Witchin’ & Bitchin’ (2013) – movie review

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Witchin’ & Bitchin’ (2013)
Spanish – Las brujas de Zugarramurdi

Directed by Álex de la Iglesia
Hugo Silva
Mario Casas
Carmen Maura
Carolina Bang


The title of this film wasn’t a real eye catcher for me and I actually prefer the Spanish title, The Witches of Zugarramurdi. With that said, I delved into the film not expecting much and was delighted with what I saw.

This is a wacky, crazy, over-the-top horror film that is a lot of fun. It’s a Spanish film, subtitled, but easy to watch and enjoyablewitchin and bitchin poster 2 viewing. A rag-tag band of thieves heist a pawn shop and attempt to make a clean getaway. The problem is with Jose; it was his day to watch his son, per his divorce settlement and he brings the young lad along on the heist. With Antonio, he had to borrow the car from his girlfriend but she needed it back and took it during the robbery leaving them without a getaway car. And that’s just the beginning of dozens problems that plague these enterprising men as they head for the French border with a bag full of loot and gold.

Unbeknownst to the band of thieves, the Basque town of Zugarramurdi, in the Spanish countryside, is cursed and populated with members of Europe’s oldest and biggest witches coven. Oh, and they happen to be cannibals. The sack of pawned gold holds evil power because of the broken promises and lost hopes of wedding rings returned and misery dispensed. The gold will help the coven perform a sacred ceremony that will enable them to wield a reign of terror upon the world.

Comical and bizarre witch family members scuffle with the thieves and two detectives who had been on their trail. The witches raise the mother goddess, (a sight to be seen – comically horrifying on many levels) in order to fulfill a prophecy and enable the Coven to take control of the world. It’s a zany horror-comedy reflecting shades of John Dies at the End, Black Sheep, and Dead Alive. It’s a fun film that I enjoyed quite a bit and it had me laughing out loud several times. It has won numerous awards at the 28th Goya Awards honoring Spanish film and entertainment. So if you’re in the mood for some supernatural comedy horror and don’t mind reading some subtitles, look no further. This film is worth the effort.

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A fun and funny film about witches, and dealing with ex-wives in this high octane comedy!

I give it 4.0 wicked witch spells out of 5 on the accursed coven of conjured concubines scale.

Odd Thomas (2013) – movie review

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Odd Thomas (2013)

Directed by Stephen Sommers

Anton Yelchin
Addison Timlin

Willem Dafoe

I’m not a huge fan of PG-rated horror. I’ll often criticize a film when I think it was purposely tamed and diluted to reach the widest audience possible. But for whatever reason, I didn’t mind the PG-rated antics of Odd Thomas. Perhaps it was because the film made it clear from the first minute, this is a pg-rated horror comedy. Don’t get me wrong, there is some serious subject matter in this film-a child predator, satanic themes, and a planned mass killing-but it is told in a way that is not too gritty. It’s been over ten years since I read the Odd Thomas trilogy by Dean Koontz, but I seem to recall a Odd-Thomas-2013-Movie-Postermuch darker presentation of the story in the books. Or maybe that was just how I interpreted it.

Part of the acceptance of the film was the charm of the two main characters, Odd and his girlfriend, Stormy (Anton Yelchin and Addison Timlin). Odd does quite a bit of narration in this film. His acceptance of his place in the world, combined with his no-nonsense, flippant attitude toward life was likable. The film cut sideways to little vignettes often and it moved at a fast pace keeping my interest. Willem Dafoe’s talents are mostly wasted here as the police chief with few lines and limited screen time. The story has some nice plot twists and a high concept climax. It wasn’t really scary at any point and it was comical but not laugh-out-loud funny. However It was a good story with some good characters.

This is a film for a wide audience, from YA to old coots like me. It’s a shame this didn’t get a proper release here in the US because this could have been a big film for Koontz, provided it found the right audience. I’m sure Harry Potter fans, those into paranormal-light with a bit of fantasy, would have liked this.

Odd can see paranormal entities. When his small town is overrun by demons that feed on tragedy, Odd knows some major bad event is about to go down. It’s up to him to hunt down the paranormal clues and prevent this catastrophe from hurting the people he loves.
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The Frighteners with a dose of John Dies at the End and a sprinkle of The Sixth Sense, if that kid Haley grew up and had a sense of humor. Good for a casual viewing.

I give it 3.0 dastardly demons on the scale of sinister satanic plots to steal souls!


The World’s End (2013) – Movie review


The World’s End (2013)

I was skeptical about this new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost film. While I liked Hot Fuzz, I thought it was a step down from the comedy sensation Shawn of the Dead. I didn’t like Paul at all – I tried to laugh but it just wasn’t happening for me. Pegg Worlds-End-sign-Dropwas also branching into the Hollywood mainstream in recent years and I thought this comedy duo’s better days were behind them. I was wrong. This is one damn funny f**king film! It is the exact style as Shawn of the Dead and includes similar comedic bits. The biggest difference is the two actors switched roles, Pegg, playing the irresponsible loser and Frost playing the more rational character. I have to say this film made me laugh, a lot! And that doesn’t happen very often with modern comedies. I actually hate most modern comedies and don’t think they are truly funny. Sure the plot is ridiculous and some of the actions by the characters unrealistic but that’s part of these over-the-top style comedies. The characters put importance in the wrong things aka, drinking over survival and doing the exact opposite of what a normal rational individual would do. Why do reviewers pretend that Shawn of the Dead was any different. This film appeals to the bar crowd mentality and weekend warriors who live for the weekend binge above all else. I’ve been there; I can relate to that. If you like the comedy aspects of Shawn of the Dead, I think this film is a close second. I cheered them on, hoping they’d finish the bar crawl challenge and I laughed along the way, not at all worried about the realism of the plot and storyline. If you want realism in your comedy, go watch When Harry Met Sally and let me know how many times you actually laugh.

Directed by Edgar Wright
Written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike.
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Pegg and Frost are back in true form – best comedy I’ve seen in years. Outrageous fun!
I give this 4.5 out of 5 pilsner pints in the category of blue-blooded, beer-guzzling bonanzas!

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