WItchboard 3: The Possession (1995)

After a brief detour for a movie we enjoyed, we’re back down in the cinematic dreck, the place we feel most at home, here at the ISCFC. For reasons genuinely unknown, but probably contractual, they made a third Witchboard instalment, with the only credit for previous writer/director Kevin Tenney being a co-writing one. It manages to be boring and annoying in equal measure, and if you’d like a few hundred words of a vague recap and some insults, read on.

Brian (David Nerman) – who looks like a buff Crispin Glover – is unemployed, and Wikipedia claims he’s a stockbroker, although I thought I heard him reference he’s a cultural anthropologist at the beginning. It really doesn’t matter. His wife Julie (Elizabeth Lambert) is very supportive, even with the stress of moving into a new apartment; then one day he meets the landlord, a middle-aged fellow called Francis (Cedric Smith, who was the voice of Professor Xavier on the mid-90s X-Men animated show), who invites him up for a drink. Francis reveals he has help with stock tips from an unnamed source, and in between some heavy flirting – seriously, it’s the only possible way to read the interaction between the two – pulls out his ouija board and demonstrates that his “friend” wants him to buy California orange stocks.

It’s not long before Francis gives Brian his special demon ring and, for no real reason that I can tell, commits suicide by jumping off a balcony. Brian tries the board a few times, and the series is once again hampered by the fact that watching a flechette move over a piece of wood is not the most visually interesting thing ever; then, he tries to borrow some money off an investment loan shark, which introduces maybe the crudest metaphor ever. The banker dude has a butterfly collection, pinning them all to cardboard – just like Brian is trapped by the ouija board, you guys!

In a seemingly unrelated incident, Brian then slips into electrified water and “dies”, which means his soul flies through the flechette into a mirror, and whatever spirit has been in possession of Francis decides to trade in for the new model. The movie then grinds to a halt for about 45 minutes.

I’d love to tell you something exciting, but it’s Brian being a completely different person and Julie being the wettest blanket ever. Seriously, she’s so dull my eyes struggled to stay near the screen when she was on – when Brian is just a rich dude with a renewed interest in sex, she’s fine, but it takes her a heck of a long time to figure out anything is wrong, and the spirit-Brian does absolutely nothing. Oh, there’s a scene where he drives home despite being incredibly drunk and it’s treated as perfectly normal. Thanks, the 90s!

Perhaps the only thing of any interest at all is a sex scene where I’m pretty sure you see both Brian’s testicles – both for the testicle fans in the world, and for the fact it’s pretty weird to see that and I’ve seen so much of this garbage anything new is welcome, even if it’s not strictly my cup of tea.

It’s just so boring, with a main character (the demon) whose motivation is never ever made clear. He possibly wants a kid, but as he seems able to possess whoever he wants, and he never mentions why a child is so important to him, we’re just left wondering. The wife is among the most useless characters ever committed to celluloid and the normal version of Brian isn’t much better. I remain puzzled as to why anyone bothered with this, over a decade removed from the first one which wasn’t any good either. At least this appears to have killed the series off, although I’m sure there’ll be some new Witchboard movie made for $10 along in a year or two to thoroughly bore a new generation of trash-watchers.

Rating: thumbs down

PS- there is, at least, a curious ISCFC coincidence for those of you who like that sort of thing. Director Peter Svatek also made “Sci-Fighters” a few years previously, which we reviewed last week. Okay, not much of a coincidence, but what do you want from me? This is “Witchboard 3” I’m trying to summon up the energy to be interesting about, here.

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