Knight Brothers Productions are a production company founded by Kerry Knight and partnered by his brother Alan. Their first full length feature, SWAMP WITCH, is now available on DVD and is not to be confused with a certain Scooby Doo episode of the same name!

With the green �spooky� font and scantily clad model making a feeble attempt to look scared when fleeing from an outstretched hand on the cover (in truth she simply looked stoned!) the best I could wish for was for the tacky artwork to be upstaged by some low budget fun within.

When I inserted the disc, the only �menu screen� to speak of is a centralized square "SWAMP WITCH" logo the size of a large postage stamp which I soon discovered was the lone PLAY MOVIE option. Ok, I guess that will save a few keystrokes on a BONUS MATERIAL paragraph then!

The picture begins with a dubious pre credit �movie within a movie� sequence. A rather lovely young lady watches a flick called, erm, "SWAMP WITCH" on her laptop deep in the darkened woods as her other half collects firewood or something. Her delectable charms are exhibited as we flip between ogling her and of course the movie she is watching. When the two narratives merge in a predictably violent fashion, the standard of �gory special effects� we will be treated to over the following 105 minutes is revealed.

SWAMP WITCH proper starts back in Jamaica in 1910 whereby Shona, a Jamaican maid, is having a secretive love affair with a well to do American. Unfortunately he is married and when his wife Victoria finds out, she heads down to the local Priestess. On her shopping list is a rather lamely portrayed Tarot card reading, some fortune telling and of course an eternal curse aimed at the female subject of his illicit affections.

Shona�s fate is sealed by carrying the burden of being beautiful by day, hideous by night and immortal. But as the Priestess warned, this curse is VERY powerful and will affect everyone involved. Victoria doesn�t seem too fussed. She and hubby are off to rekindle their romance on a little cruise on a relaxing ship called The Titanic... DOH!

Fast forward to present day and a small town in Powaqa County USA. A gorgeous young thang is working as a waitress in the Fubar, going by the name of Shona. She seemed to move into town just as an upsurge in �missing person� cases coincides with body parts starting to turn up all over the town.

The local Sheriff, Taylor (played by Kerry Knight himself) is under pressure from Mayor Poe to solve the case. Luckily Poe�s daughter in a nearby county just happens to be a CSI agent and is duly drafted in to assist the hapless Sheriff.

Shona meanwhile, apparently exhausted by enduring a century of nocturnal bog dwelling, consults Dr Philpot, the local shrink.

Will Shona find a cure? Will the Sheriff get to stop the butchery? Will the Knight Brothers remember to reduce the run time of their next nonsensical venture into film making? WE SHALL SEE...!

I think what shocked me most about the DVD was the fact I later found out that Knight Brother Productions actually run a training school for independent filmmakers focused on producing their own movies. The reason for being so taken aback was the fact the SWAMP WITCH DVD was laden with synch issues. Can�t imagine that would fill any budding �John Carpenters� out there with much confidence to be honest!

The highlights of the gore were protruding aftermath shots of a forklift truck spearing someone and a pencil piercing someone�s wrist. The rest was CGI � but not CGI as you know it! The digital decapitations would have been at least a little fun if some care had been taken to limit how jerky it was. Was an alcoholic junkie deprived their breakfast hit of crack at the helm of the mouse or what? On top of this, shots of various removed body parts strewn over the floor annoyingly fidgeted about having some form of digital spasm in almost every shot.

Ok so what of the movies villainess herself? Quite perplexingly, the quagmire inhabiting Witch was frequently described as looking like a "sasquatch" by various characters throughout the movie. Quite why I do not know as she resembled the traditional evil crony complete with nipple sized wart on her nose and NOT a hairy Bigfoot! But the absurdities in the dialogue didn�t stop there. Nonsensical one liners such as "I really don�t believe in luck... but I do believe in witches" were enough to keep me interested to the bitter end as the narrative just meandered before suddenly stopping midair.

I probably would have been more forgiving of such a poor movie had a little more care been taken when putting the disc together. I have seen many a shoddy DVD in my time but the blow is often softened if the filmmakers are passionate about their work in the extras and commentaries. A brief glance at the Knight Brothers website has a healthy gallery of behind the scenes photos from the movies shoot. Could these not have been included as a mere gesture toward bonus material? I try and look for the positives in EVERY screener I get but you know what? If the Knight Brothers can�t be bothered, why should we...?

Review by Marc Lissenburg

Released by Knight Brothers Productions
Region 1
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review