In May 2018 I will be reviewing director Ryan Scott Weber’s latest film production Pretty Fine Things (2016) and therefore decided to go back and pull together an older review of one of his earlier films.
Witches Blood brings the Mary Horror franchise to a glowing finish headed once again by the tenacious skilled hands of the devious mind of writer, actor and director Ryan Scott Weber, accompanying him of this closure are both Kimberly Graf and Joe Parascand. Mary (Kimberly), a wickedly tempting witch returns full circle with the need of four witches’ blood to own the town of Bernardsville (a real town in NJ) and battle the righteous Sherriff Tom (Joe) for her damnation or his salvation. The film contains a complete full-blown over-the-top quick rapid fire, violence, humor, bloodshed, and ripping soundtracks, and hidden elements such as the news-reports, have the stock market indication on the screen presented with the names Joe, Weber and Rocko. The screenplay does not overlook the biggest target for jokes, and that is New Jersey itself, and a mixture of laughing witches, hunger starved zombies adds to the entertainment value, while Ryan reprising his loveable and hilarious role of Billy. Meanwhile the rest of the cast rounds out a solid performance, with Randy Memoli and Patrick Devaney, however Joe steals the performance marker by full embracing his role giving dedication similar to the dramatic greats of Sean Penn and Robert DeNiro. In addition, many famous cameos occur in the film, from Shawn C. Phillips a noted YouTube critic and now a star of over 70 horror films, such as Ghost Shark (2013) and Ghostquake (2012), to the legendary Robert Englund and special thanks to Lloyd Kaufman.
However, Genoveva Rossi an uprising scream queen stars as the crafty Sarah the which while, actress Carmela Hayslett’s cameo came in the form of a Bernardsville Townie, who many recalled starred in part two, Sherriff Tom vs. The Zombies, as her alter-ego Roxsy Tyler a horror hosting figure largely known in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The two actors with outrageous bit parts and the craziest characters’ names Mikey D The Night Hunter and Uncle John John (a quirky occultist expert with an open shirt), played respectfully by Michael Anthony Scardillo and Edward X. Young. Scardillo, a name now synonymous with the Zombie Hunters series and director Scott Derrickson’s Deliver Us from Evil (2014) and Edward X. Young noted for numerous horror films, and the closest to the modern day Vincent Price. Edward’s style of acting has him gracing the screens of most independent projects for the sheer passions of both acting and providing the special horror charm to the b-movie circuit.
As this film concludes, with ending of dispatching Mary Horror, who was present in the first film, with her deadly spell book that corrupted Sherriff Tom, and summoned greedy zombies lusting human flesh and destroying peaceful town folks with terror, gore and insanity all for the divine pleasures of others. All while Ryan honed his craft of acting, directing, producing and designing his company called Weber Pictures Company.
The only drawback is Ryan rushes to give the audience all the information about the storyline and how to save one’s soul from the clutches of Mary Horror, a tad more pacing solves this issue, and adds more charged suspense to the film. Aside from that, the special effects and makeup departments contain a wonderful treatment, providing major and developed practical effects for the audience’s enjoyment. Although, Ryan took another right step on the path of becoming an exceptional director, with his assessment of interesting crafty angles and choosing beautiful and original set locations, allowing them to speaks volumes to the audience. Herein, he took over the duties of lighting and setting all the camera positions and filters, while this may prove to grant absolute control it hinders both a production especially with films growing larger in the future. In this final chapter, the script writing doesn’t falter rather enhances itself to new heights in the serious independent horror comedy and never takes the craft of this film more serious than it needs or requires any set pieces or characters.
Witches Blood, is a good solid independent feature, and that has toured the convention circuit with plenty of gusto, and many long lines of fans, they all can’t be wrong this film truly has a wonderful feel to it and brings the passion of the b-movie to the surface for everyone’s entertainment.
This review originally published in Rogue Cinema’s August issue of 2014 with 1,076 views.
IMDb Rating: 5.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10