How about that title?? Witchboard, much like many horror films from the 80s, was yet another sleepover rental staple. The movie was extra special, because along with the hokey horror, a special game gimmick came into play: the Ouija board.
Starring Tawny Kitaen, Witchboard follows the gradual possession of a young woman, Linda, who has become increasingly obsessed with playing a Ouija board. It is filled with a dramatic story, as Linda may or may not be pregnant and her boyfriend, Jim, may or may not be ready for commitment. After her ex, Brandon, introduces her to a spirit named David – yes, Brandon likes to talk to 10 year old boys (that are ghosts) – he warns her to never play alone. What does she do? She contacts David alone, and of course, it isn’t David but a malevolent spirit named Malfeitor, who tries to possess her until Jim professes his love and ultimately saves the day.
The story is hokey, Tawny Kitaen didn’t get nominated for an Oscar for a reason, the effects are far from award worthy, as well – yet despite all of this, Witchboard is pretty entertaining. There is a reason it was rented on more than one occasion, and now, restored to Blu-ray by Scream Factory, it can be enjoyed again.
The extras on the new release include a commentary with writer/director Kevin Tenney and a few actors which is interesting to listen to watching the film now as an adult. The ‘Making Of’ Feature – ‘Progressive Entrapment’, like most recent Scream Factory release documentaries, is extremely in depth. The hour plus long piece contains stories like the original title of the film being ‘Ouija’ – until they were told they legally couldn’t do that, tales of how the movie was cast, and the disappointment in the budget not allowing more practical effects. Tawny Kitaen is interviewed under soft focus lighting, making short, childlike statements. Most interesting is some of the cast & crew stating that Tawny was actually dating O.J. Simpson (who was more than likely married to Nicole Brown Simpson at the time) and he would visit the set. If anything, this story inspired me to go read the entire Wikipedia page on how O.J. got away with murder (I spent the entire summer watching that trial! It was awesome!). Perhaps you will feel inspired to learn more about it, too.
Along with the new featurette, a vintage ‘Making Of’ is included on the disc. Mostly it is the crew goofing around and some interviews intercut. There is, however, a 20 minute cast interview feature and a 20 minutes ‘On Set’ feature from the original release. Both of these are old VHS quality and, with the advancement in technology, fashion, and how we socialize, it is refreshing to see the 80s once more. Trailers and TV Spots round out the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack.
For memories and nostalgia alone, Witchboard is yet another release by Scream Factory that definitely deserves a spot on the shelf.