Virgin Witch

Virgin Witch is a 1971 British horror sexploitation film directed by Ray Austin and starring Ann Michelle and Vicki Michelle. The plot concerns a prospective model who joins a coven of white wizards.

Virgin Witch
US film poster
Directed byRay Austin
Produced byKent Walton (as "Ralph Solomons")
Written byBeryl Vertue (as "Klaus Vogel")
Starring
Music byTed Dicks
CinematographyGerald Moss
Edited byPhillip Barnikel
Production
company
Distributed byTigon Film Distributors
Release date
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Plot

Sisters Christine and Betty (Ann and Vicki Michelle) run away from home to find work as models. They are given a lift to London by Johnny (Keith Buckley), a businessman who is instantly attracted to Betty. Christine successfully auditions for unscrupulous modelling agent Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines) and is offered a weekend's work shooting an advert at a house in the country. Betty goes with her.

The modelling job is actually a ploy to initiate Christine into a coven of white wizards led by Sybil and the owner of the house, Gerald Amberley (Neil Hallett). Christine, who is shown to have psychic ability, willingly undergoes the initiation ritual, during which her virginity is taken by Amberley. Christine's powers create tension between her and Sybil, who practises darker magic and has a predatory sexual interest in her. The conflict escalates when Sybil vows to have Betty initiated into the coven.

Johnny, who has been warned about Sybil's true nature, arrives to take Betty away. However, Christine places him under her control, forcing him to participate in Betty's initiation. During the ritual, Christine wrests control from Sybil by psychically torturing her. Johnny, no longer under Christine's control, takes Betty's virginity. Christine then uses her powers to kill Sybil and take her place as high priestess of the coven.

Cast

Production

The producer was "Ralph Solomons" (a pseudonym of Kent Walton),[1] whose other producing credits include The Green Shoes, It's the Only Way to Go, and A Persian Fairy Tale. Although Hazel Adair's name appears in the credits (as co-writer of the song "You Go Your Way"), she did not admit to co-producing the film until 1975, when she featured in an episode of the BBC's Man Alive on the subject of sex films. The revelation that prompted Cinema X magazine (volume 4, issue 4) to remark that her films "are far removed from Miss Adair's more cozy world of Crossroads", Adair's other films include Clinic Exclusive (1971), Can You Keep It Up for a Week? (1974), Keep It Up Downstairs (1976) and the more mainstream Game for Vultures (1979).

"Klaus Vogel", who wrote the script and the film's tie-in novelisation, was in fact Crossroads producer Beryl Vertue.

Virgin Witch was filmed in Surrey during 1970 and previewed in the December editions of Mayfair and Continental Film Review (in which the title was stated to be "The Virgin Witch"). However, the film is copyrighted as a 1971 production, and censorship problems would mean it was not widely seen until 1972.

The country house location, Admiral's Walk in Pirbright, Surrey,[2] would be later used by Norman J. Warren for his films Satan's Slave (1976) and Terror (1978).

Censorship history

Virgin Witch was rejected by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) in April 1971, but was passed with an X rating by the Greater London Council for a limited release in the capital. The BBFC eventually relented and passed a cut version for general release in January 1972.

The 1990s video releases on the Redemption and Salvation labels are uncut, as are the current UK and US DVD releases. Glamour model Teresa May appeared on the cover of the 1993 UK video release of the film on the Redemption label (she also modelled for the cover of their video release of Baron Blood and the never-issued release of Don't Deliver Us From Evil).

The Michelle sisters have disowned the film. Vicki's website[3] makes no reference to it, while Ann's refers to it as "not an experience Ann cares to remember".[4]

References

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