”Don’t look behind you…’
Warlock Moon – aka Bloody Spa – is a 1973 American horror film written [as John Sykes], produced and directed by William Herbert. The Sweet Blindness Enterprises production stars Laurie Walters, Joe Spano and Edna MacAfee.
A young college student believes she had seen ghosts when she first visited an abandoned spa with a new male friend who had accosted her and “accidentally” driven her there. However, he manages to persuade her to meet him there a second time…
Reviews [may contain spoilers] :
” …Warlock Moon serves up some weird atmosphere and decent shocks, though seasoned horror fans will probably see everything coming a few minutes before it arrives. The set is appropriately creepy, the two youthful leads are energetic, and the film relies more on suggestion than gore…” Fred Beldin, All Movie
“Complemented with beautifully composed shots and an on-the-fly aloofness, the massive atmosphere takes center stage […] On its own, the dilapidated spa would make any film. Luckily, the mood is embellished with backwards sound effects, abrupt scares, and a series of supernatural events that make little sense.” Joseph A. Ziemba, Bleeding Skull!
“In spite of the its San Andreas sized flaws, and substantial lack of sagacity, this is still a decent little diversion, a film flying by the seat of its setting and damn proud of it. Writer/director Herbert has to be given some credit for trying to squeeze all the atmosphere and dread he can out of that disheveled spa location.” Bill Gibron, DVD Talk
“Stretching about five minutes of story over nearly 90 minutes of screen time, the silly and tedious Warlock Moon includes several familiar clichés of the bad-horror genre—careless characters walking blithely into obviously dangerous places, comin’-at-ya shock scenes that end up being nothing more than nonsensical narrative misdirection, and so on.” Peter Hanson, Every 70s Movie
“It’s one of those cheap films with that special inventiveness the best low budget movies from the 70s possess, with a crew of interesting actors, a sinister premise, and the perfect filming location at a rundown abandoned resort.” Groovy Doom
“It’s slowly paced and riddled with plot holes, but it’s got a breezy charm that so many movies lack, and it more than makes up for its problems. You also can’t dismiss a movie that combines ghosts, witchcraft, and cannibalism, plus a random ax wielding mute (who looks like Rob Zombie!) for good measure.” Brian W. Collins, Horror Movie a Day
“This whole film feels like a weed-fueled fever dream and moves at a very odd pace, with sudden irrational jolts breaking up all the strange comedy and endless wandering around. That method really pays off in the crazed final twenty minutes, with a number of plot turns and a fateful stroke of midnight setting this one apart from the pack a bit.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital
“This is the kind of movie that would never be made today. It is independent filmmaking at its finest. This is the sort of film in which the filmmakers and actors wear their hearts on their sleeves. It may be too ambitious but it has a sense of dread, atmosphere, and suspense that is sorely missing from horror today.” Kevin Sommerfield, Slasher Studios
“Much of this flick is extremely slow but the actions of the characters are so bizarre that it is somewhat compelling. You will find yourself questioning their motivations and lack of good judgement so often that this one may actually be kind of fun if watching with a like-minded film fan.” Josh Pasnak, The Video Graveyard
Cast and characters:
- Laurie Walters … Jenny Macallister / Ghost Bride
- Joe Spano … John Devers
- Edna MacAfee … Agnes Abercrombi
- Harry Bauer … Hunter
- Charles Raino … Sheriff
- Ray K. Goman … Deputy Luther
- Steve Solinsky … Axman
- Richard Vielle … Axman
- Michael Herbert … Lecturer
- Joan Zerrien … First Girl
In the USA, Warlock Moon was released and distributed by Enchanted Filmarts on September 27, 1973.
Image credits: VideoCollector.co.uk
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