Virgin Witch (1972) – By Roger Carpenter

Two sisters leave their conservative upbringing to try making it big in the early seventies London modeling scene. Christine and Betty (played by real-life sisters Ann and Vicki Michelle) don’t take long to settle in, with Betty scoring a boyfriend and Christine scoring a mysterious modeling job at an isolated country estate. Christine meets a top modeling agent, Sybil Waite (a thinly disguised attempt at lending some realism to the film), who is in actuality the high priestess of a coven of witches. When the two girls discover what really goes on at the house, Christine–who has some natural psychic ability–is fascinated and quickly becomes a member of the coven. Sybil, in reality a lesbian, is turned away by Christine. Scorned by her would-be lover, the two women begin a psychic fight for Betty’s soul.

Virgin Witch is a sexploitation film disguised as a horror film. There is very little material that will chill the audience as these modern-day witches aren’t scary at all. Even their ceremonies, though atmospheric and luridly colored much like a Bava or Argento film, aren’t scary; rather, they are just orgiastic parties filled with nude revelers dancing in a large ring while the high priest of the coven deflowers the virgin witch. There is plenty of female nudity on display, much of it full-frontal, as Christine spends much of her time disrobing for the modeling photographer while Betty is a bit more chaste but does manage to get nude on several occasions. The Michelle Sisters are both gorgeous in and out of clothes. There are also several scenes that depict mysterious ceremonies which allow for plentiful nudity and further attempts at crude and unrealistic sex between various members of the cast.

The film is a bit talky and there’s not much action; it’s sole reason for being is for the ample amounts of nudity and poorly-done simulated sex. But even this isn’t enough to keep the mind from wandering during the film. The end devolves into a bit of a confusing mess, or it could be that I had just become bored and lost interest by the time the climax begins.

Virgin Witch made a splash in 1972 England and was turned down by the censor board before finally being cut and allowed to play for English audiences. The Michelle Sisters have both disowned the movie and refuse to acknowledge their roles in the film. Redemption Films and Kino Lorber have collaborated to release a gorgeous copy of the film, mastered in HD. Available in both standard DVD and Blu-ray formats, the special features include the original theatrical trailer and a short photo gallery. For more information, see www.kinolorber.com.