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Review: Witching & Bitching – The Witches of Zugarramurdi (2013)

Directed by: Álex de la Iglesia | 110 minutes | comedy, horror | Actors: Hugo Silva, Mario Casas, Pepón Nieto, Carolina Bang, Terele Pávez, Jaime Ordóñez, Santiago Segura, Macarena Gómez, Secun de la Rosa, Javier Botet, Enrique Villén, Carlos Areces, Manuel Tallafé, María Barranco, Carmen Maura, Alexandra Jiménez,

has one thing that many directors don’t have: guts. This Spaniard is not afraid of crashing and just makes the films he wants to see himself. Apparently this filmmaker has a fairly short attention span, because he doesn’t make genre films. De la Iglesia mixes different genres. What starts out as a heist movie can turn into a horror movie in a roundabout way. To quote a well-known soft drink brand: A bit strange, but tasty!

The politically incorrect “Witching & Bitching” revolves around José (Hugo Silva). This divorced father takes his son in tow for a day. A bank robbery is scheduled for Daddy’s Day. Anyway, José has to maintain his koter. Together with a few hostages and a fellow criminal, he flees. In a hijacked taxi, this strange group ends up in an equally strange location. A tacky looking restaurant turns out to be a witch hotel.

This is a that you should watch with as little prior knowledge as possible, because then the surprise is all the greater. De la Iglesia is a cult director and dares to experiment. This has already resulted in pearls such as “Perdita Durango” and “Balada triste de la trompeta” in the past. The latter film was a revenge thriller, dark and love all in one. “Witching & Bitching” also brings together a lot of genres that seem to have nothing to do with each other. The Spanish director succeeds in turning this grotesque genre cocktail into an organic whole.

Also visually there is a lot to enjoy. The opening scene in particular is one to frame and shows the creativity of this cult director. The sets, costumes and locations look great and are beautifully portrayed. Much attention has also been paid to the characters. They are characters, but they are portrayed nicely. Everyone has worked on this with a lot of love and pleasure. This results in a catchy production that will not reach a large audience, but will certainly appeal to the lover of cult films.

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