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Film Reviews The Love Witch: A subversive homage to out-of-fashion genres

Gian Keys and Samantha Robinson in The Love Witch.

Oscilloscope

3.5 out of 4 stars

Title
The Love Witch
Written by
Anna Biller
Directed by
Anna Biller
Starring
Samantha Robinson, Gian Keys and Laura Waddell
Genre
Drama
Language
English

Near the beginning of Anna Biller's The Love Witch, a psychodrama dripping with camp and nostalgia, Samantha Robinson's title character announces, with a mix of innocence and malice, that there's nothing wrong with being a witch: "All it means is using your will to get whatever you want." What The Love Witch wants is to be an unabashed love letter to a cinematic time long gone – an era in which Technicolor melodramas mixed with Russ Meyer sexploitation flicks. The Love Witch handily achieves its goals, employing Biller's strong sense of retro style and Robinson's wink-wink performance to deliver a subversive homage to a host of out-of-fashion genres. The thin plot revolves around the misadventures of the enchanting Elaine, who goes on a tear through a new town, coaxing men into bed before bumping them off. But the narrative is just an excuse for Biller to riff on the power of femmes fatales. This is not a potion fit for everyone, but for a select few, The Love Witch offers powerful magic. – Barry Hertz

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