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VIRGIN WITCH
DVD region 0. Odeon.

Virgin Witch“She’s the girl with the power to turn you… to turn you off” screamed the US ads for Virgin Witch, in a flagrant case of false advertising matched only by the alternative title, Lesbian Twins. Watch this grotty slice of British sexploitation horror with anything like high expectations and you’ll come away disappointed. But if you’re a connoisseur of 1970’s Brit Smut, then this might have enough going for it to keep you amused.

Real life Sisters Ann and Vicki Michelle play hitch-hiking siblings Christine and Betty who find themselves in the big bad city and the modelling agency of predatory lesbian Sybil Waite (Patricia Haynes). Christine is hired for a photo shoot in the sort of country estate that cropped up regularly in British genre films (Satan’s Slave used the same location), where she does a spot of nude modelling while hobnobbing with Gerald Amberley (Neil Hallett), who is a white witch and general cad. As Christine has psychic abilities, she is courted to join Amberley’s coven, but Waite is less than pleased – unsurprising, as it soon becomes clear that Christine is not content to be a mere member of the coven, but instead want to lead it. Meanwhile, Betty wanders around looking innocent and gormless.

Virgin WitchVirgin Witch offers up plenty of nudity – not all of it aesthetically pleasing – along with a few moments of tension, rather more moments of complete tedium and remarkably flat and disinterested direction from Ray Austin. There are some amusingly un-PC lines of dialogue, and the film at least has better production values than most British sex films – combined with the horror elements, and this could almost be a gateway film for anyone curious about the genre.

Vicki Michelle, making her screen debut here, would eventually wind up in dreadful British sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo, and predictably doesn’t talk about this film anymore (though most of us might see it as her finest hour and a half). Older sister Ann is equally embarrassed by it, though as her later career took in movies like Psychomania, House of Whipcord, Cruel Passion, Haunted and Young Lady Chatterley – most of which involved more nudity – it’s more of a mystery why she is so snotty about it. Then again, she ignored overtones to appear on Severin’s Psychomania DVD, so perhaps she just views the whole decade as a dreadful mistake.

DAVID FLINT

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