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Seduction Cinema presents
The Witches of Sappho Salon (2003)

"I give them what they want. They give me what I want. I call it tit-for-tat."
- Bridget (Elina Bellbrook)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: January 22, 2004

Stars: Brigitte Ewes, Elina Bellbrook, Elizabeth Grace
Director: Tony Marsiglia

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (strong sexual content)
Run Time: 01h:17m:40s
Release Date: July 22, 2003
UPC: 612385103599
Genre: late night

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- C+BB C+

DVD Review

Tony Marsiglia has directed a couple of the more unusually substantive and noir-ish of Seduction Cinema titles (notably Dr. Jekyll and Mistress Hyde and Sin Sisters), and with The Witches of Sappho Salon he elevates the usual girl-on-girl antics into the realm of stylish and almost arty eroticism, with a veiled tinge of horror. Marsiglia and writer Bruce G. Hallenbeck (writer of the Misty Mundae career builder Mummy Raider) know they aren't reinventing the wheel or anything, but both show fairly tempered restraint in presenting what is truly a dumb, dumb story that is layered in moments of unadulterated and lusty sensuality.

The setting is the title hair salon, where sexy, well-endowed witch Tanith (Brigitte Ewes) and her equally sexy accomplice Bridget (Elina Bellbrook) need the blood of a virgin every thirty years or so to stay eternally young. Said virgin this time around comes in the form of Janet (Elizabeth Grace), who falls under their spell via a very special hair gel that would have seemed perfectly fitting in There's Something About Mary. There's much to do about Janet and her virginal loins being called over the dark side, and there is plenty of nude dancing and fondling to give the whole affair the feel of a grandiose striptease. There isn't as much in the way of Seduction's trademark manic pelvic couplings, with the action here tending to fall more in the realm of teasing.

Admittedly, no one watches a Seduction film for the brilliant storytelling (well, at least initially), and the attraction is and always will be the women. Marsiglia trots out a trio of new faces, which in and of itself is something of a change, for a studio that seems to rely on the constant recycling of the talents of Darian Caine, Julian Wells, Ruby LaRocca and the great Misty Mundae. Ewes and Grace are refreshing, but it is Elina Bellbrook who really steals the spotlight for herself with a memorably kinky performance as the second-witch-in-command.

The Witches of Sappho Salon is following the tradition of recent Seduction titles in slowly moving away from simplistic erotic lesbianism, and into films that at least try to deliver some semblance of a story in between the frequent nudity, faux sex and often grating line reads. It's unlikely these will be confused with art films any time soon, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in 1.33:1 fullframe, Seduction takes a small step backwards after the anamorphic widescreen presentation of Marsiglia's recent Sin Sisters. There's no mistaking that this was shot on video, but the transfer itself is decent enough, with pleasant colors, well-rendered fleshtones and literally nothing in the way of print flaws.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Straight-forward stuff in the audio department, represented by one of Seduction's reliable 2.0 stereo mixes, with no noticeable hiss or crackle. Nothing fancy, but serviceable and suitable for the bump-and-grind content.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring Spiderbabe, The Lord of the G-Strings, Play-Mate of the Apes, Lustful Addiction, Erotic Survivor, Satan's School for Lust, An Erotic Vampire in Paris, Roxanna, Mummy Raider
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. The Witching
Extras Review: A short making-of featurette, running just five minutes, starts up immediately after the feature ends, and doesn't really offer any insight into the production, but does provide more footage of Elina Bellbrook cavorting about.

A black-and-white film from 1993, entitled The Witching (01h:03m:35s) is also included here. Written and directed by Eric Black, The Witching can be either viewed as an occasionally funny amateur film that runs far too long, or a difficult to endure low-budget indie that runs far too long. Either way, this is a nudity-free (heresy on a Seduction disc), hammy-acted project about a portal in a nerdy guy's refrigerator that will test the attention-span of even the laziest of couch potatoes.

The usual dose of skin-filled Seduction trailers round things out, on a disc that is cut into 12 chapters, with no subtitles.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Tony Marsiglia and Bruce Hallenbeck do their best to give The Witches of Sappho Salon less blatant sleaze and more outright eroticism than most Seduction releases, and in that regard they really succeed. The story is a little goofy (a hair salon for ageless witches?), the acting is questionable, but the lusty voyeuristic allure quotient is through the roof.

In the immortal words of Wayne Campbell: "Schwing!"


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