Monday, December 16, 2013

Colin Clarke's Witchfinder (2013)

Hell o Prisoners

Since many of my "50 Horror Classics" are, like Brandon over at Movies at Dog Farm noted, neither Horror or Classic, I think we all need a diversion.

Daredevil Films
Director Colin Clarke's
Witchfinder (2013)

Daredevil Films' Colin Clarke takes us back to New England for a little magic and a witch fry, circa 17th century Salem.

Rule #2 (Rule #1 Always pack a Swiss Army Knife, in case you break down in a remote area, and some psycho wants to kill you, as in Peter Duke's Alone.) Think twice before asking a Dark Witch to improve your love life--You may just end up dangling from the end of a rope.

Rule #3 Think thrice before hammering a metal mask onto a witch and then burning her---you might lose your loved ones.

Witchfinder delighted me in more ways then one. You can have your vampires and zombies; I like a distance, of course, or on the TV, Laptop, or Big Screen, especially 17th Century witches in New England. I think most of them got a bad rap, as many weren't witches at all, but not this one. You knew this Dark Witch (Valerie Meachum) was bad news from the moment she wiped goo all over John Hawthorne's (Travis Worthey) face when he came to her seeking help in ways of the heart. But before the spell is cast, Witchfinder William Thatcher Blake (Dave Juehring) bursts in, and the next Hawthorne knows, he's dangling from the end of a rope, Blake's cursed, and the Dark Witch is wearing a metal mask and burning at the stake. 

This is not your average iron mask. Who needs clasps in the back when you have four inch nails protruding from it's underside--a couple where the eyes go, and well, isn't that enough? And what better way to fasten it then by whacking it with a wooden mallet? Streams of blood ran freely from her iron eyes. Truly made me cringe and watch with one eye closed, either out of horror or sympathy pains, I'm not sure.

After a rough night and a long day's ride, Blake makes it home. But while settling down for a good nights sleep, his wife Sarah (Nicole Kilmer) starts gasping for breath, coughs up blood, and drops dead. Shortly thereafter the witch returns, and if the mask scene wasn't grim enough, we meet little Mary, (Chloe Konieczki) whose makeup is second only to her acting, and in my opinion the little darling steals the show. Like a cat sucking the air from a baby, Mary's breath becomes labored. Each of her gasps for air takes my breath away, and then in her father's arm's she breathes her last. Her head falls back, and with eyes fully open she dies. I believe we will be seeing much more from little Chloe Konieczki. 

Witchfinder is not just straight horror, though. Colin provides us with a reprieve, allows us to catch our breath, so to speak, between the witch fry and the chaos of Blake's wife and child dying before his eyes, with the Witchfinder's ride home. I don't know where you picked up that horse Colin, but he/she was a beaut. I was truly mesmerized by its gait, main, tale, and sheen. Your groom oughta get a raise. Just watching Blake riding through the woods with the bare trees, and the cinematic grays, was beautiful. All in all, like James from Behind the Couch (one of my favorite places to hide!) wrote, more or less, There was a lot packed in to this 18 minute film, and Colin, I'll add, you used ever minute of it, including the opening and closing credits, which were just as mesmerizing as Blake's trip through the woods. What a joy.....Thanks for giving me a snapshot into an era near and dear to my heart, and hooking me up with your short. Now for your viewing pleasure, here's the trailer and a link to the movie over at Popcorn Horror.

Until next time...Keep those fires stoked!

Eternally Yours
Warden Stokely


  1. Variety. You deserved the break. I can't watch it now because I'm too doped up (but not doped up enough to kill the pain, dammit). Had an impacted wisdom tooth removed the hard way today, and I have to go back tomorrow for a root canal. True horror, but still not as bad as nails in the eyes, I guess. Are you watching American Horror Story: Coven?

    1. The hard way...So like by a barber? Haha. ug! Brandon, we're supposed to just watch and write about horror, not live it, Dude. lol. No, I'm not actually. I cut way back on the cable this year. Money whoas. But I work at a library, so I'm only a year behind watching seasons! lol. I'll bet it's excellent. Wasn't too hip on the Asylum at the beginning, so I didn't watch any more of it. I dug on the first season so much, I didn't want to be disappointed, and then I heard from everyone that it got much better. Oh well. I'm on hold for it at the library, so I'll be able to see for myself. And yes, I enjoyed the break, and we all deserved it. I gotta say, it beat the hell out of The Amazing Mr. X., which I can't put off posting much longer. :) Colin's a nice guy. I expect we will be seeing more things that will get progressively better and better! I sent you an email, so you can hook up with him.