The Horror Honeys: Witching and Bitching and Kicking Ass!

Witching and Bitching and Kicking Ass!

A Revenge Honey "Witch Month" Review with Linnie

Las brujas de Zugarramurdi (a.k.a Witching and Bitching) (2013)

Without question, Alex De La Iglesia is one of my favorite modern directors. He's not just one of my favorite modern horror directors... we're talking directors period. Like Jean Pierre Jeunet, I think that even when his style changes, or he tries something new, there is still an inherent look and humor that is so specifically his own. I adore The Day of the Beast and, believe it or not, The Last Circus, but my favorite of De La Igelsia's films has easily become Las brujas de Zugarramurdi, better known in the US as Witching and Bitching (a title that, I think, grossly misrepresents how clever this movie actually is, but it makes sense on the basest of levels).

Stocked with some of my absolute favorite Spanish actors, Las brujas de Zugarramurdi is a movie that everyone should see, and you have no excuse because it's on Netflix right now.

If you're going to commit a crime in costume...
The Story: José (Hugo Silva) has just perpetrated a gold store heist with his young son Sergio (Gabriel Delgado) in tow. Along with Tony (Mario Casas) and kidnapped but willing taxi driver Manuel (Jaime Ordóñez), the quartet of fellas make a run for the French border, all while sharing their disdain for the opposite sex. So of course, they happen upon a town called Zugarramurdi, that is coincidentally home to a big-ass coven of witches, hell-bent on resurrecting their mother and goddess to rule the world. All the while, Sergio's mother, Silvia (SQHF inductee Macarena Gomez) is coming after them, as are police officers Pacheco (Secun de la Rosa) and Calvo (Pepón Nieto), making Las brujas de Zugarramurdi a kind of madcap horror chase film, combined with fantastic Wiccan imagery and brilliant comedic performances.

I'm going to do my best not to make this review about my raging girlcrush on Spanish actress, and Las brujas de Zugarramurdi star, Carolina Bang...

But I won't make promises.
The truth is, for all of the main male characters' misogynist rantings, Las brujas de Zugarramurdi is a film entirely about the strength, the power, and the beauty of women. While the men are initially portrayed as a group of wronged and spurned lovers, it isn't long before you realize... they're actually quite inept and totally immature. In José's case, he thinks that robbing a gold shop and running away with his son is his way to prove he's a fit father, so it isn't long before we discover Silvia's frustration with him is warranted. The women of De La Iglesia's film, whether they are witches or mothers, know their power, and it's a power they aren't afraid to wield.

They also aren't afraid to wield small children covered in bloody goo.
What could have been one-note, however, is rendered hilarious by the performances of Silva, Bang as Eva, Gomez, Casas, Ordóñez, and Carmen Maura and Terele Pávez as Eva's mother and grandmother, respectively. The witches are over-the-top in their depiction, but their powers are amazing, and the final scene in a cave is more than a little remarkable. I don't think I've ever seen that many women gathered in one place in a movie... ever.

These guys are definitely outnumbered.
But really (girlcrush aside), this is Carolina Bang's movie, and she's phenomenal as Eva. Equal parts insane, sexy, stylish, hilarious, and wild, Bang is an actress of remarkable skill and she runs the gamut from horror to drama to comedy so easily, it's mind-boggling. As De La Iglesia's partner (now wife), she has often appeared in his work, and while she was fantastic in The Last Circus, she truly shines in Las brujas de Zugarramurdi.

Seriously. She's the bestest.
First and foremost, Las brujas de Zugarramurdi is a genuinely terrifying horror comedy, and that, my friends, is worth the price of admission alone (but again... it's on Netflix. So... go forth and watch as often as you'd like!).

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 little boy roasts out of 5

Las brujas de Zugarramurdi (Witching and Bitching) is available via Netflix Streaming (I told you), iTunes, Amazon Video, YouTube VOD, Google Play, & blu-ray/DVD

Do you have a favorite Alex De La Iglesia movie?
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