Entertainment :: Movies

The Witches Of Oz

by Kay Bourne
Contributor
Sunday Apr 15, 2012
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A chaotic riff on the beloved classic tales of Dorothy’s adventures in Oz, "The Witches of Oz" (Imagine Entertainment) is also a repackaging oddity. This April 19 release on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download is apparently the 2012 feature film directed by Leigh Scott "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz," which was originally released as a TV miniseries "The Witches of Oz" ...or close to it. I only mention this matter so you won’t be surprised to discover you’ve seen the film before.

Whatever, while the 164-minute adventure from writer/director Leigh Scott has some striking cinematography and eye popping visual effects, the story line is more twisted than the funnel cloud and as erratic.

When Dorothy (Paulie Rojas) is returned to Kansas via a tornado, Uncle Henry (Lance Henriksen) and Aunt Em (Liz Douglas), who find her sprawled outside the storm shelter, bring her up as foster parents, but, in truth, she is their aunt as a whole generation or two has passed since the child originally was whirled away to the land of Oz.

We enter the story at the point Dorothy Gale, now an adult, is a writer of children’s stories, which are actually the suppressed memories of her Oz adventures. She gets an unexpected invitation by a publishing firm to relocate to New York City. The outfit is, of course, a blind for Oz witches who want a key Dorothy has that will unlock a book that contains a word so powerful that to own that word is to control the world.

Unfortunately for the adventure, the tale relies on constant and sometimes ’wink/wink’ references to various Oz moments and even other fantasy. For example, at one point a witch recites as a curse the Jabberwocky poem from Lewis Carroll’s "Alice Through the Looking Glass." It also has some bad PC moments as when Dorothy staples back the straw man’s legs after a witch has zapped them off while he mutters for no good reason, "and I thought I was gay."

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