Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Witching and Bitching - Halloween Horror Insanity Streaming on Netfix

It's weird, offbeat and yet somehow, for me, the zany Witching and Bitching has a nice old school gothic feel that resonates and compensates for some narrative bloat. It's a different  Halloween-season excursion, and I ran across it because Netflix thought I might like it.

Originally titled Las brujas de Zugarramurdi, the Spanish film comes from Álex de la Iglesia, who's done such diverse flicks as Dance with the Devil, The Oxford Murders and The Last Circus.

It focuses on Jose (Hugo Silva) who, with young son in tow, stages a daring heist of a gold exchange in Madrid in order to pay back alimony.

Jose, dressed as a silver-coated mime version of Jesus, leads a band of misfits dressed as mascots, mimes or ad icons. The robbery nets a bag of wedding rings and garners a police tail as Jose and friends flee for the French border with a hostage cab driver.

The bitching comes in the form of commiserating over failed relationships, leading the cab driver to throw in with the gang for the long haul.

As heists-gone-awry so often do, this one leads the heroes into the lair of a family of witches, who are on the eve of a major conjuring, despite contention in their ranks. Jose's son seems to be their chosen one, so witchy festivities are in order.

Their spooky old house fronted by a roadside restaurant holds many dark corners and secrets including a man who lives under the restaurant toilet and an array of witches ranging from iconic crone to sexy, seductive young witch (Carolina Bang).

Escapes and misadventures unfold, all leading the gang into a nightmarish, over the top Heironymus Bosh-like vision with grotesque flourishes.

It's  not for all tastes and it clocks in just under two hours, but it's not something you've really seen before.

If you watch, keep the remote handy for pauses. The dialogue moves fast, so if you're reading subtitles, it can be challenging otherwise.

Here's a taste:

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