Warlock Moon (1973)

Director:William Herbert .
Starring.Laurie Walters, Joe Spano, Edna MacAfee, Harry Bauer, Steve Solinsky, Richard, Veille. USA. 1h 29m.

Warlock Moon is a stange low budget horror that has all the right intentions to be a twisted occult driven grindhouse thriller but it just doesn’t quite reach those dizzying heights, but still remains a hot favourite with a select few enthusiasts.

William Herbert’s confident homemade horror involved a lot of favours and dedication, but that’s what a lot of b movies are all about, making the most of what you can and creatively bending rules on public filming, it also helps to have a cast who are flexible and are fully dedicated to project, in this case, Edna MacAfee wasn’t allowed to wear makeup to enhance her old woman look and Walters and Spano were able to ad lib most of their scenes together which runs natural as they were a couple at the time.

It begins with a lively high school girl Jenny Macallister (Walters) trying to get to her class when she’s preyed upon by a tall dark and handsome young fella, in a cheap disguised he uses his wit and charm to beguile her into going on a picnic with him, what opens and a young couple enjoying the springs of love, but after their love picnic they take the wrong route home and end up an a old abandoned resort, the only occupant is a wisen old woman, who gives the youngsters a tour of the mysterious building with lavish kitchens and mysterious locked doors. Filmed in an abandoned TB hospital there’s a lot of homely/hospital aspects of the property and probably a few ghosts lurking in the shadows already.

Bit by bit the couple investigate the grounds but ??? seems more involved sensitive to the supernatural entities within the home when she’s attacked by an axe wielding man who fades into nothing. Her new lover seem quite aloof to the things that go bump in the night and is eager to stay the night and that’s when the slightly creepy ghost story starts to melt into an occult Texas chain massacre as two hillbilly type characters are introduced, both with a crazy blood lust and plan to perform a full moon ritual by midnight.

The blood cult that left no escape!

Despite crazy blood rituals and questionable meat in the evening meals and the title which implies there will be some crazy rituals, there are in fact no Warlocks or any shots of the moon in this escapade, but somewhere cobbled between this crazy fantasy there’s a fairly interesting gothic tale of tale, it’s all a bit clumsy but very accomplished for the budget.

There’s a slight difference in the VHS and DVD releases; and the final credits are overlaid with the final scene audio and topped off with a final blow ending that actually finished the story with another plot twist, a very cute touch.

Rating 4/10

RTexas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), House of the Devil (2009), Curtains (1983)
L – A-Z of Cannibal Cinema, Haunted Houses, Creepy Old People Vol 1

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