This week's VHS is James W. Roberson's Superstition from 1982.
An old estate haunted by the spirit of an executed witch seeks revenge on all that cross her path.
I'd been waiting a long time to re-watch this, as it had been over twenty-five years since I had first seen it. I remembered it being pretty gory with a high body count – I was only five off the number of twenty I for some reason had in my mind as a reference point. I hosted a VHS double bill last weekend and paired this with the 1988 Lenzi flick Ghosthouse. I hadn't seen that one and was unaware what a fortuitous tandem they would make together.
|James Houghton as Rev. Thompson in Superstition|
Superstition was even more fun than I remembered it, with tons of gore, creative deaths and just the right amount of nonsensical storytelling. It got going right out the gate, spectacularly dispatching two unsuspecting goofballs. And in a clever switcheroo, this may be one of the only horror movies where the couple making out in their car at the onset actually lived. From then on, the special effects provided by Steve LaPorte & David B. Miller were on point.
At a brisk eighty-five minutes, this movie moves along at a good clip. My friend Jeff also made a good point when he said, “it really helps when you have a great location because you don't mind watching people wander around in the dark for entire scenes.” I would have to agree though, my muddy VHS notwithstanding, some scenes were indeterminably dark. When ubiquitous eighties kid Billy Jacobi met his end in the basement, we kind of had to go by his halted screams rather than anything we actually saw on screen.
I was surprised to find that Superstition was Canadian, even though it was shot in Los Angeles. I'm hoping that the Shout Factory Blu-ray – that I will no doubt be grabbing now that I have reaffirmed that this movie is, in fact, rad – will shed some light on this. People are finally discovering this movie due to that release and realizing that it is not just a pretty coverbox. To all those uninitiated, believe it.