“My name is Simon. I live in a storm drain.”
The first line of dialogue from Simon, King of The Witches, one of the most comedic straight-played psychedelic “horror” movies of the early Seventies (1971 to hit the nail on the head).
Yep, Simon Sinestrari is homeless, broke and dripping with the kind of chunky liquids that frequent the sewer systems. “Many call me a warlock. But I am one of the true magicians.” Forty seconds into the movie and you’re wondering why Simon isn’t conjuring himself a rain coat and a penicillin shot.
A true huckster who believes in his own huck, Simon hooks up with a male prostitute (as friends – don’t get your freak on), who introduces the scheming wizard to a world of illegal drugs and the kinds of Wiccan parties your parents used to have when they weren’t thinking of having you. Oh, and there’s a goat. (Hey, the thing was important to the plot.) It’s here Simon works the crowd for coins and croissants.
Simon’s best magic trick is keeping a straight face when repeatedly chanting a goofy spells to get laid. Example – Naked, Simon fiddles with a dagger while standing over an equally naked chick on a ceremonial buffet table. “Charge, magnetic, charge, electric…” The knife flings out of his hand as he embarrassingly shrugs, “I failed.” Statistically, that happens to all warlocks at one time or another.
Wading through puddles of LOL dialogue, Simon’s Rent-a-Center™ magic skills puts him face-to-face with a glowing, floating red ball that comes complete with its own hippie sci-fi soundtrack to indicate it’s great and powerful power. The glow ball leads Simon to a talking floor-length mirror, which is really an entrance to another realm. Of course Simon has to go through the looking glass – he’s a wizard, man.
So what does he encounter? Swirly hippie visuals, a chick in a nightie begging for help, more space-y visuals ripped off from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Like all good parties, it has to come to an end – with a cop bust, an O.D.’d chick, a corrupt District Attorney, and two freaked out drug pushers, who track him down to his drain condo stab Simon in the gut drain four times with a dagger of all things.
But hey, Simon is the king of witches, b*tches – his disembodied voice floats over things floating in the sewer as he sums it up from beyond: “Death is only temporary. Think about that for a while…”
I will, Simon. I will.