In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, March 2, 2018

A Girl & Her Doll

This week I checked out my VHS of Eddy Matalon's 1977 killer kid vehicle Cathy's Curse.

A young girl (Randi Allen) becomes possessed by the ghost of her aunt after her family moves into their ancestral home.

Shot in Quebec, this Canadian-French co-production definitely has a European feel to it that I chalk up to the French-born director Matalon. His influences were apparent, as I could pick out sequences from other movies (The Omen & Don't Look Now being two examples) in amongst his own muddled vision.

I could blame my VHS cut, but it seemed like there were a lot of problems with continuity and editing in this film with scenes often ending just a few shots too soon. Cathy's Curse could also be accused of being a bit lax in the logic department where very obvious supernatural happenings seem to be forgotten by characters from scene to scene. 

Randi Allen in Cathy's Curse.

My daughter just miraculously teleported around the room! Huh. Maybe I'm just not getting enough sleep. Or that doll just ripped up my hand, man I gotta lay off the booze... Speaking of booze, that drinking scene with the “butler” - if you thought the spider attack scene in The Beyond was random, you ain't seen nothing yet!

Cathy's Curse has some serious whiteboard syndrome going on here – meaning creepy scenes were spit-balled and inserted in without any thought given to context or continuity. It worked for Lucio Fulci, but not so much here mainly due to it not being accompanied by buckets of gore. I suppose there was the scene where the kid was wearing the butler's face... I mean, I think she was. It was hard to tell. She looked more like a reject from Lenzi's Nightmare City.

Who wore it better?

All this aside, the cast was pretty decent. Beverly Murray as the mother was supposed to be losing it, so I can forgive her overacting and Alan Scarfe's resemblance to nineties David Hewlett was super distracting to me. Again, it may have been by faded VHS playing tricks on me. Randi Allen was actually very good as the title character. She's got the evil glower down as well as the delivery of some off-colour language. Seeing her call an old woman a “fat dried up whore” was delightful. I admit it's not Regan level nastiness, but we are in Canada after all, gosh darn it.

Overall, Cathy's Curse was a little on the dull side, but it was still mildly amusing CanCon.


Belial Bradley said...

You do your part for CanCon. And OntCon as well:

Jay Clarke said...