As my Halloween celebration continues, today FH salutes one of the most recognizable symbols of Halloween, the witch. Being it is FH however, our witches are not the three cranky old hags from Macbeth, nor the blond nose twitching Samantha from Betwitched. Our witches are driven by both testosterone as well as a penchant for turning bratty children into toads. When I was starting my search for the perfect male witch, one model continued to come up in searches. Not hared to figure out why..
If I were casting my 'dream' model for a FH witch shoot, I think at the top of the list would be Brazilian model Douglas Hickmann. Hailing from the city of São Borja in Rio Grande do Sul, Hickmann's six foot tall luscious frame would look great wrapped, or unwrapped in his long black cape.
Hickmann's piercing green eyes and long hair certainly seal the deal, although it would be a shame to shove that tall black hat over his incredible hair. It appears Hickmann has since cut off his long locks, but I am sure a 'grow quickly' spell could have it back in time for Halloween.
Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by witches. Whether a in a nursery rhyme, a Disney cartoon, musical, movie or novel, witches are usually the most interesting characters. Although many incarnations (Bewitched, Practical Magical) depict witches as wives and lovers, most famous witches in history were figures of isolation, usually going through alone. If they had emotional support, it came from either their black cats or their witch sisters if they belonged to a coven.
As part of my love of witches, I went on a pilgrimage to Salem to check out many of the places I grew up reading about seeing on film. The trip was actually a shopping trip to Boston with some friends, but included 5 days in Salem, exploring museums and going on the witch tours.
The tourist elements of the Massachusetts city were of course exaggerated and over the top, but they couldn't gloss over the history and cultural witch lure of the past, especially when exploring graveyards at night.
Finding great images to go along with this pieces was not easy. My witch hunt had varying degree's of success. I was looking for a very specific look and feel. Not a warlock, not a wizard but the male equivalent of the traditional witch visuals. Sexy, black hat, cauldrons and brooms.
Warlock is no longer really used that often to separate male from female witches, the name has stuck, but mostly for video game characters. In addition, Warlock, from the Old English wǣrloga describes a male practitioner of evil magic. It doesn't necessarily mean they're actually a witch or what lurks within their soul.
I did find a few great drawings and art illustrations, but wasn't able to connect with the artists. But... just before posting I came upon a few great images, most notably photographer Allan Spier's The Sabbath project. Allan's images are outstanding and really brought to live my visions of male witches and really helped pull today's theme together.
'The Sabbath is a project that captures the evocative and seductive emotions of the folklore surrounding witches and their nocturnal meetings known as the Sabbaths. These Bacchic rites let loose our inhibitions and seduce us with their promise of power and grandeur.'
Ghosts may get to turn invisible and vampires have fangs to suck your blood, but witches truly have the best tools. What could be cooler than a flying broomstick. Some of you may have noticed that images of witches on broomsticks generally come in two varieties. The witch speeding past that full moon is either depicted as an old hag, or a long haired hottie with enormous breasts. If your buying a witch decoration for a kids party, hag it is, if it's for an adult party, cue the image of the blonde busty bade straddling the big stick.
I comes as no surprise how sexual the iconic image of a witch on broom, a woman riding a long wooden pole... actually is. But surprisingly, this sexualized version of the sorceress actually has feminist beginnings... Images of witches on broomsticks have been around for centuries, and were drawn in a sexual fashion back as far as the Renaissance. In fact, back then, the witch was often sans hat and cape and drawn completely naked.
Witches didn't begin flight on brooms however. With women's roles changing in society, as we know from The Crucible, when women didn't conform, or exhibited any form of desire, they were considered evil and if they managed to stay alive, were cast out of their homes and communities. Women's role in society played a large part in how witches were seen, and documented in literature and art.
'In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, images of witches riding up and out of chimneys start to dominate. During this period, women also were more closely associated with domestic space than they were 200 years earlier, Zika said. At that time, too, brooms are depicted more and more often in relation to domestic work in art. It seems to me that this idea of them flying out the chimney is actually kind of a protest against this confinement in domestic space," Zika said. "Witchcraft is symbolically in some ways freeing individuals from that kind of conception of their realm.'
This being FH, and the witches being male, the sky flying may have a different source meaning. This doesn't mean though, that the broom riding spell casters are any less sexual riding their brooms throughout the night. In many ways, the intensity of night riding is even more intense. In different ways, men have been as shoved into their historic roles as women and it is only the last few decades that it's been safe for men to pick up their sticks, and go for a ride.
'Four have the power. One will stop at nothing to possess it.'
Student hotties Caleb, Progue, Reid and Tyler (Sons of Ipwich) possess magical powers, being descendants of colonial legacy witch families. Upon turning 18 they will 'ascend' and their magic will be greater and more powerful. The downside, with each usage of power, their lifespan will decrease causing them to age much more rapidly. Blonde Reid tempts fate, but Caleb, about to turn 18, is more cautious... that is until Chase moves to town.
The actors in 2006's The Covenant look like they could have been cast by Bruce Weber. All young, hot and primed and ready for their shirtless shots. All smoulder through the soapy drama with Steven Strait and Sebastian Stan getting the lions share of the action. The other Coven members get their moments to shine, except maybe Chase Crawford, who although beautiful, isn't really ever put into the spotlight.
Chace Crawford (Tyler)
Director Renny Harlin ensure our boys all get their close-ups, and the scene at the pool is a memorable highlight. Although all five leads have moments out of their shirts, it is only Toby Hemingway, and a couple of male extra's, who show a wee bit more in the locker room. It is hard to choose a favorite in this hunk a plenty coven, but I think Strait and Kitsh were at their absolute hottest, especially during their strut from the looker room to the pool. They could have played that scene for 20 minutes without many complaints.
Steven Strait (Caleb)
The Covenant didn't get the greatest reviews when released, but if you like your Halloween flicks testosterone filled, and not especially scary, it's not a bad film. My only issue is that seemed like a beginning, the first episode of a show on The CW, or a movie franchise that more, and better story lines in the 'next installment'.
Taylor Kitsh (Pogue)
Not sure if there were every plans for a sequel, but I would have been interested in finding out what happens post ascension, and the journey to 18 from the remaining Coven members. It also seemed likely that Chase would eventually become a full fledged member and that another, most likely Reid, would turn to the dark side.