Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ultra Rare Flix: Sticks & Stones- An Exploration of The Blair Witch Legend

This bonus Review comes courtesy of a Thrift Store.  I peruse these lovely places in search of 2 elusive things: non-Special Edition Star Wars on VHS and Song of the South.  I have lofty goals-  obviously.  Every once in awhile, I find some strange stuff like a Wizard Video Big Box release (hidden in a box of Disney tapes) and a Japanese VHS copy of Antz.  I collect weird things- obviously.  This is not quite as weird as those 2, but still quite rare.  The fact that it is still tagged is a bonus.  In the build-up to The Blair Witch Project, the folks over at Artisan went all-out to convince people that this was real.  They didn't go as far as Ruggero Deodato did (thank God!), but you get the idea.  To help build this up, they spent a whole lot of work building up the back-story that is barely-addressed in the Film.  Here's a thought: put this kind of work into the Film!  To find out more about this weird VHS-only gem that I paid 50 cents for, read on...
In what would become the vein of most History Channel Shows now, the Short (22 minutes without the Filler) tells the tale of the missing Documentarians.

The only thing that really was dead: their Careers.  Boom!
Using surprisingly-real-looking folks, they tell the long-running tale of the Witch and how she apparently does arbitrary evil ever 60 years.

By the way, if this is some picture of your Aunt or something, I'm sorry.
All of the Stories they tell are actually kind of interesting.  Why didn't we get to see any of them and just got 80 minutes of some assholes lost in the Woods?  Lame!
The whole thing comes to a head as they try to explain that the Witch apparently used her magic to bury the Tapes/Reels under the ground.  Why she did that or let the people that found it live is anyone's guess.

Oh and there's a random Deleted Scene from like an hour into Blair Witch too.  Yea?  
An odd surprise.  I expected to laugh at this more than I did.  I mean, come on- can you blame me?  That said, they do a pretty good job of making these people seem sincere about the whole thing.  It is still obviously fake and all, but kudos.  The biggest appeal is all of the interesting Stories and events that they describe.  A floating Witch in the Woods- interesting.  A spectral hand that drowns a child in a River- very interesting.  A Witch stitching people together as she guts them- holy crap!  Why wasn't that the movie?  Oh right- you have to spend MONEY to do that.  Seriously, I'd actually watch that Prequel a dozen times more than I'd watch Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows!  Man, that one sucked!  The downside to this one: it is just a big, giant tease.  You know that Artisan is never going to actually make this stuff.  They make you yearn for Films that will never come.  Oh well.  On the plus side, how often do you get a Film with its original tag still on it these days?
Honestly more interesting than I thought.  It is still complete bullshit, but at least they actually tried to make this trash interesting.


  1. It looks like they might have used at least some of the stories in the Blair Witch video games--those went into some of the backstory situations discussed in the films and documentary, at least according to Wikipedia. There were three games, all in the survival horror genre.

    Oddly, release dates show that all these games were released over the course of October - November 2000. One wonders why they weren't all just bundled together as one larger game with three stories, instead of three separate games, then.

    Money. Money would be the answer, I'd expect.

    1. Well, at least it all didn't go to waste.

      Still I maintain that all of the back-story would make far better Films!