Director/Producer – Jim Wynorski, Screenplay – Noble Henri, Photography (colour + some scenes b&w) – Chuck Cirinio. Production Company – Final V Productions.
Nikki Fritz (Nikki), Julie K. Smith (Chloe), Lorissa McComas (Lori), Antonia Dorian (Toni), Lenny Juliano (Lunk Johnson), Dick Bigdickian (Himself)
Four female students and a cameraman go hiking up Bare Wench Mountain near Bareassville, Delaware, in search of the legendary Bare Wench witch whose spirit is supposed to haunt the area and erotically possess those who come near.
The Bare Wench Project is one of a number of spoofs that quickly came out exploiting the huge success of The Blair Witch Project (1999). The Bare Wench Project is a softcore spoof. It is directed by Jim Wynorski, a genre hack responsible for the likes of The Return of Swamp Thing (1989), Scream Queen Hot Tub Party (1991), Ghoulies IV (1993), Sorceress (1993), Dinosaur Island (1994) and Vampirella (1996), among others, including a great many other works of softcore erotica. (See below)
The results are excruciatingly awful. The film lamely tries to conduct sex-related variations on most of the scenes from The Blair Witch Project – thus when the party encounters the witch’s shrine in the woods, it consists of an inflatable rubber doll, dildos and lingerie; there is a parody of Heather Donahue’s tearful, scared last confession but here it comes with the camera placed right under the confessee’s bare breasts.
The film finds silly, almost any, reason to get the girls naked – for one, they go hiking in the woods wearing bikini bottoms and see-through gauze tops and the camera takes maximum opportunity to focus on butts and breasts. “The twins are sweaty,” one girl comments (in reference to her breasts), whereupon the girls take their tops off and start rubbing their breasts against one another; or impromptu decisions like “Let’s go skinny-dipping.” A rest-break becomes a natural opportunity for a casual lesbian scene in the middle of the trail and so on. In the most ridiculous scene, they sit huddled in a tent while something prowls outside – trying to figure out how to drive it off, they come to the amazing conclusion: “We had our tops off [last time] – quick get your tops off.” At every other opportunity, the girls are flashing, pulling their pants down and preening in the back of shots.
What is even worse than the lameness of this is the skittish giggliness of the girls whose airheaded natter goes on and on and on without end – the male member of the group goes missing in a cave, but rather than investigate they instead make a barbecue and stand around cracking jokes comparing wieners to their boyfriend’s penises. This is a film that is not even taking itself or its audience seriously – as one of the girls candidly announces in the first few minutes: “There is no Bare Wench but we’re going to have fun anyway.” Failing that, a series of outtakes run over the end credits of the film wreck any miniscule suspension of disbelief that may have ever existed.
Jim Wynorski, Nikki Fritz and Lenny Juliano returned for a sequel, Bare Wench Project 2: Scared Topless (2000), while Jim Wynorski and Julie K. Smith returned for The Bare Wench Project 3: Nymphs of Mystery Mountain (2002), Wynorski, Fritz and Lenny Juliano made Bare Wench Project Uncensored (2003) and then Wynorski and all of the lead actresses here returned for Bare Wench: The Final Chapter (2005).
Jim Wynorski’s other genre films are:- The Lost Empire (1983), Chopping Mall (1986), Deathstalker II (1987), Not Of This Earth (1988), The Return of Swamp Thing (1989), Transylvania Twist (1989), The Haunting of Morella (1990), Sorority House Massacre II (1990), Sorority House Massacre 3/Hard to Die/Tower of Terror (1990), 976-Evil II (1991), Scream Queen Hot Tub Party (1991), Munchie (1992), Ghoulies IV (1993), Dinosaur Island (1994), Munchie Strikes Back (1994), Sorceress (1995), The Wasp Woman (1995), Vampirella (1996), The Pandora Project (1998), Storm Trooper (1998), Desert Thunder (1999), Crash Point Zero/Extreme Limits (2000), Raptor (2001), Thy Neighbor’s Wife/Poison (2001), Gale Force (2002), Project Viper (2002), Cheerleader Massacre (2003), More Mercy (2003), The Curse of the Komodo (2004), Gargoyle (2004), The Thing Below (2004), Alabama Jones and the Busty Crusade (2005), Komodo vs Cobra (2005), Sub Zero (2005), The Witches of Breastwick (2005), The Witches of Breastwick 2 (2005), A.I. Assault/Shockwave (2006), Cry of the Winged Serpent (2006), Bone Eater (2007), The Breastford Wives (2007), House on Hooter Hill (2007), Cleavegefield (2009), Fire From Below (2009), Vampire in Vegas (2009), Monster Cruise (2010), Dinocroc vs Supergator (2010), The Hills Have Thighs (2010), Camel Spiders (2011), Gila (2012), Piranhaconda (2012), Hypnotika (2013), Scared Topless (2013), Sexually Bugged (2014), Shark Babes (2014), Water Wars (2014), Scared Topless (2015), A Doggone Christmas (2016), Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2016), Cobragator (2018) and Attack of the 50 Foot CamGirl (2022).
(Winner in this site’s Worst Films of 1999 list).