Actors: Pepon Nieto, Mario Casas, Hugo Silva
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: October 14, 2014
Run Time: 114 minutes
Director Álex de la Iglesia (El Crimen Perfecto, The Last Circus) has shown his ability to find the comedic edge in dark and often morbid narratives in the past, but he seems to be having more fun than ever with his latest, Witching & Bitching. Part crime film, part buddy action, part horror, and part screwball comedy; this film crams a little bit of everything into a concise and energetic 114 minutes that ends up feeling like a blend of From Dusk till Dawn and The Witches if Eastwick on crack. This may not be a perfect film, but it is unique and fun enough to easily forgive its minor shortcomings.
The movie opens with a bank robbery, introducing us to characters dressed in ridiculous costumes/disguises. José (Hugo Silva) is dressed as Jesus, and also brought his young son along for the robbery, much to the dismay of Antonio (Mario Casas), dressed as a toy soldier. There are others in costume and the robbery, including a SpongeBob, but they are all either captured or killed in the violent results of a poorly planned theft.
What begins as a heist film quickly turns into a comedy about the battle of the sexes, which turns into a literal fight when the robbers come across a coven of witches in the Basque countryside. Running a small roadside tavern to lure in unsuspecting victims, the witches make the thieves’ escape from the police seem easy. All that is saving them are the disagreements of a dysfunctional witch family, and the rebellious attraction José receives from the youngest member, Eva (Carolina Bang).
Witching & Bitching is over-the-top fun, and an oddity of energetic genre-blending that has a bit of an edge to it. In order to decide whether it is a great film or just great entertainment, I would have to see it again. And the truth is, this is a film enjoyable enough that I wouldn’t mind watching a second time.
The DVD special features include a few making-of featurettes and a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 8.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10
Historical Significance: 6/10
Special Features: 5/10