- Directed by Damiano Damiani
- Starring Richard Johnson, Rosanna Schiaffino, Gian Maria Volonté, Sarah Ferrati
- Written by Damiano Damiani, Carlos Fuentes
The Witch in Love (1966) -- Highly obscure Italian horror directed by Damiano Damiani. An extravagent, contintental 60's arthouse epic about a gothic femme fatale.
Sergio (Richard Johnson) responds to a "Help Wanted" ad for a librarian that seems to have been written just for him. When he arrives at the rambling villa, he meets an old woman who has been following him. At first, he writes her off as a nutty old broad and wants nothing to do with her or her job. But then he meets the old woman's daughter, Aura (Rosanna Schiaffino), and decides the job might have a few more perks than he at first imagined. But is Aura for real and to what lengths will he go to get her.
The Witch is a very slow moving, but incredibly intriguing film. The movie takes its time in building the suspense and ultimate horror. And while many of the plot points and twists along the way are surely obvious to most anyone, the fun is watching these plot points and twists unfold. I generally don't put much emphasis on things like this, but the relationship Sergio and Aura is as erotic as I've seen. The passion is all but palatable. And when Aura disappears, it's easy to feel Sergio's pain. The final scenes present a more than satisfying conclusion to the film. Although most viewers will have guessed that the old woman and Aura are really one and the same, the whole notion and the way it's presented in The Witch makes for a nice ending.
The acting in The Witch is easily its highpoint. Richard Johnson is outstanding as the love-stricken librarian slowly going insane. As for Rosanna Schiaffino, I don't know where these Italian producers found these incredible women. It's not a stretch of the imagination to believe Schiaffino could force any man to fall for her. Finally, Gian Maria Volonte is tremendous as Aura's former lover. I've only seen Volonte in his crazed, over-the-top roles in Spaghetti Western roles, so it was a nice to see him in a more subdued, yet just as crazed, role.If you're a fan of Italian horror, The Witch is definitely worth seeking out.
The Witch in Love DVD is offered as a compact edition. This transfer is manufactured on demand and is presented on premium DVD-R with thermal disc print in a clear plastic wallet. Important: This title has been manufactured from the best-quality video master (rated 7/10) currently available and has not been remastered or restored.