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The Curator of Schlock #213 by Jeff Shuster

The Witch: A New England Folktale

Suffer the children!

Looks like there’s a new TV show in the works. It’s called Metropolis. It’s a series about the city of Metropolis from the Superman comics, but will focus on what the city was like before Superman arrived. Ummmmm…We already had that show. It was called Smallville. In fact, a good half of the show took place in Metropolis well before Clark Kent decided to put the suit on. Metropolis seems redundant to me. Why not just give us Smallville Season 11? Every season of that show was brilliant—except for Season 4, the one with the witches. Yeah, it turned out Lana Lang was a descendent of a witch and said witch possessed her and that storyline needs to be forgotten. I don’t care for witches. They’re known to make deals with the devil and place hexes on people. Even Superman is susceptible to magic.

In an effort to educate you, my steadfast readership, on the trouble of witches, February is Witch Month here at The Museum of Schlock. First up is 2015’s The Witch: A New England Folktale from director Robert Eggers.

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I’m not a big fan of New England. People from that part of the country speak with these fake accents. “I pahked the cahrrr!” Give me a break. I guarantee they talk normal when in the presence of other New Englanders. It’s all a big joke on the rest of us.

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Speaking of Americans that talk funny, this movie takes place in Puritan New England back in the 1630s. Lots of thees and thous. A farmer named William (Ralph Ineson) doesn’t like the local Puritans of the Commonwealth, claims they aren’t true Christians. I take this to meaning that while these Puritans are quite miserable, they need to be even more miserable. They exile him from the plantation and he goes off to start his own farm with his family. Things don’t go well.

One day, the eldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), is playing peekaboo with her infant brother, Samuel, when she finds he’s disappeared after she uncovers her eyes. Next we see an old crone of a woman scurrying off into the woods, baby in arm. Night falls and we see the crone naked by a roaring fire, smashing something to a bloody pulp. I assume it’s the baby and she covers her naked body in bloody baby chunks. This must be a spell of some kind. She keeps rubbing a long stick. Maybe she plans to make a broom out of it. I don’t know if I should be more horrified by the pulverized baby or the fact that I was forced to gaze upon the bare buttocks of an old witch.

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Witches tend to come in two varieties. This I’ve come to know. You have the hideous old crone witches, but you also have young, sexy witches. When the first-born son, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) is in the woods chasing after the family dog, he discovers a quant cottage and out comes a sexy witch with a red hood.

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She bewitches him by kissing him and forcing a rotten apple down his throat. More weirdness happens in the film, but I won’t spoil anything else except to say that if you’re a fan of seeing a goat gore someone by his horns, you’ve hit pay dirt.


Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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