Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Nights of Terror '12 #4 - Witchboard

Witchboard (1986)
Director: Kevin Tenney
Starring: Todd Allen, Tawny Kitaen, Stephen Nicholls
Format: VHS (Continental Video)

Plot: At a party, a guest brings out a Ouija board, and they attempt to contact a spirit he knows. The spirit does appear, but it becomes apparent to the one who brought the Ouija board that this is an evil spirit that is impersonating his spirit, and despite warnings not to use the board alone, a woman uses it alone, and becomes harassed by the evil spirit, his goal to possess her so he can walk the earth again.

A year before she became forever embedded in the fantasies of males the world over (including yours truly at age 13) by rolling about on the hood of a couple of Jaguars in a Whitesnake video, 80s hottie Tawny Kitaen starred in this pretty good paranormal horror flick.

Kitaen and her mountain of teased hair are in good form as Linda, the hot babe who falls victim to a vengeful spirit. Todd Allen (who has a roll in the upcoming DJANGO UNCHAINED) is her sceptical boyfriend and Stephen Nicholls (a veteran of several US soaps with Ken-doll looks) is the Ouija board owner and rival for Linda's affections.

Director Kevin Tenney (NIGHT OF THE DEMONS) does a nice job building up suspense and shows some Raimi-esque touches with POV spirit shots. The music makes this feel like a Poltergeist sequel at times, although things never get as batshit-crazy as in those films.

The acting's good across the board, except for Kathleen Wilhoite, whose Cali-speak spiritual medium character is the epitome of grating. You'll cheer as she bites the dust, trust me. Except for a terrible green-screen shot during the climax, the effects are minimal but effective (mostly objects moving by themselves).

The storyline does a good job of building up the characters and their back stories. It might be a bit slow at the start for some, but I found the plot to be engaging enough. Overall this was an enjoyable watch and there's even the pre-requisite Tawny Kitaen shower scene (with full frontal nudity) - my 13-year-old self would have been ecstatic.

No comments: