The Love Witch (2016)

ANNA BILLER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.  USA, 2016.  .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Anna Biller.  Music by Anna Biller.  Production Design by Anna Biller.  Costume Design by Anna Biller.  Film Editing by Anna Biller.  

There’s usually nothing I love more than a gal whose eyeshadow stays perfect during sex, but other than a rich visual style there’s not much to recommend this dull tribute to late-sixties counterculture exploitation.    is thin-voiced and unengaging as a woman who has killed her patriarchal husband and committed herself to her coven of fellow spell-casters, using her skills with herbs and potions to lure men into her company and then doom them to their death.  The joke is that her magic turns them her victims into emotionally uncontainable messes who are so aware of their feelings after sex that they just can’t go on living.  The humour of this setup is, surprisingly, lost on a filmmaker who, in her determination to avoid the campy possibilities of her characters and style, instead comes up with a melodramatic premise that has no substance or strength.  Subverting the kinds of movies that Radley Metzger made from a female point of view couldn’t possibly be a better idea, and director Anna Biller’s managing to create such bright colours and plush sets and costumes (which she designed herself) on a tiny budget is awe-inspiring, but her dialogue mostly sounds like conversations you’re forced to overhear on a bus.  gives the film’s only credible performance as a cocktail waitress with a stylish attitude.

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