Friday, November 14, 2014

Zombie Logic's Incredibly Brief Movie Reviews: Simon, King of the Witches

Last week I watched Simon, King of the Witches twice. Loved it both times. I'll probably watch it again soon when I'm at the apartment.

The 1971 movie stars Andrew Prine, and yes, he is a cousin of folk legend John Prine, as a twenty-something layabout who lives in a sewer and makes magic charms and trinkets for cynical party goers. Except Simon is a magician. A real magician who practices ceremonial magic and aspires to become a demi-god. When Simon is arrested for vagrancy, and how didn't he see that coming, he is befriended by a young male prostitute named Turk (George Paulsin). Turk introduces Simon to his world of drugs, wild parties, and hysterical Wiccan rituals featuring a goat and Andy Warhol star Ultra Violet. Death and mayhem ensue, along with romance for Simon with the district attorney's daughter (Brenda Scott).

The witchcraft and esoterica described in this movie is no mumbo jumbo, as Frank Langella's character says in The Ninth Gate. The screenwriter, Robert Phippeny, was well-versed in witchcraft, and the movie side-steps a lot of the cliches associated with the genre, while simultaneously satirizing several others rather ascerbically. 

Near the end of the movie, Simon's plan to use sex magic to attain godlike power is thwarted when he must use his power instead to seek vengeance on "the man" who has been harassing his drug dealer and counter-culture friends. Things get trippy. The demon Moloch is invoked, and we all know what happens after that. But if you'd like to know, check out Simon, King of the Witches. 

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