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The Bogus Witch Project (2000)

A bunch of Blair Witch Project parodies spliced together with horror-themed blackout sketches: a commercial for a lawyer who specialises in the supernatural, QVC-style ads (for Blair Witch stick figures, Scream voice modifiers and human skin clothes), a promo for America's Scariest Home Videos, clips for a cable series of Horror Storytellers. None of the skits are exactly witty, but they tend to raise more laughs than the extended, repetitive send-ups of the Myrick-Sanchez film. Watched one after another, the shorts offer six or seven fairly similar versions of BWP highlights like the opening ominous crawl, the eccentric local interviews, the camera fumbling (we get several identical take-off-the-lens-cap jokes) and, especially, the extended to-camera tearful apology. On offer are: Alex Tuckman's The Watts Bitch Project, set in the Los Angeles ghetto; Anne Conroy, Steve Agee and Sammy Primero's The Griffith Witch Project, set in the familiar LA movie location, Griffith Park; Pauly Shore's Bogus Witch Project, featuring the washed-up comedian capering in a cinema with a musclebound dwarf (Joseph Griffo) and a dumb blonde (Cathy Giannone); Alex Mebane's The Blair Underwood Project, with filmmakers wandering Sherman Oaks to give Underwood (who doesn't appear) a script which will do for him 'what Jade did for David Caruso'; Mark Mower's The Bel Air Witch Project, an upscale version of The Watts Bitch Project set in the exclusive neighbourhood; and Susan Johnson's The Willie Witch Projects, with three black filmmakers in South Central out to make a huge profit in the projects. Somehow The Linda Blair Witch Project was left out. There have also been scads of softcore items like The Bare Wench Project and The Erotic Witch Project.
KIM NEWMAN

First published in this form here.


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