Cathy’s Curse - Cathy’s Curse( Blu-ray) [Severin - 2017]Cathy’s Curse is head-scratching, bizarre, and at times nonsensical example of late 1970’s horror exploitation. It's a film that will have even the most seasoned connoisseur of so-bad-it’s-good movies, rolling their eyes in disbelief and chuckling. It truly is a film that has to be seen to be believed!
For many years now this 1977 film has been floating around on budget B movie collections- in decidedly run-down/ low-grade print. Here from Severin is the first ever Blu Ray release of the film, and they really have done a splendid on cleaning it up. And as you’d expect you get some exclusive extras too.
The film is a Canadian production, and tells of Cathy- a young girl moving into her family’s old homestead to get possessed by the malevolent spirit of her dead aunt. The films a sort of a low-grade, ultra-cheap & stilled acted blend of Carrie, The Omen, The Exorcist, and The Fury. But the thing that makes it so appealing is the often jarring cutting, the-see-the-strings-effects, quotable bad dialogue, and the generally 70’s inapt-ness.
At times you really do wonder if the whole thing is some elaborate parody of 70’s genre horror- as you have everything you could dream of here. Going from floating dolls, badly exploding ornaments, over-acted seizers, pained face close-ups, glowing eyed portraits, abusive children, extremely obvious effect cuts, and a creepy 'n' dubious housekeeper. You think of a 70’s horror cliché- this films has it, but done it's in such a way that so suggests parody…but of course it’s not.
Watching the extras you find out that the film was a French/ Canadian venture- which was done to only cash in on the 70’s trend for supernatural movies. The films director Eddy Matalon, had been doing both feature-film & TV work since the mid 60’s- so unlike a lot of bad-film directors he clearly had technical competence. But what he didn’t have was any grounding in directing horror before, and of course he had a shoe-string budget, plus pressures to wind-up the film as soon as possible…hence why we have a film like we do.
The Blu-Ray takes in two version of the film- the shorter US cut, which is the one that most people will be familiar with, and really the one that makes less sense…so is really a little bit more appealing. The longer directors cut( which is released here for the first time)- is interesting, and course does make a little more sense, though by no means irons-out all the puzzlement & bizarre-ness. As mentioned early Severin have done a grand job at polishing up the film. And this help to enhance the off-kilter-ness of the whole thing, making it at times like some vivid 70’s fever dream.
So extra wise we get- the two polished-up versions of the film, an interview with the director in French, an interview with the actress now who played Cathy. And an audio commentary( on the US cut) with critic Brian Collins & film maker Simon Barret- sadly this commentary was the least interesting & appealing thing here, as it just felt like the pair where joking/ larking around too much- and not really giving enough interesting facts or observations.
In conclusion it’s always great to see puzzling & bad-films get the Blu-ray treatment, and while I’m not sure I found Cathy’s Curse as re-watchable as some bad cinema. It’s
definitely worth a look if you enjoy 70’s supernatural exploration, that’s abound with bad effects, stilted-yet- amusing dialogue, and general what the heck moments.