Aug 21, 2022

Legend of the Witches (1970)


Satanism and the occult were in the air in the late sixties, early seventies.  We could write dissertations all day on why this was, but it definitely fizzled with the disco era and the subsequent satanic panic. But during the heyday it was everywhere - from TV to paperbacks to movies to music - the occult was booming.  This documentary was just one of many - notable in its very thorough presentation of several satanic rituals.  On one hand it seems very exploitative, featuring lots of naked women (and men), but on the other, seems to take its subject matter quite serious.

Guy Standeven narrates as we witness an initiation ceremony called "Drawing Down of the Moon".

"Since the moon is a woman, Diana, the chief of the witches is a priestess"

The priestess guides the initiate naked through the dark wood

Something or other about fire, water, earth and air.

Then it's back to the ceremony to complete the initiation.

I guess the biggest downside to the documentary are the long stretches of just long-winded narration without any of the scandalous satanism.  But it still provides some interesting visuals.

The next ritual pertains to a curse for murdering persecutors. 

The man is tying a rope (representing an umbilical cord) to a totem representing the persecutor.  I have to say, this looks like they're really fucking doing this ritual.  And it's presented in such detail I feel like I could do this ritual myself.  Don't get on my bad side!

The totem is put at the female's crotch and the guy connected by the umbilical cord mounts her.

We visit a very peculiar museum of witchcraft which features this amazing display

A black mass

Hey it's Maxine Sanders! With satanist hubby Alex Sanders who were quite big back in the day.  I think Maxine may have also been the gal getting the totem hump earlier as well.

Maxine's body is used as the altar for the black mass service.

They flair around as satanists are wont to do.

Now we check in with some "ghost hunters" scientifically evaluating a haunted house.

Among the parapsychologists is this lady who's picking up the vibes from the estate.

She stares into the spiral making contact with the evil spirits

The spiraling waves lead to a vision of participants in a satanic ritual.

She sees this woman partaking in a ritual which will enable a man to see into the future.

She's naked of course - because you have to be naked to do a satanic ritual.  Everybody knows that.

And so it goes. THE END

The big sell here is the earnestness with which it presents the material.  It avoids seeming cheesy and exploitative.  As mentioned, the rituals are also presented in a very detailed manner; you feel as though you're watching the real thing - and maybe you are!


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