I think it’s fairer to list this under the Italian title cos it would appear that’s the version I’ve actually got rather than Witchcraft 70 as such… tip of the hat to Tenebrous Kate for that information. It seems the film advertised as Witchcraft 70 on various video-hosting sites and blogs and so forth (i.e. the hard-to-watch one with the “NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE” tag splattered on it) is actually the original Italian version (albeit with English narration) rather than Lee Frost’s Americanised revision of it. (I can only find one source for the latter on Youtube, it appears to be even harder to watch than this.) So, apart from the differences in footage, there also seems to be a difference in attitude; what Kate calls the “knowing cynicism” of the original versus the “cautionary tale” aspect of the American edit. I’ll have to accept her word for it, although the snideness of the commentary for the original version is surely there (I was amused by one line about Krishna’s blessings to his devotees including the gift of dodging the draft)… though I’d be interested to know if the English narration is actually a translation of the Italian one or not, cos that may or may not throw a bit of light on the thing about the film that struck me the most, i.e. the laziness of its apparent assumption that if it’s not conventionally Christian then it’s Satanic. Alex Sanders, for example, might’ve been surprised to find himself labelled thus, and so might that mob of what I presume were Thelemites invoking Pan with help from Aleister Crowley. If it’s not as “hysterical” as Kate says Witchcraft 70 is, it’s certainly not even pretending to be serious. It’s a mondo film of dubious worth, seriousness isn’t in the equation… But anyway, that’s why I’d like to know about the narration, cos I wonder if it was presented to Italian audiences with that same attitude of “let’s make fun of the freaks” the English dub emanates. Though somehow I suspect it probably was… if I can find a decent actual copy of Witchcraft 70, I’ll be interested to compare and contrast properly.
Angeli bianchi, angeli neri (1970)