post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-15398,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-6.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.3.5,vc_responsive



I recently saw a modern film that I not only loved, but that managed to bring me right back to some of my favorite movies as a kid while packing some genuine bite. The Love Witch feels like one from the ‘40s or ‘50s but with a very contemporary feel. The look of the film is very interesting to me, it’s like something that Roger Corman might’ve done in the 60s. and the whole vibe is something like those Corman/ Edgar Allan Poe movies. The way the dialogue is framed sounds like it comes from an antiquated horror film, and there’s this cool ‘dual track insanity’ underneath the first dialogue layer where her obsession with love is rabidly illustrated if you look.

Another thing that’s very, very cool about this film is that it looks like it was proudly shot on very rich, luxurious ‘50s/’60s sets, and these allow you as a viewer to immediately lose yourself in the fiction/fantasy and get on with really enjoying  the journey the movie takes you on. Another cool thing is that it was shot on old school 35mm film and not some high DEF video camera set up or anything like that, and there’s a quality, richness and warm analogue feel to the look of something shot like that which really gives you a deeper emotional contact with it, in my opinion.  Subsequently, it gives me the same nostalgic feelings I get  for the old ‘40s and ‘50s horror films.

Let’s make one thing clear, The Love Witch is very much a feminist film, a film that really explores and champions women’s rights. The main protagonist is absolutely in charge, in control and using her power. She is in no way subjugated, she’s the one calling the shots. That’s very, very different from the films you would see in the ‘40s and ‘50s. It looks a certain way, it feels a certain way but it packs what is definitely the right message, and because of that has a huge ‘modern era’ feel to it. It still has an on-camera dialogue where she goes on about how all she wants to do is satisfy men, but the way she goes about it sees her as the exploiter and not the exploited, which turns the tables on traditional female roles in horror films from the 50s and 60s.

I need to say that simply in the styling of the movie, there is a little bit of an ‘exploitation’ feel about it, but when I say ‘exploitation’ don’t just think of naked ladies and sex per se!  Exploitation is much more to do with when something takes advantage of a clichéd view and perspective of certain people. For example, in blaxploitation films you saw a lot of cheesy suits and macho men, so when I say ‘exploitation’ here, I mean that very much in the voluptuousness and the ‘temptressness’ of the main character, because that is something that’s definitely played up. They’re exploiting the fact that she’s a beautiful woman and a witch, but again, she is always in a position of control and power, which is very cool.

Going back to Roger Corman for a minute, and I might be the only person in the world  who thinks this, but there is a 1957 movie called The Undead that Corman made, which was about witches in Medieval times. Now, there are dream sequences that have been shot in The Love Witch that are also set in a Medieval time period, and they totally look like that film The Undead.  In The Love Witch these sequences work really well. In the past, dream sequences like this could easily fall flat and lose my attention, but not here!

I think the reason this movie grabbed me so much is that there’s really been nothing like it in for a long time. It’s not just a tribute to classic horror and Roger Corman, it’s also a tribute to the classic thriller and those classic Alfred Hitchcock movies. Add the aesthetic of the ‘60s to this whole concoction, and you’ve got a pretty special movie, a great tribute to a whole variety of great classic movies. I know that a lot of modern horror of fans find traditional classic horror to be too slow, maybe not gory enough and maybe not have enough ‘fast-action’ but I really do think The Love Witch is a film that will appeal to fans of new classic and all genres. It’s great, it’s really unique, and should be seen right away. You can rent it from the usual suspects, and put it this way, I watched it once on a long-haul flight and found it so compelling that I’ve had to watch it again, and will probably watch it again very soon. It’s that good.

As I was excited to mention in my last column, I’m having an exhibit at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, which is going to be super cool and very exciting, and what I want to do here is try to spotlight a few of the things that you will not be able to see anywhere other than at The Peabody, and I’m going to start with a poster I only recently acquired but which is very special to me.  It is for the 1932 Tod Browning classic Freaks, it’s a Belgian movie poster rather than a lobby card or a photographic still, and it’s one of the few major pieces of paper that exists in a collection on this film. There’s only two other large pieces of paper that are known on this film, so this is a big, rare and obscure piece of Freaks paper. When Freaks was released in Europe, they changed the name of it thinking it would sell more tickets, so the movie was called Barnum – PT Barnum was still pretty popular in the early ‘30s – and so that’s what’s on this poster. The other really cool thing about it, is that it actually shows all the freaks from the film themselves. The lobby cards don’t show all the freaks, a lot of ads that weren’t movie posters didn’t show the freaks, and the actual studio itself, MGM, didn’t want the freaks on the movie posters in the US because they were convinced that the movie was too horrendous and too horrific. They wanted it toned down. Of course, in Europe there’s no such thing as ‘toning it down’ in cinema, so they showed all the freaks stylized and illustrated. It’s a great piece, I really love it and I’m so glad to have finally got something on the film because it’s very hard to do so…oh and you won’t see this in my book because I only got it a few weeks ago! So the only way to see this poster will be to go the exhibition itself. Even I can’t wait to get a ticket, get in there and check it out again!

I have to go, time for me to compose a haunting piece of music for the Peabody exhibition. Wanna know what that means? Well, if you buy a ticket with me then you’ll find out!

Until next time,

Kirk Hammett Signature

  • Larry LaBrie
    Posted at 09:42h, 24 June

    Right on, Kirk. Gratz on your recent acquisition. If I could go to the Peabody, I would. I wish you the best with that. I had not heard of the Love Witch but now I look forward to loving the love witch. I grew up digging many movies with male protagonists but after having a couple daughters, I’ve found I’m drawn to female protagonists; ones that project a spirit much larger than themselves; Pan’s Labyrinth, Whale Rider, Let the Right One in (if that qualifies), even Logan. Your blog is a great platform for discovery with the movies and insight you bring to it. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • Alec Vazquez
    Posted at 09:50h, 24 June

    Oh my god bruh you are gonna be in Salem?!?! I’ve been wanting to go there for a long time. All the witch stores are amazing totally my aesthetic. I wish I could go. I like classic horror but kinda always hated how they treat female leads, so that’s a nice change. Also witch are under werewolves in my list of faves so I will definitely be giving that movie a watch.

  • Kelly Dotson
    Posted at 10:20h, 24 June

    Does this mean you have another book coming out? I hope so. I love Too Much Horror Business.

  • Renee J.V. Larson
    Posted at 15:44h, 24 June

    I have to fetch a copy of your book! Seeing you with ‘Tallica in Detroit for the first time with my husband ,stepdaughter aka skid and her boyfriend in July! Super excited!!!! Anyway my more relevant question is—- How do you enjoy watching movies? Do you watch digitally.blu-ray, dvd, actual film/film projector, etc? I am going to guess all of the above- but do you have a preference? Or is it based upon film genre/era?

  • Alex Carrillo
    Posted at 21:44h, 24 June

    I heard about this movie a while back and completely forgot about it. I was glad to be reminded of it here.

  • Wendy stell
    Posted at 23:00h, 01 July

    So we have a little haunted house here in Albuquerque, NM (Dragons house of horror) – was claimed last year in the Guinness book as the longest haunt in America … Anyway, curious if you could endorse, aka come on in … Would love for you to see it … Pretty fun!!!

  • Kimmo Kunnari
    Posted at 04:36h, 02 July


  • Nathalie Velazquez
    Posted at 13:44h, 12 July

    The Undead is the best movie I’ve seen so far! I love from beginning to end.

  • Tracy Paseman
    Posted at 05:19h, 17 July

    Rest In Peace George A. Romero

    When I was around 9, Mom and Dad took me to a Halloween double- feature, Freaks followed by Night of the Living Dead…great stuff.

    Some day I would love to hear your observations about the Museum of Death in Los Angeles….I toured the entire thing the day before your speech
    and appearance at the Johnny Ramone benefit featuring The Bride of Frankenstein and Rock and Roll High School..

    The museum and the Ramone benefit were very cool, and Hollywood Forever Cemetery is gorgeous.
    The crime scene photos of The Black Dahlia haunted me for weeks.

  • geert vdm
    Posted at 06:29h, 18 July

    I’m a huge Metallica fan from Belgium and will be going to their concert in
    They will be staying in Belgium for 3 days and I know that mr Hammett is a huge horrorfan.
    I myself am also a collector and have a great collection of horrorfigures.
    I own a unique bust of Freddy Krueger (only 1 made bij a British artist)that is unique in the world !!
    that mr Hammett surely want to see (I think).
    So I invite him and the rest of the band to come and have a look.
    I live 30 minutes drive from Antwerp.
    I have included some pictures of my collection.
    I hope you can pass this to the band and mr Hammett especialy and hope they are interested.
    thanks very much and kind regards

  • Corey Beaudoin
    Posted at 03:00h, 08 August

    Couldn’t be more excited to visit your exhibit the Peabody-Essex Museum. A combination of a lot of cool things (MUSIC, MONSTERS & METALLICA). Congratulations, looking forward to the exhibit and hopefully meeting you on the 19th.

    Also, you missed a couple classics in your previous blog about haunted vehicles. How can you not mention Rolling Vengeance and Maximum Overdrive?!

  • Eric Y
    Posted at 23:36h, 17 August

    Hey Kirk, I just saw the story of your exhibit in the Salem News. Fortunately, I live really close. I have a shop full of eclectic things such that I’m not competing with the aficionados in each collectible category but just have cool, rare and tasteful examples in each. Im pretty confident i have some pieces you would love to own. .. including not only posters in English, German, Dutch, French and Belgian but also a Hollywood prop that belonged to D.B., former owner of Spookyworld. If you’d like to hear more and see some pics, please use my email address ive used to publish this comment. Or maybe at the exhibit, they have a way to pass on a message to you? E

  • Marie Andrysick
    Posted at 09:45h, 20 August

    Hi Kirk! I met you for the book signature at the exhibit. I am the French person who you had a hard time to understand (who met my husband on Metallica fan club chat).
    I wanted to tell you it was my dream to meet you and it finally happened. This was the best day of my life. Then seeing this amazing collection, I just thought everything was so beautiful, I was blown away….your passion has an influence on me. I am a big horror movie fan as well. I was a bit frustrated I could not tell you this when I met you because I got really nervous. Your biggest fan, Marie.

  • Tracy Paseman
    Posted at 12:42h, 03 September

    From one enormous Steely Dan fan to another, rest In peace Walter Becker.

    What an incredibly gifted musician who along with Donald Fagan, created some of the most genius jazz/rock with a few sprinkles of dark and interesting concepts.

    I remember you once remarked in an interview, about that one amazing note Walter plays at the beginning of his solo in Reelin’ In The Years , it gave you goosebumps !
    Me , too ! Steely Dan has gotten heavy rotation for decades in the soundtrack of MY life .

  • Courtney Madron
    Posted at 21:36h, 14 September

    I’m so glad I found your blog. Now aside from learning wicked guitar licks from you, I can also learn more about some classic horror films! 🖤

    You’re the best, Kirk.

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.