Otherwise known as Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi (2013), is a very strange film from Spain which is directed either by an evil mastermind or a lunatic who really hates women. His name is Álex de la Iglesia and now that I think about it, he might just be an evil mastermind lunatic who really hates women. After seeing the film, I can now say that I understand the translation of the film from simply ‘The Witches of Zugarramurdi’ to ‘Witching and Bitching.’ I think it is because the film was about a bunch of men who complain a lot about how terrible, crazy and irrational women can be. A horrible fate from which there is no escape for these poor guys. Before I go into how horribly sexist this film is (sexism can be super funny if done right, but this is not one of those films) let’s break down what makes this film fantastically weird.
The film centers around the ‘hero’ Jose, played by Hugo Silva. Jose leads a team of idiots who try to hold up a pawn shop full of gold. Their problems start escalating because of Jose’s 10 year old son Sergio who is taken along on the heist because the robbery was planned during his father’s visitation day. Jose’s crew dresses as a green soldier toy, Sponge Bob, Minnie Mouse and a very naked silver Jesus. After the heist is botched, Jose, his son and his friend Antonio, played by one Mario Casas, commandeer a random taxi and try to make it to the French border. Due to some supernatural circumstances, they get hung up in a border town called Zugarramurdi. Hence the (Spanish) name of the film.
What ensues next is a horrible metaphor for the kind of ideas that would have made even the most ardent of chauvinists take a step back. I mean, this kind of stuff is so overt and prevalent in the film that it not only crosses the line of ridiculousness, but it leaps miles beyond it in a way that is hilarious to behold and shameful to admit that you actually watched it. It does not even slow down! Film starts of like an epic tale of heroic survival as our hero, dressed as a silver painted Jesus, hangs out of a stolen taxi to shoot at cops with a 12 gauge, but ends as a man who does everything he can to stop a bunch of hysterical women from taking all the power and ushering in the apocalypse… because women in power would end us all, am I right guys!? The film spirals down some strange rabbit hole and once you pass the point of no return, you find yourself trapped watching a film that you can neither watch nor look away.
One of the saving graces of the film is the poor man who got into the taxi before the heist took place. This hombre is simply trying to get to a town called Badajoz, but his unlucky choice of taxi proves to serve him the absolute worst day you can ever imagine. His inexplicable pain is our hilarious gain as we watch this tragic man helplessly trying to survive the night.
I both liked and hated this film, so go ahead and watch this with your girlfriend, fiance, wife, or your current friend-zoned situation and see how that works out for ya. That might be the most terrifying part of the film, when the credits roll.
Check out the trailer.
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.