, if unnoticed, film.

The story revolves around Molly, a woman with an extremely painful past. She covers it up with stories of her father being a sailor, lost at sea. Her sister knows better, but still allows Molly to have these fantasies, and tell her nephews the same stories. While at the beach with them one day,Molly sees some bodybuilders working out and imagines them dying gruesome deaths. Later, she stops by a tattoo shop but is scared away by the owner.

A lot of Molly's actions are childlike, and a lot of them are filmed in a dream quality. It's hard for the viewer to know what's real and what isn't. A scene in which she emasculates two football players is hardly graphic, but hits just the way it should. And the most disturbing thing about it is the carefree quality of Molly, who remarks, "This is going to take too long."

However, she seems genuinely surprised the next day when the news declares them dead. She's also late to her bartending job where her boyfriend Long John also works. Later on, she goes to a party and tries to murder the man throwing it, but in the process meets a man from a TV commercial and becomes intimate with him. This results in the movie's only moment of levity, when his now former love interest shoots out his tires and he refuses to press charges, which leads to an amusing back and forth with the police.

Molly gets a tattoo of a mermaid coming up from the sea on her stomach, and later, we find out exactly why she chose this tattoo. And it's disturbing.

But more disturbing is when we find out exactly what her father did to her to make her this messed up. It's not graphic, thank goodness, but it's enough, and it will effectively make your stomach churn, while also placing you squarely on Molly's side, despite her horribly misplaced rage. The men she kills don't deserve it, but then again, neither does Molly.

This movie is as intense and well thought out/acted as the Video Nasties get. While "Evil Dead" may be the best of the collection, this one really puts heart and effort in. That doesn't make it a fun ride, but it does make it excellent cinema. And that's all you want out of a movie. This film, in all its obscurity, definitely deserves an audience. One with an open mind, preferably.

I'll warn you. Even this clip isn't fun to watch.

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