It's 1961 and this tale of witchy-ness is just too hot to handle! Good gracious!
Curated by Daniel Menche
Total Runtime: 0:59:08
A student researching the German settlements of Central Texas unearths the grave of a reputed witch. The witch (who happens to be both beautiful and naked) rises from her grave and embarks on a campaign of seduction and murder against the descendants of her persecutors. It's up to the student to stop her bloody reign of terror-if he can resist the seductive powers of her evil beauty.
The Overlook Encyclopedia of Horror credits The Naked Witch to Andy Milligan, and the actors listed are "Beth Porter," "Robert Burgos," and "Lee Forbes." The site through which I rented the disc contains the same information, although "Robert Burgos" is left out and "Phyllis Newman" is in its place.
However, the film's actual opening credits name Larry Buchanan as director, while the actors mentioned above are nowhere to be found in the cast. At first I assumed it was an incredible coincidence and that two movies called The Naked Witch were released in 1961. But after viewing the film, I re-read the entry in Overlook and saw that the plot description matches.
Furthermore, the Overlook lists the original running time of The Naked Witch as 60 minutes, which matches the running time of the movie on this disc. (It also says the film was re-released in 1967 with 20 minutes added, presumably released under the new title The Naked Temptress, which is listed as an alternate title at the beginning of the review.) And the copyright at the film's end dates the film as 1961, the same year found in Overlook. So all of this data taken together seems to point to the conclusion that these ostensibly different films are one and the same after all, and that there must be an explanation for the above-mentioned discrepancies.
However, IMDb has two separate entries for these films: one with the Buchanan credits and one with the Milligan credits. Further confusing matters is the fact that they list both films as 1964, not 1961. Well, copyrights reflect the year of production, and sometimes a film gets released a year or two after it is made. But that tidbit of knowledge does nothing to clarify this situation, especially in light of the fact IMDb lists 1960 as year of filming for the "Buchanan" film, and not 1961!
And for the coup de grace, another IMDb reviewer on this page asserts that these are, in fact, two different films. If that is true, though, why does Overlook have a plot synopsis – "The film concerns a witch executed in the 19th century who comes to life when a student removes the stake from her heart. He then falls under her spell" – that exactly matches the Buchanan film? And how does one explain Overlook's comment that the "Milligan" film cost $8,000, and the disc's audio commentary in which "Larry Buchanan" tells us he made his film for $8,000?
This mystery is getting more and more strange the further I delve into it.