“Cathy's Curse” has a strange problem. Unlike many bizarre horror films, it wasn’t impossible to find. It was readily available except no one wanted to watch it. The reason being the poor quality of the DVDS that had surfaced; it was tossed on a budget disc in its trimmed version, nearly unwatchable. It's amazing to see the film finally get some respect due to Severin Films and the praise of reviewer Brian Collins. Surprisingly, there is a decent movie hidden behind the previously pixelated mess of a disc and, when people finally give the new edition a chance, they will find a few genuine scares and a couple good performances, all remastered in HD.
“Cathy's Curse” is a supernatural Canadian smorgasbord made with ideas from bigger and better horror films of the 70s. Although it may be a rip off, it shouldn't be dismissed mostly due to its bizarre execution. This factor makes it almost good and most certainly entertaining. Depending on which version you watch (both are included in the disc), the movie opens up with varying level of confusion and keeps it going. A father and daughter die in a car accident after leaving their house in a in a fit of rage. This rage is directed toward the matriarch of the family for abandoning them and taking the son, the last bit happening before the film begins. Several years later, the son starts his own family and eventually returns back to the house where the story begins. Almost immediately, his daughter Cathy is possessed by the soul of the dead girl through a doll. It's not long before the already stressed mother begins to crack and Cathy's new found curse becomes dangerous.
“Cathy's Curse” is riddled with bizarre moments and characters; they seem to react in such odd ways to weird occurrences that it's really hard to begin to talk about the film. The house seemingly has a misogynistic hold over Cathy. She seems to despise the female dog and teaches the local children that “all women are bitches.” This misogyny manifests to a lesser extent with the other males in the household. The grounds keeper shows signs of this misogyny after a bit too much drinking, yelling and degrading a female medium that appears practically out of nowhere. The usually loving father shows a small glimpse as he damns the female pet dog. The odd behavior doesn’t ever seem to end, during a teleportation scene where Cathy is ignoring her mother, the mother seems to be agitated at Cathy for the disobedience instead of horrified by the teleportation. The most enjoyable moment in the film is when Cathy and the drunken groundskeeper, Paul, chase away a medium who decides to visit the mother unannounced after having a random and brief appearance earlier in the film. The performances here are probably the strongest and watching an old man and child belittle a confused woman has its merit for those of us with a demented sense of humor. The best scare in the film follows shortly after, when the medium decides to wander upstairs and is confronted by Cathy and her evil doll. Besides the obvious script problems and weird character antics, the performances come across fairly strong and the family drama is appealing as the mother begins to suspect her daughter while trying to keep her grasp on sanity. At points, “Cathy’s Curse” seems to get repetitive, the father is constantly leaving for work while the mother is being carted to the hospital due to nervous breakdowns. Hopefully this isn’t a statement on the sexes here.
As for the special effects, they are accomplished by simple yet effective techniques including a doll on a string and stop motion, they come across endearing products of their time. The little bit of gore at the end of the film comes as a bit of shock, due to the films mostly tame nature. The soundtrack is effective and sets the ambiance well and could be considered scary by some.
“Cathy’s Curse” is an oddity and will always be that. It’s not for everyone, but it will be for the select few that love midnight movie weirdness. The Blu-Ray includes both versions of the film, the inept US version and the longer international version which comes across a bit more coherent, although some will argue it loses its charm this way. The special features include interviews with Cathy herself, her mother, the director, and a comedic commentary by reviewer Brian Collins and writer Simon Barrett. Severin brings us a great package for a film that most people would have dismissed.
http://www.cavd.com/product.php?productid=2775 = DVD
Forget what you've seen in blurry bootlegs and cruddy budget packs.
This first-ever restoration of the depraved Canadian shocker is being hailed as the genre re-discovery of the year: In 1947, a young girl is roasted alive in a car accident. Thirty years later, her grown brother returns to their childhood home with his mentally unstable wife and sweet daughter Cathy. But when the dead aunt's vengeful spirit possesses the child, it will unleash an unnerving nightmare of creepy mediums, demonic dolls, and plenty of sick 70s foul-mouthed moppet mayhem.
Experience one of the strangest EXORCIST/OMEN/CARRIE-inspired grindhouse hits like never before, now transferred in 2k from recently-found film elements and featuring revealing new Extras with long-lost star Randi Allen and producer/director/co-writer Eddy Matalon.