Season of the Witch is a woman’s liberation film disguised as a horror film. This film takes cues from Federico Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits and the realist films of John Cassavetes. George A. Romero experiments with various dream sequences that look like a parody of some hippie’s late 1960s college student film. Season of the Witch is an ambitious film that fails embarrassingly. Romero made the right choice when he decided to stay engulfed in the horrid world of mainstream horror (he could be king!).
The mainstream critics love to flaunt about the genius of George A. Romero because of the assumed liberal messages in his various films. Whether he is making a joke about a group of shotgun blasting rednecks or showing the courage of a brave woman, Romero is delivering messages (whether consciously or subconsciously) that they want you to hear. His films generally feature a courageous woman and a nonwhite male as heroes. The “crazies” and power hungry psycho’s are always aggressive white males (Romero’s biggest fear?). The zombies are never the biggest threat as most deaths occur due to the consequences of human conflict. The truth of the matter is (whether Romero wants to believe it or not) that rednecks would the best mortal opponents of the zombie. Romero needs a reality check.
Of course Season of the Witch incorporates elements of psychoanalysis in the form of a pretentious community college professor (telling the housewife of her hidden desires for him). This young “kid” is incapable of taming the feisty witch housewife. Free love has it’s emotional consequences. I really couldn’t imagine a grown man interested in directing a film about a housewife gone heretic. It makes you wonder if Romero’s soul is that of a sexually frustrated middle aged woman.
Season of the Witch features maybe 10 minutes of what could be considered horror. The average horror fan might contemplate suicide before finishing this mess that should have stayed “lost.” Over the years I have become less and less interested with the work of George A. Romero. Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are films that changed the way I looked at the horror film. Now I wonder if those films just had all the right variables to add up for accidental zombie masterpieces.