I know it didn’t happen this way, but watching this, I get the feeling that on the first day of filming, someone rushed up to the set with a piece of paper in their hands, shouting “we got the rights to Witchcraft! Quick, put some magic in the script!” The dark arts play little to no role, and could actually be removed completely without changing the finished product. That’s weird, right? It’s not just me that thinks that’s odd?
William from the previous movie is back, and this time he’s a lawyer. He’s gone from a newborn to a professional in two years, so I feel congratulations are in order. He’s also on his third / fourth surname, and this one is a doozy – Spanner! So William Spanner is representing, pro bono, a young black kid accused of rape and murder; this entire (fairly lengthy) subplot, with its ludicrous melodrama and endless courtroom clichés, is purely to introduce the Reverend Jondular, a guy with voodoo powers who teaches William…I have absolutely no idea. To use power for good, or perhaps he taught him some voodoo tricks, or something. Honestly, it’s so stupid I’m surprised I’m recapping it without throwing my keyboard at the nearest wall.
Michelle from part 2 being a distant memory, Billy-Boy has a new girlfriend, Charlotte (Lisa Toothman), but she wants kids and as his last potential baby-mama wanted to give birth to the Dark Lord himself, he’s perhaps understandably a little reticent about agreeing. So they’re arguing, and into this mess comes Louis and Roxy (Domonic Luciana and Leana Hall). Louis is a witch himself, and his trick is picking up women, killing them by sucking the lifeforce right out of them, then transferring that force to Roxy, to keep her alive. They may have mentioned why she needs it, but your humble reviewer probably wasn’t paying attention at that point.
Louis and William run into each other in a bar, and due to William leaving his wallet behind, Louis turns up at his house and falls for Charlotte hard. So he just sort of inserts himself into their life, and as Charlotte is less than thrilled with her current boyfriend, flirts a little more than is strictly necessary with Louis. And so it rumbles along – the kind of love triangle, the trying to figure out what Roxy is even doing in this movie, the lack of any explanation as to why William has magic powers and why he chooses not to use them…you know, the normal sort of thing for a movie like this.
I’m really at something of a loss as to what to make of “The Kiss Of Death”. It falls between a number of stools – there’s a legal thriller, which is just abandoned with “oh yes, some other guy confessed to the crime, you’re free to go”; there’s an erotic thriller, with almost all the sex taken out; and there’s a tale of the occult, with basically no magic in it. Then there’s the characters. When Louis and William meet, William is in a bar talking to a woman who he’d just met, so you think “unhappy relationship, interesting stranger, maybe something will happen here”. Nope! William leaves, and Louis takes her home and kills her. Then there’s the DA, who’s making William’s life tough; you can tell there’s a good person in there somewhere, though, and there might be a relationship brewing. Nope! She gets run over by Louis, who’s driving William’s car for some unknown reason. If you build a character up, having them run over and then buried in the desert halfway through the movie isn’t the best way to go – unless you’re “Psycho”, of course, and wow is this movie not “Psycho”. If you’re “Witchcraft 3”, it might just be best to stick to the basics.
There is central tension, of a sort. William, knowing he’s got some link to the devil, chooses to not exercise the magic powers he has (how did he get them? Er, birthright) so I guess we’re waiting for him to bust out some good-guy magic to defeat the bad witch, save the day, and so on. The problem is, he really doesn’t! I mean, his eyes glow a bit (I think, the VHS tape was a little indistinct and both central characters look a little alike) but his victory is achieved with a magic stick given to him by the voodoo Reverend, nothing really from him at all. That final fight, though, is amazing – two people who’ve never swung a punch in their lives, rolling around the floor, crashing into things. It’s the sort of fight two children would have, and is almost worth the price of admission on its own.
I’m sorry, readers. Let’s get definite for a moment – it’s terrible, don’t under any circumstances try and track it down to watch it. But I just don’t know why it was made. Who looked at this, with its terrible lead performances, its lack of sex, drama, comedy, or horror, its lack of fucking witchcraft, and thought “yes, this is definitely worth releasing”? Director Rachel Feldman is strictly a low-level TV director, this being one of her very few movies; and writer Jerry Daly, after penning several bad supernatural-themed movies in the late 80s, decided this was it and never wrote again, after this (there’s a credit for him 17 years later, but I reckon that’s an IMDB typo).
Rating: thumbs down