After the less than stellar reaction I had to the critically acclaimed The Witch, I decided to watch the first thing with “witch” in it that I found on Netflix. Lo and behold, I came across Witching and Bitching (originally The Witches of Zugarramurdi in Spanish and I can’t imagine who decided to give it it’s English title). Subtitles mean I can’t dick around on my phone while the movie plays so it’s very lucky for me that this comedy horror was actually fun to watch.
The movie follows the exploits of a father that takes his kid with him on a heist of one of those “We Buy Gold” shops. When everything goes to shit, he hijacks a taxi with the help of one of his fellow robbers. While trying to evade the cops and head toward France for their escape, they head through the town of Zuggarramurdi where we are told that witches first originated. Of course, the witches have been expecting them and have a warm welcome planned for our robbers and their hostages. When his ex-wife and a couple bumbling cops are added to the mix, I’m pretty sure at this point I can just sum up the rest of the movie with “hijinks ensue”.
The big theme in the movie is all of the men constantly complaining about their wives, girlfriends, exes and so on. I suppose that’s how the “bitching” part of the title came about. They constantly talk about how they can’t understand these women and how they are trying to suck the life out of you. Which is great since the actual, literal witches in this movie give advice like “You should be out there breaking men’s hearts and taking all their money” and all I can think is “Yeah, girl. You go get yours.” I’m fairly certain the comedy is supposed to be that these women are crazy and even literal witches will get into an argument where there is no right thing to say. That being said, most of the comedy in this for me comes from the guys being bumbling idiots so I guess there’s something for everyone.
As with most horror comedy movies, it tends to lean a little heavier on the comedy than the horror but there are some fairly bloody and graphic things that go on. A guy gets several of his body parts chopped off and there is a guy that is kept in a cave under a toilet that is fairly freaky looking. Still, most of the movie is fairly tame and ends up being more intensely strange than actually horrific. I did absolutely love the main three witches, though. They all did an excellent job in their various roles but my favorite characters are the Aunts that show up half way through the movie and provide color commentary.
I’d say it was worth a watch but it’s not exactly going to take the place of, say, Hocus Pocus for your horror comedy witch movie needs. Probably because you can leave that on in the background of a Halloween party but something with subtitles generally needs slightly more concentration. In all, I’d give it a 3 out of 5. Entertaining enough and occasionally even clever.
Favorite thing in the movie: The daughter having the “No, Mom, I love him” argument while flying around a cave with a rampaging monster.
Least favorite thing: The movie goes on for almost 2 hours and could definitely get shortened down by at least 15-20 minutes.