In this, the fifth film of the improbably long-running Witchcraft sage, William Spanner is no longer played by Charles Solomon. A considerably more bland actor, Marklen Kennedy, has taken over the role. William is still an attorney and he’s still dating Kelli (Carolyn Taye-Loren). He’s also still in denial about how impossible it is for a former warlock to live a normal life.
Usually, franchise heroes get smarter with each film but William gets progressively dumber. This time, he allows his girlfriend to take him out to yet another club that’s secretly a front for Satanism. Though he should know better than to put himself in the situation, William allows a hypnotist to call him on stage. The hypnotist is Cain (David Huffman), who uses his power to take control of William’s mind and use him to kill his enemies. In order to keep William from breaking free, Cain’s servant, Mala (Nicole Sassaman), frequently sneaks into William’s house in the middle of the night so that they can take part in the type of softcore sex scenes that would, for most people, eventually come to define the future entries in the Witchcraft franchise..
Realizing that something is wrong, Kelli goes to her minister, Rev. Meredith (Lenny Rose). Rev. Meredith sends over a white witch who is played by Aysha Hauer, the daughter of Rutger Hauer. The white witch doesn’t do much but the Hauer connection is cool. Another cool thing is that Greg Grunberg has a small, uncredited role as a bartender, proving that everyone had to start somewhere.
Although the first four Witchcraft films were passably entertaining, Witchcraft V is too dumb to be believed. For someone who doesn’t want to be a warlock, William has a really bad habit of getting involved in stuff that only a warlock could get involved with. Given his long history of dealing with Satanists and sleazy club owners, there’s no way that William should have been dumb enough to allow someone named Cain to have a chance to hypnotize him in the first place.
Probably the best thing that the previous Witchcraft films had with them was the idea of William being both an attorney and warlock. He had the potential to be an interesting character. Unfortunately, in Witchcraft V, William is not just stupid but also reduced to being a supporting character. He doesn’t get to do much, which seems unfair to the three or four people who might actually be invested in his story. Instead, most of the movie focuses on Cain and, strangely, Reverend Meredith. Neither one of them is really interesting enough to carry a movie.
William Spanner would return, albeit played by a different actor, in Witchcraft VI.