One thing can be said about Spanish filmmaker Alex de la Iglesia: he knows how to compose strikingly weird imagery. Truthfully, a lot more can be said about him than that, as he’s one of Spain’s most visually inventive contemporary directors; one only needs to watch The Last Circus or 800 Balas for proof of his gifts as an artist. But even if you’re well-versed in his filmography, the trailer for his latest, Witching & Bitching, may yet leave you scratching your head in puzzlement, wonder what it is that you just subjected yourself to.
And that’s kind of a good feeling. Witching & Bitching is a clear cousin to horror films like From Dusk till Dawn and Doghouse, pitting a band of misfits or crooks against an unexpected supernatural threat. In this case, a horde of cannibalistic witches fills that role, and they’re hungry for a group of thieves who, following a jewelry store heist and what looks to be a slick car chase, make a break for the country. Just their luck that they’d escape the police’s clutches only to lock horns with a bloodthirsty coven. (Where’s Hansel and Gretel when you need them?)
Most exciting of all, the film is playing at this year’s Fantastic Fest, so if you’re going, you should make every effort to check it out. De le Iglesias’ movies all of a manic kind of glee at their core, even ones so ultimately tragic as The Last Circus; he knows how to dazzle, and he’s got a creatively sick mind to boot. That’s reason enough to catch Witching & Bitching at all costs, at least if you ask me. Hopefully it’s well-received enough that it gets swift US distribution.