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Let's Talk About the Malevolent Spirit

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Screenshot: Setsuled

Now for a cautionary tale about secretly planting three hundred year old spellbooks in college used book sales in an attempt to get kids to ritually resurrect witches. Professor Stuart sure learns his lesson in 1970's Mark of the Witch, a cheesy little effort with a few good qualities, chief among them the star, Anitra Walsh, as Jill, the college student who becomes possessed by a long dead witch.

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Screenshot: Setsuled

She doesn’t give the greatest performance but the young lady herself has a real innate charm. There’s something about her typewriter accent as she explains things in an oddly sweet manner to the two men who’ve become hostages to her will. The actual 17th century witch is played in a couple brief scenes by a genuinely scary looking actress called Marie Santell:

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I’m pretty sure those aren’t 17th century eyelashes.

Under her influence, Jill starts ritually murdering fellow students while Professor “Mac” Stuart (Robert Elston) and Jill’s boyfriend, Alan (Darryl Wells), impotently argue about how to deal with the problem while looking very cosy in business casual or pullovers by firesides and cocktails.

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For a movie with no Wikipedia entry, it certainly seems to have received a nice restoration—the image is pristine.

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IMDB says Anitra Walsh died in 1980 at the age of 32 after appearing in only two films. There’s no information as to how or why. I wonder what happened to her.

Illustration for article titled Lets Talk About the Malevolent Spirit
Screenshot: Setsuled
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Mark of the Witch is available on Amazon Prime.

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