Welcome to Horrible Films for Horrible People! This week, we will review Witchtrap (1989) from the director of Night of the Demons (1988), Kevin Tenney. Before you get way too excited, Witchtrap is not a spin off of Witchboard, nor is it as awesome as Night of the Demons. There. It’s been stated.
Moving on, the film opens to a man falling out of a second floor window and smashing right into the concrete. That’s a great start, but sadly it goes down the toilet from there. Cue the cherry kool-aid, please! The house is being haunted by Avery Lauder. He was a famous, Satanic warlock, and perhaps, even a serial killer known as The Vineyard Slasher. What a stupid name! Well, two years earlier, he was found dead in the home with his heart missing. Fast forward to the present where Kevin Tenney, the director, has a minor role as Avery’s nephew, Devon Lauder. Since Devon’s uncle is dead, he now owns the mansion and has plans to convert it into a bed and breakfast. The mansion is a beautiful and spacious location yet has one major problem: Dead Uncle Avery refuses to leave the place and murders anyone who enters his musty home.
So, Devon hires paranormal researchers. The team is comprised of Dr. Agnes Golderg; her dorky, cautious husband Felix; and a boring, terrible acting psychic medium. There’s also a video technician named Ginger who wears the tightest pants ever. Ginger is played by Linnea Quigley. Devon also hires Lieutenant Murphy, who looks like he’s straight from the 70s and read way too many action comic books growing up. Alongside Lieutenant Murphy’s detectives is Tony Vincente, who is sarcastic with outrageous dialogue. Then there is the long black guy, Levi Jackson. Lastly, there’s a ground keeper named Elwin. If Elwin looks familiar, that’s because he also played Stooge in Night of the Demons. He didn’t change anything about himself, other than his overalls, for this film. I counted four characters in this picture from Night of the Demons. Let me know if you discover more.
The hero of the movie, Tony, was not likable at all. He would insult people, which was supposed to be funny, but after a while it just wasn’t. He went from being a smarty pants to a real a-hole. Linnea Quigley is not in the film very long and the second she gets naked is the second she dies. Out of all the characters, Whitney irked me the most. Her acting was dreadful, especially her dry, monotone voice. It was like someone asked her to read out loud in class but she had never recovered from last night’s hangover. Horrible! I have no idea how she even got this role. Maybe Kevin owed her a favor? Also, Avery would inhabit her body whenever he wanted to. It wouldn’t have been as annoying if she didn’t immediately toss herself on the bed, sweaty and making awful sounds. It made me uncomfortable. The rest of cast is forgettable and pretty much matched the wallpaper on the wall.
Avery’s intent is to finish a satanic ritual, which will allow him to come back to life or something, who knows? Also, Avery was supposed to be this creepy, intimidating warlock; instead, he was just cheesy like the rest of this film. Plus, whenever he would walk towards the camera, staring into it, it was bluntly ridiculous and laughable. I’m usually for cheesy horror, especially cheesy 80s horror, but this is just terrible. Overall, this film is awful, the acting is downright embarrassing. Moreover, the dialogue is laughable. Word to the wise: Just avoid it! I wish I would have, but it kind of fell in my lap.
Once again, please do not think that Witchtrap is as awesome as Night of the Demons or Witchboard because it’s a trap of pure disappointment.
WICKED RATING: 1/10
Director: Kevin Tenney
Writer(s): Kevin Tenney
Stars: James W. Quinn, Kathleen Bailey
Studio/ Production Co: Cinema Plus
Length: 92 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror, Thriller