The Horror Honeys: So, You’re a Witch?

So, You’re a Witch?

A Supernatural Honey "Witch Month" Review with Suzanne

Season of the Witch (1972)

Director George A. Romero is most widely known for bringing zombies very prominently into our lives, but he does venture into other territory from time to time. When that happens, it’s usually very unconventional. Such is the case with Romero’s third feature film. 

Hungry Wives, retitled as Season of the Witch, is a story of an unhappy housewife who resorts to witchcraft find some excitement in life. Joan Mitchell (Jan White), lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband Jack and college student daughter, Nikki. She leads a rather mundane existence, focused on the needs of her family. She suffers from recurring dreams about her controlling husband and sees a therapist to deal with her fears. When she hears about a new woman in the neighborhood who practices witchcraft, Joan decides to experiment with it. After practicing spells and getting involved with her daughter’s boyfriend, Joan becomes so immersed she can no longer tell what is real and what is fantasy.

Low-budget and seriously dated, the film is slow and methodical. We don’t get a glimpse of anything remotely unnerving until just after the one hour mark and that’s in the form of a nightmare. One of the best scenes takes place as Joan begins her foray into witchcraft, buying components, candles and other witchy items while Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” plays over top.

The nightmare sequences are actually quite unsettling. Joan’s nightmares are predominately about an intruder wearing a devil mask and being trapped in the house. Obviously, these dreams are a metaphor for being trapped in a marriage with an abusive man.

There is a considerable amount of dialogue in the film. Unfortunately, the acting is often times over the top and unbelievable, making you long for the moments of silence. Jan White’s performance is nothing more than alright, which is a shame because the role could have been so much more with a better actress.

Less about witchcraft than a woman who struggles with finding independence and meaning in her life before she becomes too old, Season of the Witch is not so much a horror movie as it is a psychological thriller, bordering on erotica. Romero’s films are full of social commentary and this is no exception. In fact, he got the idea for the film because of the feminist movement. He wrote, directed and edited the film, and also claimed this movie was the only one of his he would like to remake because of how unhappy he was with the finished product.

We debate frequently about the need or want of remakes, but I would agree with Romero on remaking this. There are some wonderful elements of this film that are not fully realized. In the right hands, this could be developed into something remarkable.

Supernatural Honey Rating: 2.5 horny housewives out of 5

Season of the Witch is available via Amazon Prime & DVD

Have you seen this Romero non-zombie title?
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