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With: Jan White, Raymond Laine, Ann Muffly, Joedda McClain, Bill Thunhurst, Neil Fisher, Esther Lapidus
Written by: George A. Romero
Directed by: George A. Romero
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 104
Date: 03/18/2013

Season of the Witch (1973)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Desperate Housewife

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

George A. Romero was still trying to jettison the "horror director"stigma when he made his third film, Season of the Witch (1973), a kindof combination of a domestic drama and occult tale. Originally calledJack's Wife and/or Hungry Wives, the film doesn't even begin to dabblein the supernatural until past the 60-minute mark. A housewife, JoanMitchell (Jan White), stuck married to an aggravating lout, gets boredand begins hanging around with one of her daughter's friends, until sheeventually becomes a witch and starts getting her revenge. ThoughRomero's screenplay flows realistically and the talk sounds organic,much of it crosses over into the hippie-era realm and is severely dated.Romero gets good performances from his cast, and he has a good feel fornatural rhythms. It's certainly an interesting film, but fans ofRomero's Martin (1978) or his zombie films will not find more of the same.Donovan's great title song plays on the soundtrack during a "witchcraft"montage.

DVD Details: Anchor Bay Entertainment has released Season of the Witch as a "lost classic," paired with Romero's even rarer second film, There's Always Vanilla (1971), a curiosity with no horror elements at all. The transfers on both films are below average, and Anchor Bay even provides a disclaimer, apologizing for the low quality. According to some sources, Season of the Witch once ran something like 130 minutes, but the DVD features the 104-minute cut. Extras include the 60-minute television special "The Directors: The Films of George A. Romero," a new featurette about the making of the film, and trailers and credit sequences for the various versions. Side "B" (the Vanilla side) comes with a second featurette, a trailer and a Romero bio.

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