Network Premier: August 27, 2000


TNT premieres “Witchblade” Sunday, 8/27/00 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). For thousands of years an intelligent symbiotic weapon of incredible power in the shape of a gauntlet has been passed on to women of unmatched strength of mind, body and will. The Witchblade has been used to cut a swath of blood and viscera through the ranks of insurmountable evil.
Sara Pezzini (Yancy Butler), a tough NYPD cop frustrated with battling a system that favors the guilty over the innocent, comes into contact with the Witchblade. While running down a bad guy who has ducked into a museum where the gauntlet is now kept, Sara is saved by the weapon when it metaphysically flys onto her arm, shielding her from the hoodlum’s gunfire. The bullets ricochet off the Witchblade.
Based on a comic book, the story focuses on Sara’s learning how to govern the living weapon’s power while simultaneously balancing her life and career. She now employs the Witchblade along with her skills as a police detective to combat the forces of evil.

Dove Review

Now, own up. Your first reaction when you saw the title was one of religious concern, right? I agree that we shouldn’t be digesting programming bent on making sorcery a benevolent force. And I normally put concern for witchcraft above other objectionable material. Like most comic book heroes who gain supernatural power, this one does deal with occultic language. However, it’s all so nonsensical that I doubt anyone viewing this made-for-TV movie will switch to a New Age lifestyle. What’s even more off-putting is the amount of violence the film presents. The gloomy premise has our heroine fearing for her sanity while she seeks vengeance for the murder of her best friend, a hooker with a drug habit, the murder of her legendary cop father, and the murder of her police partner. From commercial to commercial, “Witchblade” is jammed with martial arts battles, in-your-face shootings, explosions, motorcycle chases, and choreographed fight scenes in slow and stop motion, ala “The Matrix.” The fight scenes are endless. Although the subject of violence on television has been debated to death, boob-tube brutality is becoming more graphic. This, despite the amounts of deadly crimes committed by TV’s main audience, children. In my opinion, this film drenches impressionable minds with overwhelming images of destructiveness. I cannot support a film that seems violent for violence’s sake.

Content Description

Language: pissed 2, expletives 6 – some sensuality in one scene as the camera concentrates on the lead’s body while exercising; it is implied that one character is gay, but there are no sex scenes – Drinking: in a couple of scenes, the cops drink beer – Violence: many martial arts battles, punches, shootouts, three onscreen murders, explosions, chases; lots of people and property get broken; some fight sequences are done in slow motion – Occult: the lead’s dead partner’s ghost appears; some mystical discussions concerning the concept of Karma; it is never stated where the gauntlet’s power generates from.


Company: Turner Network Television
Writer: J.D. Zeik
Director: Ralph Hemecker
Genre: Action
Runtime: 120 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Yancy Butler, Anthony Cistaro, Conrad Dunn, David Chokachi, Kenneth Welsh.
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright