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Film / The Naked Witch

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The Naked Witch (also released as Witches) is a 1961 American independent horror film produced by Claude Alexander, and written and directed by Larry Buchanan. Starring Libby Hall, Robert Short and Jo Maryman, it was shot in 1960 and has a copyright date of 1961 but was not released until 1964.

A student researching the German settlements of Central Texas unearths the grave of a reputed witch. The witch (who happens to be both beautiful and naked) rises from her grave and embarks on a campaign of seduction and murder against the descendants of her persecutors. It's up to the student to stop her bloody reign of terror – if he can resist the seductive powers of her evil beauty.

The Naked Tropes:

  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Kirska lives with her grandfather. It is not clear what happened to her parents, but the witch says that there are only three people in the town with the surname Schöennig: Kirska, her grandfather, and his brother.
  • And Introducing: The opening credits end with "And introducing Robert Short as The Student; Jo Maryman as Kirska; Libby Hall as The Naked Witch".
  • Antagonist Title: The title character is a naked witch, who rises from the grave to take revenge on the descendants of the man who betrayed her.
  • Artistic License – History: The history of witchcraft given in the opening narration is riddled with errors and bears very little resemblance to actual history. One of the more egregious errors is the claim that the Dark Ages followed the Middle Ages.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: The witch stabs the miller and pushes his body into the stream; staining the water red with his blood.
  • A Deadly Affair: The innkeeper is having an affair with the widow while his wife is sick. However, when the widow starts demanding that he put aside his ailing wife and marry her, he accuses her of witchcraft and has her executed.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: This is a film about a naked witch. And why is she naked? Because otherwise you couldn't call this movie The Naked Witch, now could you?
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The action seems to encompass about 2 days (although the very poor day for night shooting makes it hard to be sure).
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: The film opens with a bizarre, otherwise unrelated narration musing on the nature of good and evil, and what lurks beyond the edge of light. It makes little sense, especially as the witch was seemingly just a wronged widow before she was killed and rose from the dead, and did not indulge in any of the acts the narration is rambling on about.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The witch dies when she is knocked back into her open grave, and lands on top of the stake she was attempting to kill Kirska with, impaling herself.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Extremely poor day for night shooting makes it almost impossible to tell which scenes are supposed to be taking place at night. When the witch extinguishes the torch inside the cave, there is no change in the level of light.
  • Hot Witch: The eponymous witch has, in the words of the poster, "the body of a goddess" and rises naked from the grave. She has no trouble in seducing the student.
  • Naked on Revival: Perhaps unsurprisingly, the witch is naked when she rises from her grave.
  • No Name Given: Several of the major characters are not named, including the protagonist (The Student) and the antagonist (The Witch).
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: After being seduced by the witch and spending the night in the cave with her, the student wakes to find himself alone: the witch having departed to murder Kirska.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: The student finds the witch bathing in the pools outside the caves, and stands on top the cliff watching her for quite some time.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: When the witch pushes the miller into the stream, more blood flows into the water than should have been in his body. However, it is implied that this might be a magical effect cast by the witch.
  • Rise from Your Grave: The witch rises from her grave after the student removes the stake from her chest.
  • Scenery Censor: When the naked witch walks from the graveyard to the town, a full view of her nudity is blocked by strategically placed trees, a barred gate, etc. This is a little odd, as later on the movie has no issue with showing her fully naked.
  • Sense Freak: After rising from the dead, the witch seems fascinated by the texture of Kirska's diaphanous robe and stands by her bed pawing it for several minutes. She then steals it, and rips Kirska's negligee off her and takes that as well.
  • Skinny Dipping: The witch takes a long swim/bath in the pools outside the caves, giving the student the opportunity to indulge in some Outdoor Bath Peeping.
  • So Much for Stealth: While spying on the witch bathing, the student steps on a twig and it snaps, alerting the witch to his presence.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: After the witch bewitches the student, they engage in some heavy petting while swimming in the creek.
  • Villain Has a Point: The Witch actually has a legitimate grievance against Arthur Schöennig (though not against his descendants, which is why she's still the villain).
  • Widow Witch: The witch was a haughty widow accused of witchcraft by her married lover and put to death when she demanded he put aside his wife and marry her. Just before her execution, she swore vengeance upon him and his entire line. It is this vow that seems to have transformed her into an actual witch.