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The Witch Who Came From the Sea
Directed by Matt Cimber
Produced by Jefferson Richard
Written by Story:
Robert Thom
Starring Millie Perkins
Lonny Chapman
Vanessa Brown
Peggy Feury
Jean Pierre Camps
Mark Livingston
Rick Jason
Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Distributed by Cinefear/Moonstone Entertainment
Release date(s) February 1976
Running time 83 minutes (UK:88 minutes--uncut version)
Country United States
Language English
Molly really knows how to cut men down to size!!
Tagline of the film.



The Witch Who Came From the Sea is a controversial 1976 American horror film directed by Matt Cimber and shot by John Carpenter’s cinematographer Dean Cundey. The film concerns a dysfunctional and disturbed woman called Molly (played by Academy Award nominee Millie Perkins) who, after suffering repeated sexual abuse at the hands of her alcoholic father, embarks on a spree of gruesome sexual encounters with men who she meets during her job as a waitress in a seaside bar.

The title of the film is derived from the heroine's fixation with the idea of taking on the persona of a mermaid; she believes that all mermaids are in fact witches. In the United Kingdom the film was only finally released completely uncut in 2006.


For its scenes of extreme sexual violence the film was banned all over the world. In 1983, the United Kingdom Department of Public Prosecutions compiled a list of 74 video releases that were not brought before the BBFC for certification and declared them prosecutable for obscenity. This list of "video nasties" included The Witch Who Came From The Sea, which was successfully prosecuted and banned.

Together with Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and The Last House on the Left (1972), which were also on the list, The Witch Who Came From the Sea is one of the most well-regarded video nasties of the 1970s; it has been recommended by film critic Mark Kermode as one of the best video nasties of the era.[1]

One critic viewed the film as not being a horror film but actually representing a scathing indictment of child sexual abuse as well as a study of a troubled woman's descent into madness; "a study of a woman whose sanity teeters on the edge".[2] Another completely dismissed the film as representing nothing more than "an absurd story with no redeeming qualities. Highly recommended for lovers of bad cinema".[3]

The 2004 DVD release of the film (whose 16x9 transfer was overseen and approved by Dean Cundey) sparked renewed interest, with one reviewer remarking that The Witch Who Came From the Sea is "an unsung psychological gem" among 1970s exploitation films.[4]

See also


External links

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