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Spellbinder (1988) Movie Review

Article by FisterRoboto of

Written by Tracey Torme

Directed by Janet Greek

Stars Tim Daly, Kelly Preston, and Rick Rossovich

When Jeff and his friend rescue a young beautiful woman (Kelly Preston) from an apparently abusive boyfriend, the trouble starts. Jeff unknowing becomes involved with Miranda (Kelly) and the web of intrigue that follows her. Miranda is on the run from the witches coven (to which she belongs). Miranda tells Jeff of her situation, but not the entire truth. Jeff willingly helps Miranda out of her troubles, but creates his own.

Netflix is overflowing with awesome 80’s horror flicks, and this week we’ve watched the classic 1988 flick, “Spellbinder”. This movie suffers from some extremely bad acting. but still rules as far as horror flicks go.

The premise to “Spellbinder” is very clever even if you hate the movie. A coven of Satanists perform a human sacrifice every Winter Solstice. It starts the same way time and time again. A young woman is abused in a public place like a parking garage, the mark, (Tim Daly) is accompanied by one of the Satanists, unbeknownst to the mark. The crazy boyfriend smacks Miranda and being a good guy, Daly steps in to help the damsel in distress. Of course she has no place to go, so Daly takes her to his home. It’s 1988 in LA and people take strangers home? Yup.

“Is this Phish? I love Phish!”

Miranda plays her life as a mystery, using a weird healing power to relieve Daly’s freshly injured back, she reads his palm and reveals all kinds of accurate information. As his relationship with her continues, things start to go south. A strange woman, Mrs. White, shows up at his office and warns him that “they” want her back. Things keep getting more and more crazy. The boyfriend shows up and levitates Daly’s car, blowing all the windows and tires out. Surprise, he closes his eyes and the car is undamaged. He keeps getting messages on his answering machine that sound like a flock of demons whispering and growling. These guys are good at induced some blinding fear and anxiety.

In the end, it’s all a clever plot to lure men in positions of power, who have lost all their family, to a beach where the ritual is performed. The victim must go there of their own will. Daly finds everyone in his life, including his best friend, and even the police are in on this grand plot. He has his heart cut out and Miranda is saved from being sacrificed herself. In the end, we see Daly’s same friend with another random in the parking lot. Miranda and her “boyfriend” get into a fight and random victim #2 offers to help. Rinse and repeat.

Obviously, “Spellbinder” didn’t win any awards, but it is a great horror flick. It’s well thought out and clever in its own right. There are scenes that are completely unnerving, things would have my ass flying out the front door in a heartbeat. The Satanists and their unlimited network of power and influence are simply terrifying. These are people you don’t want to get mixed up with.

All in all, this was a blast from the past. Pay close attention to Mrs. White, (Audra Lindley, aka Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company) of all the shady acting in this flick, she stands apart in her portrayal of fellow Satanist and legit crazy ass. You don’t want this chick paying you a visit at work. Give this one a chance if you haven’t already. Even if you hate it, Preston has several nude scenes, and was pretty hot back in the day.


About Fister Roboto (2239 Articles)
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4 Comments on Spellbinder (1988) Movie Review

  1. I definitely want to check this out on Netflix! Always looking for good flicks to add to my instant queue.

  2. Great call – really an effective film and highly underrated. I didn’t find the acting so bad and I must say the soundtrack/main hypnotic piece is quite good and effective!

  3. I started watching this movie on tv right when he was kicking in a door to the satinist room. He then put some lady in a headlock for answers from the Chinese like guy. He then runs out to a burning car. That’s what got my attention. That car is an MGB. When your restoring a few of them and then all the sudden you see a climse on TV of one burning, you’ll look for the movie reviews. Now I’ll watch the whole movie to see if that car appears more than once.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. John’s Old School Horror Corner: Spellbinder (1988) « Movies, Films & Flix
  2. Spellbinder 1988 « clawniesobol

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