It’s finally come! The Director’s Cut of Jon Jacobs’ Lucinda’s Spell is now available on Amazon Prime. I have not seen the original. I can’t tell you anything about changes, improvements, or the compelling reason to come out with a director’s cut, but there has to be one, right? Why not? We’re living in a time in film technology when directors can revisit their work before the year 2000 and affordably take the time to re-edit and “perfect” their art.
Lucinda’s Spell takes place in 1998, and the legends of witches and wizards are, in fact, a reality. It’s the eve of Beltane and Jason (Jon Jacobs), a descendant of the great druid Merlyn, must find a woman and conceive a child and perpetuate his bloodline. Jason travels to New Orleans to preside over a spell contest amongst a group of witches. The winner will be wed to Jason.
But this is not Jason’s story. Lucinda (Christina Fulton) is a New Orleans hooker fighting to get custody of her son, whom she put up for adoption eight years ago. Shhh…the father is, in fact, Jason after a one-night-stand with Lucinda, and double-shhh, Lucinda is herself a witch. That’s right, Lucinda’s a witch, banished from the local coven by its leader, Beatrice (Shana Betz), for, as she puts it…being a “w***e.”
“…to preside over a spell contest amongst a group of witches. The winner will be wed to Jason.”
Lucinda is determined to, one way or the other, get her son back from the orphanage and win the spell contest mainly to piss off Beatrice. Speaking of…Beatrice figures out that the boy is Jason’s son and plans to adopt and kill the kid. Jason is not only in New Orleans to find a bride, but he’s also trying to find the boy who haunts his dreams…which is his son.
It’s best to take Lucinda’s Spell in context. It was originally made in 1998 and shot on film several years before digital was a reality. There is not a single CG effect, so every effect is practical thanks to well-placed lighting, smoke, and movie magic. So the film’s look and feel are not what we’re used to these days, but pretty damn cool during the 80s and 90s.
Lucinda’s Spell sits firmly in the fantasy genre with an accent of titillation. The film’s true bright spots come in the form of the costumes and make-up with a very 90s style approach to the medieval period. The world that Jon Jacobs creates is just good ol’ farcical fun with the right dose of seriousness to ground it.
Christina Fulton, as Lucinda, is the reason to see Lucinda’s Spell. Her character is a stark contrast to the “serious” nature of the world of witches. She plays a hooker, whose heart is all gold and reminds me a lot of toned-down Groucho Marx in how she interacts with the world. She’s got an attitude that refuses to take sh!t from anyone, particularly Beatrice or the evil orphanage director, and it’s hilarious. She slips in and out of several strange characters for her clients. Remember, context is everything, so I’m not so annoyed with her playing a Chinese escort (cringe). All this to say, she lights up the screen at every moment she appears.
Lucinda’s Spell is campy fun. Fans of Troma films and other B-movie fantasies will have fun with this one as well.
"…sits firmly in the fantasy genre with an accent of titillation."