The Blair Witch Project exploded like a money-scented smoke bomb in Tinseltown -- caused studio suits to spill their lattes -- and mushroomed its $32,000 budget to more than $140 million at the box office. While on the big screen, the faux documentary scared the wits out of many a viewer. Made others queazy (either from the wobbly camera work, or from its inescapable marketing blitz). And still others say, "Heck, I could do that!" Half of those folks actually MADE a Blair Witch knock-off. And of those, a handful have found their way to DVD, with an even smaller number earning careful scrutiny in CineSchlock-O-Rama ...
THE BOGUS WITCH PROJECT (2000, 85 minutes)
Tent mates get friendly in The Bel Air Witch Project.
The disc takes its name for Pauly Shore's uninspired spoof, but it's actually a collection of Californian parodies framed around a mythical cable channel called The Woods. The network features comedy interludes like "Horror Storytellers" (an effeminate Jason-ish character TALKS about why he kills) and quickie gags like Bob the Zombie at an Undead Anonymous meeting, or the fly-by-night lawyer who earns compensation for victims of horror-movie crimes. The short films include ... The Watts Bitch Project (B) which follows white kids who go searching in the hood and meet with bodily harm. The Griffith Witch Project (D) focuses its search to Griffith Park where a jealous Hollywood extra is thought to lurk. In The Bogus Witch Project (C), Pauly cracks jokes about the original movie and picks up a chick that the producers can't afford to give a speaking role to (or even mention in the credits). The Blair Underwood Project (D) seeks the "L.A. Law" actor, who must not be listed on those Homes of the Stars maps. The Bel Air Witch Project (A) is a convoluted, but witty journey among the luxurious homes of Hollywood's elite. The Willie Witch Projects (B) follows three homies (including a flamboyant hairdresser) just looking to cash in on Blair Witch mania by making their own video. They awake to find tube socks scattered around their campsite and eventually DO find the dilapidated Willie Witch Projects. Notables: No breasts. Ear munching. Puking. Gratuitous urination. Breakdancing. Arm tumbles. Flatulence humor. Blurry porno footage. One pimp. Gratuitous poop closeup. Excessive lense-cap humor. Timecodes: Snottiest nose of all the parodies (10:30). The omnipresent John 3:16 guy (1:18:13). Bigfoot gets a pedicure (1:24:40). Quotables: Both from The Watts Bitch Project, "They called the L.A.P.D., but by the time they got there, three months later, the bodies had mysteriously disappeared"and "Watts is in South Central, if we keep going north we've got to hit white people eventually -- or at least Koreans." Recommended.
THE BARE WENCH PROJECT (1999, 90 minutes)
Lucky Lunk guides Nikki and her buxom buddies into the woods.
Nikki Fritz, star of Skinemax's "Nightcap," is joined by other ladies familiar to late-night cable: Lorissa McComas, Julie K. Smith and Antonia Dorian. B-auteur Jim Wynorski's breasty parody sends his cast to Bareassville in search of the Bare Wench who not only sexually tortures her victims, but forces them to play hopscotch. They wander, strip, get dressed, wander some more, argue about the map, disrobe again, make out -- and in a brilliant plot twist, they discover taking off their tops may SAVE THEIR LIVES! Lorissa packed quite a wardrobe, even donning a Pocahontas-style bikini (with a feather in her hair), while Ms. Smith parades throughout the flick in a pair of novelty panties. Nikki and Lori are easily two of the most beautiful brunettes, strike that, WOMEN working in B-pictures today and word is they'll return for the planned sequel. Notables: 10 breasts. Mooning. Nekkid fireside-dancing (with conga line.) Gratuitous urination. Lesbian tongue rasslin. Weenie roasting. Timecodes: Lori the bouncing babe (6:40). All four girls strip off their tops and rub their chests together (12:00). Nikki and Lori share a quiet moment (16:50). Bare Wench music video (38:00). Quotables: The babes encounter two men who claim they've been "picking up pinecones for the Lord." Wandering the woods, one of the girls is worried, "We're gonna find the guys from Deliverance up here." Highly Recommended.
THE EROTIC WITCH PROJECT (1999, 90 minutes)
Katie and Victoria don't stay in their clothes, or this far apart for long.
In this sexually charged journey, three New Jersey girls attempt to locate the Erotic Witch who overcomes her victims with feelings of intense arousal. Darian is first to succumb, awakened in the middle of the night, filled with the overwhelming desire to paw the no-no zones of a tent mate. The flick sorta forgets the Blair Witch, ahem, plot line and instead descends into voyeurism as each girl wanders away from the group, shimmies out of her Daisy Dukes and indulges in some breathy self-gratification. Perhaps because the actresses got tired of dressing and undressing, they eventually discover their CLOTHES ARE MISSING! The whole thing descends (or ascends, depending on the viewer) into one of THE most gratuitous scenes in the history of B-filmmaking -- a three-minute nipple closeup. Goth-girl Darian Caine and director John Bacchus re-team for an adults-only spoof of another pop-culture phenomenon called Erotic Survivor, which follows dueling teams "stranded hundreds of feet from civilization."
Notables: Six breasts. One guy in a gorilla suit. Advanced lesbian tongue rasslin. Timecodes: Here's a good sign: a shower scene right away (1:34). Best interviews of any parody (5:20). The Erotic Witch strikes (10:35). Darian jumps Katie's bones (15:50). All three knot up (54:40). Quotables: The babes agree, "This is going to be fun, even though we have to abstain from having sex." Victoria makes her move on a nervous Katie, "Hush now, you talk to much." Recommended.
Tale O' Stickmen & G-Strings
The Bogus Witch Project
The Bare Wench Project
The Erotic Witch Project
In Watts Bitch: The kids get bloody noses when they question gang members on the street.
Rednecks agree to answer questions, but only if the girls expose their breasts.
Hillbilly accidently reveals he was in the woods diddling his sister when he saw the witch.
Advantage: The Erotic Witch Project. All of the freakazoid interviews are funny.
STRANGE NOISES AT NIGHT
In Bogus Witch: Rustling outside tent turns out to be hot blonde's diminutive boyfriend who pummels Pauly.
The "Heeeee-haw" of a bellowing jackass (the animal kind). How completely random is that?
Orgasmic woman's breathy moans and sighs, also a haunted-house type ghostly groan that makes the girls randy.
Advantage: The Bogus Witch Project. Midgets are funny and Pauly needs beating.
ITEMS FOUND THE NEXT MORNING
In Watts Bitch: 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor, crack pipes and hubcaps.
Lingerie, vibrating sexual devices and an inflatable companion.
Porno mags, adult toys and an anatomically correct stickwoman.
Advantage: The Erotic Witch Project. Darian squeals, "Hey! I can USE these!"
SURPRISE GUEST STAR
In Bel Air Witch: Playmate Brande Roderick is stopped coming out of the Playboy Mansion. She threatens to call security.
B-Queen Julie Strain is very seductive as the Bare Wench, as she writhes around the producer's backyard with the girls.
An escaped primate who humps a blow-up doll, and can also operate a video camera.
Advantage: The Bare Wench Project. Finally, Blair Witch naysayers get an eyeful.
PROFANITY STREWN FIGHT OVER ...
In Blair Underwood Witch: Everything. Heather squawks so much Josh turns to her timidly and says, "You know, you don't have to cuss so much."
The map. It's lost several times and eventually used by the dingiest blonde to start a campfire. Lunk is also chastised for misplacing the camera tripod.
Personal space. Each girl, at separate times, becomes very handsy with the other filmmakers. These advances are only half-heartedly fended off.
Advantage: The Bogus Witch Project. "F@#%ity F@#%! F@#%! F@#%!"
THE TEARFUL APOLOGY
In Bel Air Witch: "I'm very sorry to all the viewers ... because there's probably a million Blair Witch spoofs ... to the Screen Actors Guild for doing a nonunion project for differed pay. Whatever the f@#% that means ... "
Shot from the navel upward, a topless Chloe whines, "I insisted we go without our bras ... that we French kiss ... that we shave down south. I'm scared to close my legs and I'm scared to open them."
Katie's sobbing message rambles on and on, until she's overcome by the Erotic Witch and begins to fondle her left breast -- for a long, long time.
Advantage: The Bare Wench Project. Only Jimbo would frame a shot quite like that.
MOST REVEALING DVD EXTRA
Football and double-murder fans will love the 1973 O.J. Simpson documentary by legendary horror director George Romero. The 50-minute tribute shows Juice as both sports hero and loving family man.
The unrated DVD features the director's cut which adds 10 additional minutes of flesh. It truly illustrates why Wynorski is one of the best in the business.
Hour-long featurette that tags along for the three-day shoot. Marvel at the direction of Bacchus. Sit in for the promo photo shoot. Hear Laurie Wallace (a.k.a. Katie Keane) beam about her sexy website.
Advantage: The Bogus Witch Project. Scary as hell. Choose "Scene Selections" and punch in "32" when you see the guy peering from behind a tree.