Warlock-turned-attorney-turned-police consultant Will Spanner is back for the 7th time in Witchcraft VII. However, the usual witches and warlocks are nowhere to be seen. Instead, this installment finds Will and the gang battling a vampire businessman who wants to take over the world’s blood supply.
As is typical of the Witchcraft films, all of the usual characters are present but they’re all played by different actors. Will is now played by David Byrnes while April Breneman steps into the role of Will’s girlfriend, Kelli. Detectives Garner and Lutz also return. However, Garner (John Cragen) is now much younger and, as opposed to the previous film, has a full head of hair. Meanwhile, Lutz, who was a man in the previous film, is now played by Alisa Christensen. (In a later movie, it would be explained that this Lutz is supposed to be a relative of the original Lutz but that’s never mentioned in Witchcraft VII.)
Will is still tortured by his past and his powers but it’s less of a problem in this film because he’s not battling a warlock. Instead, while he’s visiting friends in the hospital, he just happens to spot Rachel (Ashlie Rhey) coming back to life. Rachel, who was the latest victim of vampire Martin Hassa (Loren Schmalle), is now a vampire who preys on joggers but only after having sex with them because this is a Witchcraft movie, after all. It won’t be easy for Will to defeat Hassa because Hassa has a mansion full of frequently naked vampires. In fact, it’s so difficult that Will ends up dead.
That’s right, Witchcraft VII was originally meant to be the end of the series. Realizing that there was nothing left to do with Will Spanner, Witchcraft VII had him battle a vampire and then killed him. The next Witchcraft film would not feature Will in any way. However, you can’t keep a good warlock down so Will would eventually return in Witchcraft IX.
Witchcraft VII would not have been a bad film to go out on. Even with its low budget and its softcore aesthetic, Witchcraft VII is better than the previous few Witchcraft films. David Byrnes is the best Will Spanner since Charles Solomon and Loren Schmalle is a good villain. Though it may seem strange that a film called Witchcraft wouldn’t actually feature any witches, the vampire angle actually brings some new energy to the franchise. Will gets to go out a hero and the world is a little bit safer for joggers.
Unfortunately, nothing ever truly ends in the world of direct-to-video. Witchcraft would return with Witchcraft 8, albeit temporarily without the character of Will Spanner.