The Night of the Witches
|Night of the Sorcerers|
|Directed by||Amando de Ossorio|
|Produced by||Luis Laso|
Ricardo Muñoz Suay
|Written by||Amando de Ossorio|
|Music by||Fernando García Morcillo|
|Edited by||Antonio Ramírez de Loaysa|
|Language||Spanish (dubbed into English)|
The Night of the Witches aka Night of the Sorcerers (Spanish: La Noche de los Brujos) is a 1973 horror film which starred Maria Kosti, Loli Tovar aka Maria Dolores del Loreto Tovar, Barbara King, Kali Hansa aka Marisol Hernandez, Jack Taylor, Simón Andreu, and Joseph Thelman. Written and directed by Amando de Ossorio, the premise of the movie is that a group of African explorers run afoul of a native cult. "Brujo" means a "male witch or warlock", so the title actually translates as "Night of the Warlocks", not "Night of the Witches"
In a 1910 prologue, an unnamed missionary (played by Barbara King) was kidnapped by native Bokor (sorcerers) to be sacrificed under a full moon. The Bokor tied her between two posts, whipped her, then carried her to a stone altar where they decapitated her. The ceremony was interrupted, however, by soldiers who shot all the participants. Unnoticed in the melee, a Shedim (demon) took possession of the woman.
Years later, Professor Jonathan Grant (played by Jack Taylor) commanded a safari investigating the disappearance of elephants in West Africa. Amongst the explorers were a "great white hunter," Rod Carter (played by Simón Andreu), two blonde women (Elisabeth, played by Maria Kosti, and Carol, played by Loli Tovar), and a mulatto woman, Tunika (played by Kali Hansa). Elizabeth's father financed the expedition. They stumbled across the clearing where the natives had performed their Vodoun rituals, before being wiped out in colonial times. Carol decided to take some photographs of the altar for a magazine article. They decided to camp nearby.
That night, Carol returned to the clearing to take some more atmospheric photographs. The former missionary, now dressed in leopard skins and with feline-like canine teeth/fangs, emerged from the surrounding jungle and subdued her. The long-dead Bokors, resurrected from their burial mounds, recreated the ceremony from the prologue. Carol was whipped and decapitated.
The remaining Europeans searched for Carol the next day, but discovered only her camera. That night, Carol, now also dressed in leopard skins, joins the other leopard-woman. Together, they crept into the camp. The brunette killed Professor Grant and destroyed the photographs from Carol's camera which he had been developing. The distraught Liz had taken sleeping pills when no one could locate her friend, and was groggy when Carol appeared in her tent. "Elizabeth, it's me, your best friend Carol." "We thought you'd been lost in the jungle..." "It's just as well. Come!" The two blondes left the camp and joined the other leopard-woman in the jungle. "You will be initiated immediately, and death will be abolished eternally!" Just as Liz realized what they were going to do, the two leopard-women plunged their fangs into her neck. In Liz's struggles, the original leopard-woman was knocked down and the choker she wore to fasten her neck together split. Her severed head rolled free and she perished as blood gushed from her neck.
After another fruitless day of searching, Rod and Tunika made plans to depart. That night Carol was joined by the demon-possessed Elizabeth, also dressed in leopard skins, her new fangs gleaming in the moonlight. They abducted Tunika, took her to the ceremonial clearing and placed her on the altar, and used their sharp fingernails and fangs to bloody her. As they placed the leopard skins across her shredded flesh, Rod emerged from the jungle and shot them both. He tossed his ammunition belts into the ceremonial fire, and the random shots killed the resurrected Bokor. In the confusion, he picked up Tunika and carried her to a jeep. They made their escape, and Tunika told him she was "feeling much better already" in the breathy voice of the Shedim.
The film was titled Night of the Sorcerers when it was dubbed into English and released theatrically by Avco-Embassy in 1974.
The film was released on a special edition DVD in 2007 by Deimos Entertainment, a subdivision of BCI Eclipse.