The 39th release in the long standing BFI Flipside strand sees the release of two far out British films. Exploitation director Derek Ford’s (The Wife Swappers) Secret Rites and Malcolm Leigh’s Legend of the Witches.
Legend of the Witches(1970, 85 mins): The originally X-rated film documentary which looks in detail at previously hidden magic rites and rituals. Sharing the secrets of initiation into a coven, divination through animal sacrifice, ritual scrying, the casting of a 'death spell', and the chilling intimacy of a Black Mass. It also explores Britain's hidden pagan heritage and its continued influence on our lives today.
Secret Rites (1971, 47 mins): Part Mondo movie, part countercultural artefact, this strange mid-length 'documentary' by sex film director Derek Ford lifts the lid on witchcraft in 1970s Notting Hill. Mystery band The Spindle provide the groovy, psychedelic sounds while tentative occult enthusiast Penny and a serious-sounding narrator introduce the viewer to three ritual acts. Far out.
BFI Flipside is dedicated to rediscovering the margins of British film, reclaiming a space for forgotten movies and filmmakers who would otherwise be in danger of disappearing from our screens forever. It is a home for UK cinematic oddities, offering everything from exploitation documentaries to B-movies, countercultural curios and obscure classics, If it's weird, British and forgotten, then it's Flipside.