The Witch Who Came From The Sea (1976)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.

USA, 1976. Screenplay by . Cinematography by . Produced by Matt Cimber. Music by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by .

lives in a quiet seaside town, working as a waitress in a bar and spending her free time with her sister’s two boys to whom she is a beloved aunt.  We as an audience know that something is awry when she spots hunky musclemen working out on the beach where she is spending some downtime and she suddenly begins having fantasies about physically harming and destroying them.  As she continues her affair with the bar’s owner, she goes to parties and meets other men with whom she has flirtations that turn dangerous, harming and then killing hunky after sleeping with him.  The visions that she often gets lost in include what we quickly realize are childhood memories whose trauma is something she has not dealt with and is now coming out in dangerous and destructive ways.   This grungy little drama quite comfortably puts character investigation alongside some very upsetting imagery and successfully manages to be thoughtful and affectionate towards its main character, played with her usual delicacy by the always engaging Perkins.  Its unusual setting and potent images are commendable, ironically pitting confident masculine aggression up against her apparent female passivity before subverting it, but none of it rewrites the book on revenge fantasies; the trauma that Perkins’ character is remembering is easy to figure out early on, and waiting for it to be recognized feels like an endless series of repetitive crises that never quite build to a climax.

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