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Latarnia presents CASTILIAN CRIMSON
The Spanish Horror Film

UNA BRUJA SIN ESCOBA

A WITCH WITHOUT A BROOM

1967

 

Director: Jose Maria Elorrieta
Screenplay: Jose Maria Elorrieta, Jose Luis Navarro
Cinematography: Alfonso Nieva
Music: Fernando Garcia Morcillo
Cast: Jeffrey Hunter, Maria Perschy, Gustavo Rojo, Perla Cristal, Al Mulock, Frank Brana
Running time: 88 minutes
Production: Lacy International Films (Spain) and Cinemagic (USA)
Eastmancolor ~ Panoramica

 

 

A blonde witch from the 15th Century travels to the 20th Century and falls in love with an American professor teaching at the University of Madrid. Not proficient in the art of sorcery, she chaotically bounces herself and the professor about time, making unannounced and embarrassing entries into times Medieval, Roman and pre-historic. By mistake she sends the professor for a solo outing into the future (1999), by which point humanity has destroyed itself, leaving behind just seven women who are most eager to find a man for procreative purposes. The dismayed witch seeks the aid of her father, Wurlitz the Wizard (!), to help her out of her mess and stop the professor's appetizing mission to save humanity.

At times amusing, but mostly innocently silly, UNA BRUJA SIN ESCOBA is chiefly of interest for its cast. Maria Perschy has never looked more adorable (blonde hair color elicits an extra sweetness to her face), and the various attires she models, including a bikini get-up in animal skin similar (though not as revealing) to Raquel Welch's fantasy-inducer in Hammer's ONE MILLION B.C., decorate her figure deliciously.  If you're a Perschy fan, get this film.

By the time UNA BRUJA was made, American actor Jeffrey Hunter was already familiar with shooting in Spain.  Seven years earlier he achieved his greatest international fame for his performance as Jesus Christ in the Samuel Bronston production of KING OF KINGS, helmed in various Spanish locales. (Incidentally, Hunter met the future Paul Naschy, Jacinto Molina, on the set of the film, and the two became friends during its production.)  For UNA BRUJA, Hunter was engaged by producer Sidney Pink, who, following Samuel Bronston's lead, had established co-productions in Spain since 1962 with THE CASTILIAN.

It's the Spanish cast that is of interest here for folks who visit this site. Perla Cristal (THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF, FURY OF THE WOLFMAN) is her usual enticing and spicy self as the sexually voracious Octavia.  Lord, how I love this woman!  Producer Pink must have loved her too, as he would employ her in a couple of other productions, including A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, a 1968 movie in which a pre-Naschy Jacinto Molina appeared. (The man got around.) Other Spanish familiars make welcome appearances: Frank Brana (GRAVEYARD OF HORROR, RETURN OF THE BLIND DEAD), actor and future director Julio Perez Tabernero (CANNIBAL TERROR), Angel Menendez (LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO, THE LEGEND OF BLOOD CASTLE)....

A non-Spaniard, the fearsomely ugly Al Mulock (TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE; THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY), is still distinguishable under a long beard as the Wurlitz the Wizard, a role he must have been thankful for since it gave him relief from playing venomous, crazed characters.  (Not enough relief, however, as a year later, Mulock would commit suicide during the production of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.) There's a brief exterior shot of a castle that may be the one that turns up in Carlos Aured's CURSE OF THE DEVIL as Waldemar Daninsky's residence, but otherwise the 1967 film comes up nil as a showcase of Spain's film locations, though it remains a moderate delight for those having a fun time spotting the Spanish thespians of the day.

-- Reviewed by Mirek


If you are interested in a copy of this film, contact eurosin@aol.com