03rd Nov2021

‘Coven’ DVD Review (High Fliers)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Lizze Gordon, Margot Major, Adam Horner, Sofya Skya, Jocelyn Saenz, Miranda O’Hare, Jessica Louise Long, Sara Stretton, Aaron James, Terri Ivens, Jennifer Cipolla, Tessa Espinola | Written by Lizze Gordon | Directed by Margaret Malandruccolo

Five undergrad witches come together in order to perform a ritual to invoke the ancient powers of the witch Ashura. The leader of the coven gets carried away and accidentally kills one of the witches during the ritual. She needs the strength of a complete coven to invoke Ashura’s powers and sends them out to find a final witch. As she absorbs power the surviving girls’ plot to take her down but the possessed witch unleashes hell on campus with only one young witch left to stop her…

The Craft and Charmed have a lot to answer for. It seems that since then any film featuring teen girls in peril all feel in that same genre family – stories that lean heavily into goth culture, combining the cattiness and bitchiness of teenage girls in high school with the evils of witchcraft. However unlike the aforementioned film and TV show, Coven also fetishises and eroticises its coven of witches and it does so right from the get go, when Margaret Malandruccolo has her coven of witches performing a ritual in sexy black lingerie.

Speaking of The Craft, that film seems to have had a heavy influence on star and writer Lizze Gordon’s script – with some plot points that feel like they’ve been lifted straight from the 1996 movie. But Coven doesn’t just feel like a pastiche of The Craft, no it takes things further than that teen-friendly film ever could or would. In fact the film recalls more exploitative fare than that found in modern Hollywoodd ‘witchcraft’ films – recalling the more sleazy nature of films like Blood on Satans Claw.

In fact whilst this films bitchy witch leader is even more psychotic than Fairuza Balk’s Nancy ever was, there’s also a real focus on the erotic aspect of a group of women seeking power through witchcraft, complete with lesbian overtones, and an over-reliance on montages of the witches getting (un)dressed in slow-motion: thigh-high boots, scrappy lingerie and all! It’s all very BDSM-like in its fetishism to be honest.

Which means, for viewers, Coven is actually a whole heap of trashy fun; and it proves, like film such as Blood Games, Slumber Party Massacre and Sorority House Massacre, that women can make films as sleazy and trashy as men can. Trashy in a good way of course!

***½  3.5/5

Coven is out now on DVD from High Fliers Films.


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