Hungry Wives – 1972
Every Night is Halloween.
George A. Romero
George A. Romero
Alvin Croft executive producer
Nancy Romero producer (as Nancy M. Romero)
Gary Streiner co-producer
Jan White – Joan Mitchell
Raymond Laine – Gregg Williamson (as Ray Laine)
Ann Muffly – Shirley Randolph
Joedda McClain – Nikki Mitchell
Bill Thunhurst – Jack Mitchell
Neil Fisher – Dr. Miller
Esther Lapidus – Sylvia
Dan Mallinger – Sergeant Frazer
Daryl Montgomery – Larry
Ken Peters – John Fuller
Shirlee Strasser – Grace
Robert Trow – Detective Mills (as Bob Trow)
Jean Wechsler – Gloria
Charlotte Carter – Mary
Linda Creagan – Patty
S. William Hinzman – The Intruder (as Bill Hinzeman)
Marvin Lieber – Jerry Randolph
Virginia Greenwald – Marion Hamilton
Review by Sven Soetemans
Feminism according to George A. Romero!
Romero actually had a pretty bizarre start of career when you come to think of it. After his hugely successful and groundbreaking zombie film “Night of the Living Dead”, it seems like he wanted to prove that he was capable of delivering more than just shocking horror and he attempted to do romantic comedy (“There’s Always Vanilla”) and occult drama (this “Season of the Witch”) before returning to disturbing, hysterical horror with “The Crazies”. Although it certainly isn’t among Romero’s best films, this underrated gem of cult cinema remains an intriguing and ambitious oddity worth checking out in case you’re a fan of experimental 70’s cinema.
It centers on the shy housewife Joan Mitchell during a turning point of her life: her daughter has a life of her own now and her husband is always too occupied with work, so Joan – under the influence of friends – turns to witchcraft and the occult, leaving her often in a trance-state where she can’t tell the difference between dreams and reality. It’s fascinating to see how Romero is often torn between a choice of genres: is he filming a horror picture or an art-house gem? He tends to prefer the latter, so I can easily understand why so many die-hard fans of his zombie trilogy were utterly disappointed with “Season of the Witch”.
It’s praiseworthy how Romero successfully approaches women’s situations and how he does not mock the prejudiced lives they’re often living. The dialogs are cleverly written and the film’s tone is genuinely obscure, but it lacks excitement and power. More negative elements: the production values (very low budgeted) look awfully dated and the script in fact is a little too talky (read: on the verge of boring).
I quite liked the film yet I’m happy that it wasn’t the 130 minutes director’s cut I saw. I fear that version would have been way too long and dull