HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
   
 
Newest Articles
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
   
 
  Wake of the Red Witch Adventures On The High SeasBuy this film here.
Year: 1948
Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young, Adele Mara, Luther Adler, Edouard Franz, Grant Withers, Henry Daniell, Paul Fix, Dennis Hoey, Jeff Corey, Erskine Sanford, Duke Kahanamoku
Genre: Romance, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Seaman Sam Rosen (Gig Young) should have known something was wrong on The Red Witch as soon as he boarded, because the Captain, Ralls (John Wayne), was not a man to be reasoned with. In between staging fights with the crew as a way of sorting out any potentially disruptive behaviour, Ralls actually began to work towards scuppering his own craft, and Rosen could not for the life of him work out why. The navigator was confounded and made to look as if he was suffering some kind of mental sickness in his confused courses, but he was only following conflicting orders from Ralls - so what was going on?

How about a remake of Reap the Wild Wind? Except it's not quite that, as there were enough differences to make it distinct, but still, when both movies use underwater octopus/squid attacks, it did make you wonder. This was based on a bestselling novel, though, and certainly impressed its leading man because he adopted the name of the traders in this for his own production company when he moved into that area: Batjac. Knowing that, you might be expecting something special from Wake of the Red Witch, but actually what you were offered was broken backed as a story thanks to its reliance on great big flashbacks.

Maybe Wayne would have been better off naming his company Ringo Productions? Anyway, as there is a huge dollop of reminiscence right in the middle of this, and another, smaller one nearer the end, when you get to the present day stuff it does feel as if the ship has sailed without you and all that's left is a spot of mopping up to do. Ralls does indeed sink The Red Witch, and he and the crew are rescued, with a trial occuring soon after. For some odd reason, the owner of the ship, one Mayrant Sidneye (Luther Adler, often singled out as the best thing about this), drops the charges without explanation, leaving Rosen even more befuddled.

Not that this stops him going off to be a fisherman in the East Indies with Ralls and his swarthy, grinning sidekick Ripper (Paul Fix) for a year, but then they are brought into contact with Sidneye once again as he wants them to go down to the bottom of the sea to reclaim his bars of gold that happened to have been among the cargo. He invites them all to dine with him, but only Rosen accepts, and it is there we hear - and see - the whole sorry story of the history of the trader and the captain, and what do you know? There was a woman involved. Yes, you'll have been wondering where Gail Russell was having seen her name second billed in the opening credits, and here she is as Sidneye's fiancée.

Naturally, it is Ralls who she really falls for, but doomed romance is the name of the game here, and they are not destined to be, well, not until the very end, but to say more would be to spoil things. In the meantime, there's the one performer who truly made it into cult movie legend to contend with, and he's not a human, he's the mechanical octopus Ralls fights when he ventures into an undersea cave to fetch a treasure chest. Now, the eight-legged monster made his more celebrated appearance not in this film but in the Edward D. Wood Jr movie Bride of the Monster, where he was seen wrestling with Bela Lugosi, or Bela Lugosi's stunt double at any rate. Alas, that's probably the most interesting thing about Wake of the Red Witch, not that it's bad, it simply never works up enough of a head of steam to sustain its would-be sweeping, epic qualities. Everyone tries hard, but the magic was missing. Music by Nathan Scott.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2707 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: