Psyched by the 4D Witch (A Tale of Demonology) (1972)


 USA. 1972.


Director/Screenplay/Music – Victor Luminera, Photography (b&w)/Special Effects – Larry Milton. Production Company – New Art Films


Margo (Cindy), Esoterica (Abigail), Tom Yerian (Mark)


The innocent Cindy receives a vision of her ancestor Abigail who was burnt at the stake two hundred years before. From the fourth dimension, Abigail now promises to teach Cindy the secrets of sexual witchcraft. By uttering the phrase “Let’s fantasy fuck now,” Cindy can uses secrets of mental telepathy to seduce others, all, Abigail promises, without ever losing her virginity. However, as Cindy starts exploring her sexuality and powers, Abigail seduces her down a path to depravity.

This almost completely unknown 1970s artifact is a truly amazing film. It has an awfulness that holds a fascination. It seems caught halfway between being a softcore porn film and a witchcraft film – all as directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.

There are priceless pieces of bad movie-making on almost every level – incredibly bad direction; hilariously awful dialogue – the magical phrase the witch gets the young innocent to use is “Let’s fantasy fuck now”; cheap and lurid psychedelic lighting effects that woefully try to create an atmosphere of esotericism; a set of the most laughably unconvincing vampire fangs you will ever see in a horror film; and lots of hilariously pretentious allusions to meaning. Like the notoriously bad The Creeping Terror (1964), it appears that the soundtrack has been lost and everything redubbed in the studio (and using only three different voices) – which results in some hysterical scenes where people start having ‘telepathic conversations’ and conducting seductions, even psychotherapy sessions, by telepathy. The soundtrack has been comprised of library music – which would not be so bad but for the fact that director Victor Luminera uses well-known pieces of classical music. It all adds up to fascinatingly watchable piece of bad cinema. What with such a wonderful title, you wonder why Psyched by the 4D Witch (A Tale of Demonology) has never been discovered before now by the Psychotronic film audience who would go surely absolutely nuts over the quality of bad filmmaking on display and hail it as a lost masterpiece.

The film was made just before The Exorcist (1973) and it is interesting to note the commonality of themes between the two. The Exorcist was criticised for seeming to illuminate an ultra-conservative justification of the 1960s generation gap – that child rebellion and extreme behaviour were the result of demonic possession. Psyched by the 4D Witch (A Tale of Demonology)seems to take these fears even further than The Exorcist does. In the corruption of its virginal innocent, the film charts a clear progression that begins with masturbation and leads to loose sex followed by lesbianism, Satanic rituals, necrophilia and then cannibalism. It also highlights far more clearly than The Exorcist the hypocrisy that underlies much of this conservative attitude – the contrast of this moral attitude with a clear prurient delight and schoolboy fascination when it comes to the sex scenes.

Actors: , ,
Themes: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,