Trailer Terrors: Superstition (1982)

The victims who died were the lucky ones.

With a company as large as Anchor Bay, there's sure to be more than a few fright flicks that really belong locked away in a closet instead of being re-packaged for unsuspecting consumption. Superstition, originally released in 1982, is one such film whose frustratingly uneven, revenge-themed storyline focuses less on plot development and more on low-budget special effects.

A weird sort of film that falls somewhere in-between Pumpkinhead and The Amityville Horror (never quite reaching too far towards either story), Superstition aka The Witch opens with a generic love scene in which a frightened, teenage girlfriend tries to persuade her horny man-meat to leave the spooky old makeout spot for something more "romantic." Of course, this is all really a ploy to lure the viewer into a cheap fright gag whereupon the real terror begins.

Essentially, this opening scene sets the precedence for the frustration that unfolds throughout the entire movie. Cut to the next day where our hero, Rev. David Thompson, is introduced followed by Inspector Sturgess (hereby known as Detective Dipshit), his partner #1, and perhaps the most bizarre attempt at a red herring ever, Arlen the Caretaker. While most of the characters who come and go before the film's conclusion are given plausible roles for being in the story, Arlen seems to be the most unnecessary element of all. His only purpose seems to be to give the viewer a reason to doubt the supernatural elements of the plot, but when you only see him 2-3 times during the course of the movie it's hard to even remember who he is.

If only there were more scenes of exploding heads,
maybe I could've at least called this film "mindblowing."

The rest of the film doesn't make much more sense, dead bodies start turning up at every turn and NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE. Between you and me if someone told me that dozens of people had been killed in my soon-to-be homestead and then more people continue to die in violent fashion as we're moving in- the hell I'd still move in! You'd better get my deposit back and mail it to me! Oh, but it's okay because Detective Dipshit is spending the night with his partner... his partner is dead? WTF- let's go!

Alas, that would only make half a film so the cast remains in an attempt to solve the mystery of these deaths. Not even children are safe in this tale as a young boy is taken by an evil spirit (which, BTW, is nothing more than a rubber glove with claws and our only depiction of "the evil" throughout the entire movie) and hung by his tiny feet for his screaming mother to find later in the film. A flashback around the halfway point provides our only real sense of clarity; explaining how an angry mob drowned as evil witch in the nearby lake and thus cursing the house for all time.

This cro-magnon she-bitch is channeling her inner Michael Ironside (Scanners).

There's also a little blonde girl dressed all in white that starts to appear at this point as well, not really doing anything of significance aside from looking creepy and vanishing mysteriously. Meanwhile, Detective Dipshit and his "putz patrol" are looking for little Justin, unaware of his previous death. They find Arlen (remember him?) hiding out in some secret room (why?) with the dead body of yet another bizarre casualty and take him into custody. He's never seen again and it's never really explained whether or not Arlen was crazy, demented, a servant of Satan, or just innocent.

More people die, Rev. Thompson returns to deliver some righteously religious justice (only to get everyone killed anyway), and a girl gets a wooden stake driven through her skull (not as cool as it might sound). With everyone else dead and nothing left to lose, 'ole Rev. Thompson decides to end the curse for all time by... setting fire to the lake? *sigh* How the hell are you supposed to burn a lake? Anyway, it doesn't matter because in short order the creepy blonde girl appears again and Thompson inexplicably stabs her in the heart with a cross (guess he figures that a sacrifice might appease the "powers that be"). She howls and dies, falling into the lake which stops the fire and ends the curse... or does it? Suddenly that rubber glove emerges from the lake to pull Rev. Thompson down. Roll credits. Thank God.


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