Simon, King of the Witches Reviews
But if you ever wanted a movie to give you acid trips and witchcraft in the same scene, this is definitely the film for you.
Simon is a wizard who lives in a storm drain and does magical odd jobs for money. He winds up at a party and gets involved with society, winding up in conflicts between law enforcement and drug dealers, entangled in other people's romantic lives, and generally getting distracted from his main goal... becoming a god. He lays down curses, does a little sex magic, and delivers weird philosophy that could only be delivered by a reincarnated Barry Gibb lookalike on acid.
This is by no means a horror film, although there are a couple of deaths and one is somewhat bloody. There are a lot of comic elements, particularly in a scene between Simon and a coven of Wiccans led by Warhol Factory alumnus Ultra Violet, and scattered throughout just about whenever it comes to sex. There are elements of farce here, particularly in a scene in which Simon works his "magic" to relieve his sidekick of a bout of priapism. If anything, this is probably classed best as a comedy/drama set in an occult milieu. "Simon: King of the Witches" is also noteworthy for featuring some of the earliest CG effects in film, having been done when the technology was in its embryonic stage (watch for the scene when Simon steps through the mirror to catch this).
This is a flawed film in many ways; the acting isn't uniformly good. Andrew Prine as Simon can really chew up the scenery and there are moments when one would have to be pretty blind to not notice that he was blasted out of his head on whatever those crazy hippie kids were doing back in 1970. Some of the supporting cast falls pretty flat, particular the ones playing the establishment figures, maaaaan. There's even one scene during which a cameraman is clearly visible in the reflection on the side of a car as Simon and his assistant Linda pull up to the curb. Nonetheless, this one's got plenty of fun moments and there's a definite carnival atmosphere about much of it that communicates to the viewer off the screen and across the decades. Not a classic, but not junk, either. Worth checking out if you're into 70's cinema, always wanted to be a sorcerous hippie, or could use an antidote to Harry Potter. This one will stick with you for awhile despite its shortcomings.
There's a ridiculous black mass led by Ultra Violet, interrupted by Simon and his horndog pal. Then, a couple of silly magic rod charging rituals on Simon's behalf. The first of which fails due to excess lust, which is corrected by the substitution of a campy yet game homosexual as the electric/magnetic element.
The whole thing has an intentionally absurd self-importance, with timely anti-establishment and pro-experimentation overtones. But the script is very amusing, and Prine's performance is so loonily self-assured that it carries along well.
It's a great shame, that (as far as I know) it hasn't be re-released on DVD for the British market (apparently you can get it in the States). It should be known of far more widely (at least within TODAYS Pagan circles), as it's plot/content is so much better than a good many latter films(including the Wicker Man!)