Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cathy's Curse (1977) (Slimpack Cardboard Sleeve) [DVD - Region All]

The purchase of my 50 movies for 20 bucks set that has provided this blog with several (disappointing) entries was single-handedly validated with Cathy's Curse (aka Cauchemares). I’d have gladly forked over the entire 20 for this movie alone.

Not that it’s any good, mind you. But it simply must be seen to be believed.
First of all, the writer’s use of profanity is simply unparalleled. The words (primarily “bitch” and “shit”) come spewing with such venom and hatred (mostly out of the mouth of the eponymous Cathy, a 7 year old girl) that nearly every line becomes a ‘memorable quotes’-worthy classic. My personal favorite comes about halfway through the film, when a medium is attempting to rid Cathy of her curse. The understandably angry Cathy responds “Medium?!? I’d say EXTRA RARE PIECE OF SHIT!” Whether you’re a 7 year old girl possessed by the ghost of your dead aunt or not, what the hell kind of thing is that to say to someone? I have no idea, but I love him for writing it.

It makes one wish the entire script consisted of only unnecessarily mean-spirited profanity, especially when other lines, such as “You and I both know I had a nervous breakdown!” come rolling around. There are also bafflingly odd moments sprinkled throughout, such as when Cathy breaks a vase. The maid is cleaning up, she picks up two (of about a hundred) pieces and says “There, it’s all done” and leaves the rest of the mess on the floor. Not to mention cinema’s least subtle foreshadowing ever (“I should oil this door, it sticks. Someone could get trapped up there”).

To equal the inane script, director Eddy Matalon keeps things baffling with his stubborn refusal to ever film a single establishing shot throughout the entire film. We come and go into scenes with nary an explanation of where we are, how much later is, and, in the most extreme case, who the fuck we are even looking at (1:07 into the film: A man is shown walking out of a house and into his car. We’ve never seen him before, we never see him again). Some scenes are broken up by quickly cutting to others, like when two characters are investigating a dead dog and we slam cut to the dog’s owner giving a solemn soliloquy for a few seconds, then cut right back to the investigation. As Tom Servo once said: “The movie that delivers more 'huh?'s per second!” He also fails to hide his obvious shortcuts, such as when Cathy almost drowns. She is shown being in what is obviously deep water in underwater closeup, but when her dad saves her, we cut to a wide shot and the water isn’t even up to his waist.

I plan to buy this movie again on its own DVD (which, in keeping with the film’s bizarrely incoherent tone, features a leather clad vixen on the cover that in no way has anything to do with the film). Not only would I be proud to have it displayed along with my collection (since I am OCD and thus all DVDs are alphabetical, I believe it would be sandwiched between Candyman and Child’s Play, to give it a touch of class), but the quality is the absolute worst I have seen on this budget set. It honestly looks like a theater shot video bootleg. The compression is so bad that whenever the camera moves, everything turns into mush. It basically looks like someone placed the Smear filter from After Effects over the whole movie. It’s also scratched to hell, and strangely, the first 20 minutes or so have the letters SC imbedded in the corner (strange because the company responsible for the DVD is Mill Creek). Dammit Mill Creek, this goddamn pinnacle of ineptitude deserves better!

What say you?

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