Witchmaster General  - Alex
Director: Jim Haggerty
Starring: Phil Lewis Colleen Marie Vic Martino
It's hard to admit when one is wrong, but in this case I have to plead guilty. I first loaded this up and saw the mini-DV quality movie start. Now mind you I didn't take offense to this, as I do tend to like homebrewed efforts, but more often than not a chance to be clever gives way to some need to push the boundaries in way that have been done before yet still come off offensive just for the sake of it. Considering the things committed to film in the 70's, not much else can be done, so most endeavors that try to be 'edgey' just become tired.
A quick browse through the movie seemed to confirm that to some degree as it appeared that most of the female cast were strippers hired to either fill a role or simply to just play strippers. However, I trudge on since I will give most things a try. The exception being 667: Neighbor of the Beast, which I don't have the nerve to watch....yet.
So as I start to watch it, I found myself surprisingly not bored. The story is simple: a man seeks revenge on his cheating wife. Since she'd release way too much dirt on his business endeavors if they simply divorced, he feels that he has to have her killed. Naturally he seeks out a master of Voo-doo so the deaths wouldn't be obvious, and he wouldn't be connected.
After the deal is struck, the wife dies of drowning, and the cheating best friend dies from burning. However neither is near water nor fire respectively. As the lead investigator gets the case, he is bewildered by the unexplained nature of it all.
Acting is dodgey at best, but certainly better than most no-budget efforts. Much like the deputy in Rise of the Scarecrows
, the inspector gives a decent performance and makes you take a liking to him. Props and sets are rather silly at time with the voo-doo dolls just being Barbies, and at times curtains are used for walls. But that's no slight as you do what you can given the limits of the production.
So while portions of the movie tread on tired ground, and by that I mean strippers...ones you DON'T want to see to be honest, it keeps a decent pace, and for that it gains a few points. A few more bonus ones for the random magician and his card shuffling skills.