Horror

Cathy’s Curse (1977)

Comments Off on Cathy’s Curse (1977) 08 June 2017

CATHYS-CURSE-Blu-ray

Blu-ray Distributed By: Severin Films

Initial Release: July 29, 1977

Blu-ray Release: April 11, 2017

Director: Eddy Matalon

Rating: R

Reviewed By James M. Dubs

I’ll watch anything…including Cathy’s Curse.

Film Rating: ★★★½☆

Cathy’s Curse is the kind of obscure rarity mostly found in value bins or convention bootleg tables. It’s not the kind of film that speaks to a wide audience but its followers are typically rabid and passionate. The question is, do you want to be part of the growing audience discovering Cathy’s Curse?

Cathy’s Curse joins a long list of cinema rip-offs trying to cash in on their successful counterparts – The Exorcist, The Omen, Carrie. For me, what makes Cathy’s Curse a joy isn’t in how well it emulates these films, but rather how hard it falls on its face.

Cathy’s Curse is a delightful mess. It is filled with admirable performances from the cast, questionable directing choices, and a plot that is barely serviceable but rarely boring. The film’s opening scene is a perfect representation of the film overall. Not only does it include one of the best lines of dialogue, it does its job effectively. It sets the tone for the rest of the movie, but with complete incompetency and serves as the perfect segue into the rest of the film. Below is the film’s opening sequence from the “Alternate U.S. Release Cut”…

Right off the bat your brain may be swirling with questions. Where did the mother go, and why? Why did she take the son (George) but leave her daughter (Laura) behind? What would prompt the father to rush out in the middle of the night with his daughter?

These aren’t questions the script and the director are actively asking the viewer. They are questions that naturally come to mind as your brain tries to bridge gaps in the narrative. Don’t expect any of these questions to get a satisfactory resolution. The threads that bind typical storytelling and close those narrative gaps we call “plot holes” are in very short supply throughout the film. Depending on what kind of viewer you are, this will either frustrate or tickle you endlessly.

For this film fan, I love this kind of incompetent filmmaking. The entire opening sequence is hilariously absurd and only serves to set up the eventual main narrative which includes a grown George (Alan Scarfe) returning to his boyhood home with his wife (Beverly Murray) and daughter Cathy (Randi Allen). Cathy almost immediately falls prey to a vengeful spirit who takes possession of the innocent girl and…

Based solely on the trailer, the film includes:

  • Telepathy
  • Psychic medium
  • People burning alive
  • Supernatural possession
  • A self-animated creepy doll
  • Rats/Snakes/Spiders
  • Child teleportation
  • Mother bathing in blood
  • Child torture/tears
  • Murder, of course
  • And so on…

Great bad films never overcome their negative attributes, but compensate by overwhelming the viewer with enough fun and inventive elements to outweigh the negative. You need like a 10 to 1 ratio of good against bad in order for this to typically work, but for the right audience the film offers a smorgasbord of deliverable goods.

If Cathy’s Curse had a competent Director or a half decent script, it’s conceivable that the film could have been a bit more respectable. However, it’s possible that it would get forgotten among the other mediocre films in the horror genre. Instead, we’re left with a film full of “happy accidents” and, with the work done by Severin Film’s, is elevated out of obscurity and into the collection of grateful fans.

There are other surprises (and laughs) in store but instead of telling you about them, I’d rather you go out and purchase this disc to watch for yourself. Cathy’s Curse is the perfect companion for a backyard, outdoor movie screening with friends, a fire pit, and probably some alcohol (not mandatory).

THE DISC

Video & Audio Rating: ★★★★☆

Extras Rating: ★★★½☆

Technical merits of the Blu-ray are outstanding and Severin Films once again shows they go above and beyond for all of their releases.

The video is very good considering that the source elements were probably less than ideal. Image appears a little washed out at times and there are some inconsistencies here and there, but overall the film looks fantastic.

The audio is serviceable and provides some additional “guffaws” with unintentionally humorous musical cues, sound effects, and choice quotes.

Last but not least, Severin Films produces a number of supplemental treats that are not deserved but greatly welcomed. The interview with Director Eddy Matalon proves incredibly telling as his recollection of the film seems to describe a much more coherent and polished film than the rest of us experience. The interview with actress Randi Allen (Cathy all grown up) is an interesting look into someone who is very humble and has zero desire for the industry, but ended up being featured in a cult classic because her mother happened to be the costume designer. And the audio commentary feels like a nice cherry on top listening to Cathy fans, speak openly about the flaws and virtues of this “Canuxploitation” rarity.

At the end of the day, I fully recommend you acquire Severin Films Blu-ray and add it to your collection of obscure treasures. But do you really need me telling you that? That trailer sells itself.

Author

- who has written 67 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

James Dubs is a father and husband who loves his family first and movies a close second. He believes every movie is worth watching once and, as a film fan and critic, believes that even the worst movies offer something in return. His mission is to watch anything and report without pretension. Follow James Dubs on Twitter and send him suggestions on movies you would like reviewed - popular, obscure, independent, etc. He'll watch anything for you.

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