Plot: What’s it about?
In The Naked Witch, the legend of the Luckenbach Witch is revived when a college student unleashes the supernatural terror, by mistake, of course. The student exhumes the corpse of the witch and removes a stake that was driven into her chest, but that proves to be a bad decision, as it brings the sorceress back to life. Once the stake was pulled from her, the life poured back into her veins and now she’s back, better and more naked than ever. So she dusts off her gorgeous form and heads out in search of revenge, as she wants to settle the score with the descendants of those who put her into the grave. But she won’t need her clothes for that, so she remains buck naked and hotter than hell, with a firecracker temper to boot. As she makes her way through those descendants, leaving a trail of bodies in her nude wake, she seduces the young man who awoke her and soon, he is forced to make a hard decision about his new lover. In Crypt of Dark Secrets, a Vietnam veteran named Ted, who lives on some remote swampland in Louisiana, is robbed by a trio of thugs, who learned he had some cash holed up. In the process, Ted is killed by his attackers, but thanks to a strange snakewoman, he is given a sort of second chance. Now with the snakewoman’s help, he seeks to even the scales with his attackers. But with a lot of treasure, a naked snakewoman, and the black magic of voodoo involved, things could get a little out of hand…
If you’re a fan of witchcraft, beautiful women, and naked bodies, then this is one double feature you can’t afford to miss. Both of the movies shown here focus on witches and more to the point, on their nude forms. I had a lot of fun with them both, as in addition to showing off some nice ladies, the films have a good sense of humor. So while neither is an important classic, both stand as brisk and enjoyable pictures. Of course, those offended by nudity won’t be too taken with them, but the naked flesh is never explicit, just used in a “nudie cutie” kind of fashion. As you’d expect, these were made on cheap budgets and it shows at times, but then again, I don’t think anyone is here for the performances or direction. The movies are simple entertainment, not even good movies in the usual sense, but fun ones and in this case, that’s what matters. I do wish widescreen prints were used, but as these were probably saved by Something Weird and would have been lost otherwise, I assume source materials were limited. But in any case, the movie are wild and are more than worth the price of this release. As if a double feature of supernatural nudes wasn’t enough, Something Weird has loaded down this disc with worthwhile supplements. This is a highly recommended disc and is perhaps one of Something Weird’s best editions to date.
Video: How does it look?
The movies are presented in full frame transfers. As I said above, I wish widescreen prints were available, but given the obscure nature of these movies, I am sure good prints were hard to track down. So the image isn’t widescreen, but in both cases it looks terrific, or at least terrific for the materials involved. There is a lot of softness in both pictures, but that is due to the equipment used and not this treatment. As far as signs of age are concerned however, the prints look good and show minimal wear & tear. No troubles in terms of color or contrast surface either, which is great news, since these kind of movies often suffer from degraded elements. All in all, the movies look more than solid, which is about all we can ask.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio in these films is mono and decent enough, but don’t expect much in terms of dynamic presence. The tracks seem pretty clean and show little age related wear, so there’s not much to complain about. I heard minimal hiss and harshness in either flick, which is good, as some of these older exploitation movies often sound poor. The music, sound effects, and dialogue all seem in order, though limited because of the mono format involved. The basic elements come through well however, which is what counts in the end.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I was pleased to find an audio commentary track included, as director Larry Buchanan shares his insights on The Naked Witch. He offers some solid background on the movie, from his initial inspirations to putting together the pieces, to his thoughts on the finished product. An audio interview with producer Claude Alexander is also tacked on, in which even more insight into low budget filmmaking can be heard. A television spot for each film is here too, but no trailers were added in. You can also check out six bonus short films, which are titled Witch Doctor, Afro-Cuban Genii, Voodoo Virgin, Temple Dance, Cigam S’rehtom, and Acid Skull, all wild and fun to watch supplements. A half hour bonus featurette titled The Hot Pearl Snatch adds even more value, while some bonus trailers and exploitation artwork close out the extras here.