Virgin Witch

Christine gets her big chance at modelling when she applies at Sybil Waite’s agency. Together with Christine’s sister Betty they go to a castle for the weekend for a photo shoot. Sybil has lured Christine to the castle for more than modelling: she is recruiting a virgin for induction into a witch’s coven, led by the owner of the castle, Gerald. To their surprise, Christine is more than eager to join the coven, but begins her own secret battle for control.

by m2mallory (California)

The difference between a British sleaze film of the 1970s and an American sleaze film of the 1970s is that the British film is well acted and features interesting locations. “Virgin Witch,” quite possibly the quintessential sleaze film of the 1970s, manages both. It’s not that the film is not exploitative and rather insulting to women, it’s just that one would have to take it seriously to take offense. The film stars real-life sisters Ann and Vicki Michelle as an ambitious career woman (Ann) and a repressed virgin (Vicki) who leave their strict parents and come to London. On the way they meet Johnny (Keith Buckley), in one of those 1970s movie coincidences, and he develops a bone for Vicki.

Meanwhile, Ann answers an advert for a model and is “auditioned” by lesbian agent Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines), who invites her up for the weekend at a manor house owned by Gerald Amberly (Neil Hallet), a sort of proper Hugh Hefner, who is (of course) also the leader of a coven of witches. Ann (character name “Christine”) is all for it, even the attentions of Sybil, if that’s what it takes to get ahead, but Vicki (Betty) is still repressed. Sex rites ensue. In fact, the coven really isn’t much into black magic at all, just sex games. Suffice it to say that the film did not have much of a costume budget. It would be a lot easier to dismiss this film as so much trash if it were not decently acted, particularly by Haines and Hallet.

Ann Michelle–a kind of road company Martine Beswick–also does well under the direction…at least under the camera pointing…of stuntman-turned-director Ray Austin. There’s nothing scary about this “horror” film, and truth be told, even with the vast amount of nudity, there’s nothing very erotic about it either. It’s a time capsule of a particular era of very strange British thriller films, but a rather disarming one.

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