Film #106: LEGEND OF THE WITCHES
Legend of the Witches
2 out of 5 stars
Back in the late 60s / early 70s, filmmakers felt like they needed an excuse to be able to show full frontal nudity (male and female). Censors being what they were, it was impossible to show extensive nudity to the public without a good reason. Enter… the documentary. With enough spit and polish on a subject, filmmakers could show whatever they wanted just as long as they frame it under the guise of “education.” Malcolm Leigh (known for mostly short films, documentaries, and the film, LADY CHATTERLY VERSUS FANNY HILL) directed this meditation on witchcraft from its Pre-Christian origins to modern day black masses and how its influence has subliminally filtered into mainstream British life (via fortune tellers, people thinking twice about walking under a ladder, and children playing 'ring a ring a rosie') The resulting film is, well… spotty, at best. Posing as an informed exposé, the narrative is rife with half-formed ideas, defaming stereotypes, and completely inflammatory misinformation… all used as an excuse to show a little bush and a wiener or two. Soon though, the narrator’s voice becomes a drone and what should have been a fascinating look at an interesting subject soon becomes bland and wholly uninteresting. The film is of note mostly as an anthropological document, but not much else. See Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 film HAXAN: WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES instead.