Film Pulse Score

  • Save
Release Date: July 13, 2014
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
MPAA Rating: NR

Everything about Witching and Bitching is completely absurd and over the top in the best possible ways. Despite the undesirable title, Álex de la Iglesia’s Witching and Bitching is a raucously fun ride that packs in plenty of laughs and gross-out moments. Harkening back to the classic days of horror comedy, before directors like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson were playing with Hobbits and wizards, this is a new-school film that has a very old-school feel.

The film stars Hugo Silva as José, a devoted father (and thief) who decides to rob a pawn shop with his buddy, Antonio (Mario Casas), during his weekend with his son. Things go sideways, and the three hijack a taxi, forcing the driver to take them into France in order to evade police. Unfortunately, in their travels they happen upon an angry coven of witches who decide to make a meal of them and sacrifice José’s young son to their mother witch.

Iglesia’s visual influence is equal parts Michael Bay and Sam Raimi. The early heist sequence, which features a frantic shootout that is over-saturated and yellowish, is similar to Bay’s style of visuals. This hot, kinetic tone lends itself to the movie’s breakneck pace, making everything look stylish and coming off as well shot. The Raimi influence is evident in several of the film’s horror elements, which blend slapstick comedy with gross-out-gore effects. The effects work is well done, aside from some spotty CG in the final act, but everything still looked great overall.

The dialogue is also enjoyably snappy and humorous, although it can be tough to keep up with the English subtitles, especially when three or more characters are bickering with one another. The characters of José and Antonio are likable, despite their penchant for criminal activities, and the two hostages they pick up in the cab are welcome members of their mumbling group.

While there are some genuinely creepy moments (the hand reaching out of the toilet for one), this is not a film one should take too seriously. It’s the type of film that revels in its irreverence and seems to be continuously trying to top itself. It knows what it is, and it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not.

Witching and Bitching is just the kind of stupid-fun film that the horror comedy sub genre needs to give it a jump-start. The cinematography and effects work is impressive, and the characters are likable. If you’re in the market for a good gross-out comedy with a solid amount of both scares and laughs, Witching and Bitching is worth a look.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.