I guess I should start actually counting.
21 days until Halloween!
To celebrate American Horror Story: Coven. I deemed it necessary to make an epic witch post.
The first episode of AMH was ok but rather anti-climactic. I have a feeling it won’t be as amazing as last season. It’s pretty hard to beat a vintage mental institution, freaks, and nuns, but Jessica Lange as “The Supreme” will make this show amazing just like her incredible acting stole the show the first two seasons. Add Angela Bassett and Cathy Bates into the mix and there is some room for some seriously flawless acting skills that will make you bow down.
There were many moments in this first episode that gave me happy goosebumps so that’s a good sign! Coven also does have an awesome intro.
Can’t wait for the next episode. The promos have certainly been stunning, let’s hope this season will live up to the hype:
The show takes place in New Orleans and of course mentions the Salem Witch Trials where women, mostly, were tortured and burned alive during a bought of deadly religious fanaticism during the late 1600’s.
Here’s a list of people executed for witchcraft.
There’s also reports of children being killed in the UK for being suspected of witchcraft. Witches are being persecuted to this day but at least in most parts of the world, people are allowed to practice magick without fear of being tortured and murdered.
Anyone can be accused as a witch. During the height of the witch trials, the methods used to “test” for witchcraft including dunking the person in water to either force a confession or kill them and also throwing them into the water. It was believed that a witch would survive being drowned by floating to the top.
Another, even more brutal method was the pressing, where the person was crushed underneath heavy stones until they were made to confess to being a witch. They also had their fingers crushed with iron crushing devices, stretched, poked with various devices, and basically victims to the sadistic whim of the crazy assholes who wanted to harm them.
Also if the accused had a strange birth mark, this was enough to prove they were a witch. The witch’s mark was believed to be where the devil would put his seal and own the person.
Authorities in the witch trials routinely stripped an accused witch of clothing and shaved all body hair so that no potential mark could be hidden. Pins were driven into scars, calluses and thickened areas of skin: the practice of “pricking a witch”. Customarily, this routine was performed in front of a large crowd. Medieval inquisitors also believed that the Devil left invisible marks upon his followers. If after stripping and shaving, the accused witch was found to have no likely blemishes, pins were simply driven into her body until an insensitive area was found.
I actually do have a witch’s mark, not just a mere mole, but an inch deep hole on my lower back that a needle can fit through without harming me. I would have totally been burned alive had I been born in the wrong country or century!
The best movie about the persecution of witches is Mark of the Devil. with the sexy Udo Kier. who plays a witchfinder who falls for a sexy woman accused as a witch. The promo for the film when it was released in 1970 was great. They rated it “V for violence” and gave out free sick bags to the theater audience.
Totally worth a watch. I love Udo Kier. It’s very gory but the torture in the film was actually what was done to people accused as witches.
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 5/10
In an effort to share horror movies from as wide a range of countries and continents as possible, I’ve had to resort to watching some that are mediocre at best. Africa is particularly short in this genre, so it was slim pickings for what I could find. Night Drive is a bad (but still entertaining) slasher story set in a nature reserve. The first half is pretty painful to get through, but I found the second to be enjoyable and with redeeming qualities.
A group of tourists are taken out on a night drive, a night-time tour of a game park to see the wildlife. Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of murders in the park by poachers, but these aren’t the ordinary ones hunting for ivory. These guys are ripping out tongues and genitals from live, screaming humans. They work for the Hyena Man, a terrifying witch doctor with vague and sinister intentions.
After their jeep breaks down the tourists are left at the mercy of these evil dudes, but luckily a few bad asses are amongst them – the tough guide with a clichéd scar on his face, and his eye candy ex-cop son who came on the trip to scatter his mom’s ashes.
Night Drive sucks in the beginning because the director/writer/whoever got too caught up with the characters’ back stories, and there were WAY too many flash backs. The second half is much more focused on the remaining characters’ fight for survival and the acting was even stepped up a notch during the more brutal scenes.
My favourite parts were the gore and Hyena Man costume, since both were very well-done. He was a more unique antagonist than many I’ve seen, so it helped keep it a bit fresher. Lord knows the rest of the characters were ones we’ve all seen a million times in bad horror movies.
Below is the trailer, and below that is the full movie (painstakingly uploaded by yours truly). Enjoy!