GHOSTHOUSE II; WITCHCRAFT (EVIL ENCOUNTERS)
(La Casa 4)
There is some confusion over who the director of the film is. Italian films frequently list Anglicised names to gain appeal across the Atlantic and this version lists the director as Martin Newland. The Internet Movie Database lists the director as Fabrizio Laurenti, a minor Italian director who has made nothing else of any distinction excepting Troll 3 (1990). On the other hand, a number of other sources list the prolific Joe DAmato, also known under a dozen other pseudonyms, and director of nearly 180 films, including a host of Emmanuelle sequels and numerous other porn films and the atrocious Ator sword and sorcery series. DAmato had the distinction of being a churner of the bottom of the barrel amidst Italys proclivity for hardcore zombie/cannibal movies, having made efforts like the Anthropophagous/Grim Reaper films and the infamous Blue Holocaust (1979), which purported to use real bodies for its disembowelments.
Witchery has a fairly bad reputation. There is not much to it. On the other hand, once one gets past the vague muddle of possession, supernatural justice and haunting clichés that serves as a plot, there is a certain gruesome stylism to the film. I particularly liked the image of Annie Ross hung upside in a fireplace with her lips sewn shut, unable to cry out as the people below unheedingly light a fire. There is also a startling dream sequence where Leslie Cummings is raped by a man with his lips sewn shut. On the other hand, the scene where Bob Champagne is killed by a voodoo doll is merely silly, largely due to poor opticals. The customary shoddy logic and acting of low-budget territory prevails, although the film has a slickness of photography and editing that is rare to low-budget. Several American actors have been imported for the occasion, including David Hasselhoff, Linda Blair in a rare return to Exorcist (1973) territory and Annie Ross, as well as German actress Hildegard Knef.