Written by: George Pacheco on June 14th, 2016
BluRay released: June 14th, 2016
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS HD-MA 2.0 Stereo English
Subtitles: Engiish SDH
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
Sorceress is an example of one such film for star Linda Blair, who receives a “special appearance” credit here alongside former Galaxy of Terror star Edward Albert. The film was directed by Chopping Mall and Not of This Earth director Jim Wynorski and produced by his prolific brother-in-arms Fred Olen Ray, and brings with it all of the trappings expected by those familiar with the cinematic output of both men, which usually featured low budgets, tongue-in-cheek humor and scantily clad ladies.
It must be said that, to the film’s credit, everyone involved seems to be giving it their best and treating Sorceress with some straight faced attention. This lack of a self-aware nature makes it easy to be transported back to 1995, a time when the box art for Sorceress stared back at many a video store customer, while also giving Wynorski and crew props for stretching their budget with some dedicated players.
Blair stars as a witch named Amelia, whose newly promoted husband is rendered a paraplegic by the jealous sorceress wife of his rival, Larry. A battle of wits and magic ensues as a result, with plenty of sexy flashbacks added in along the way, courtesy of co-stars Rochelle Swanson and Julie Strain. The B-movie queen Strain is always a welcome sight in these sort of late night Skinemax classics, and-although her character is bumped off fairly early in the film-it’s her scenes here in Sorceress (presented mainly in flashback) which are the most memorable.
Still, although this Synapse Blu-Ray is presented under the unrated director’s cut of “Temptress,” the real question is how much of an audience Wynorski’s film can reach some twenty years after hitting rental shelves. Granted, the sex scenes are extended here, and the film features more nudity overall, but there are also some slow bits with some wildly uneven acting, making Sorceress a disc many will likely be viewing with their thumbs on the fast forward button.
Synapse’s Blu-Ray for Sorceress does look mighty fine, however, with Gary Graver’s cinematography popping out just fine with sharp detail, and no artifacting or compression issues. The audio is also strong, with composer Chuck Cirino’s score balanced out nicely against the dialogue. The best extras on here are the two separate commentary tracks included, one from Wynorski himself flying solo, and the other with Wynorski and special effects legend Tom Savini acting as moderator. Both tracks feature the talkative, knowledgeable and engaging director spouting off about making the film, working with the cast and crew and overall stories from the set, while the Savini one covers similar ground, delving further into more of the nuts and bolts of special effects work and how the film was physically completed by the crew. It’s just for these fun commentary tracks that Synapse’s Blu-Ray for Sorceress receives a recommendation for sleazy skin fans looking for a retro trip.