Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Curtains: La La La Curtains

I wasn't lying the other day when I said I always thought Curtains was about window treatments. The truth is I could never remember hearing too much about it--just in passing or quick glimpses of some wretched looking woman wielding a sickle. That was all I needed to get interested however as that scary old woman intrigued me far more than anything else I had been yearning to see. I knew I had made the right decision as soon as the movie began and Samantha Eggar stood on a dimly lit stage delivering a monologue that was so brilliantly cheesy and divine at the same time that I couldn't help but smile.
I suppose when a horror movie caters to something you enjoy you tend to love it more. Personally I used to love acting and I still love British accents. Win and win.

The plot is as follows, director Jonathan Stryker is casting the role of Audra in his new film. Samantha Sherwood, a shoe in for the role (and Stryker's something something on the side) has herself committed to a mental institution to do some true character development. Once she finds out that Stryker is holding a casting at his mansion with six other girls, she escapes in order to exact her revenge.

By the by--I believe a few days ago when talking about The Prowler I pointed out that I wasn't the biggest fan of Slasher movies. Curtains is a Slasher and yet I found myself enjoying it. Why? Because I love catty woman in the 80s who lust after the shapely body of John Vernon.

It's like a more tasteful version of Showgirls except with murder! Sure every now and then things move a little slowly but at least what happens in between is entertaining. Plus, the entire premise is just interesting to me. It's not just some killer stalking people and killing them, it's some unstable jealous woman who really wants a part in a movie. YES!

In all actuality nothing beats a really creepy mask and a really creepy doll.
It's pretty much the most fool proof way to achieve greatness. Not only was that doll creepy (as most dolls are by default) but this doll's size paired with her strange ability to grab people was most exquisite. You know what really made me appreciate it was that it brought back the idea of a killer's calling card, which I find to be slightly absent nowadays.

I was probably most impressed however by the length of some of the kills. The ice skating scene of course for one but also towards the end when Tara is being chased in the backstage prop shed. What a great place to build suspense! It was drawn out, but it was pretty damn nerve wracking the entire time. There's that whole horror movie cliche of a room filled with things that could be the murderer. You know like in I Know What You Did Last Summer when there are all those mannequins under the plastic or even in Jeepers Creepers where there are scarecrows. Just because these are cliches doesn't mean they aren't effective. Beat on the mirror cliche all you want but it scares me to death just about every time. Similarly this cliche is used extremely effectively. Whoever decided the proper way to hang mannequins would be by their necks is both a lunatic and a genius. That was some messed up stuff and I loved every minute of it.

And then of course, few things are better in life than Samantha Eggar playing our leading crazy lady. Is it wrong I just want to listen to her voice lull me to sleep every night? Those British accents are really tricky. I can never tell if a British person is a good actor or if I just really love their accents. Those tricky bastards! I'm pretty Samantha Eggar is fabulous and we'll just leave it at that.

Now to mention a few point of greatness. Yes, Curtains inspires greatness because it isn't afraid to take a really long time to build something up. Whether it be....ice skating in the cold winter air,
or doing a really awkward warm up dance for 10 minutes.

Curtains is there when we need it and never hides from its true self. It also addresses the age old problem of figuring out what to do with a severed head. Lately we are finding more and more heads turning up in toilet bowls and I must say it really makes perfect sense.

And finally Curtains is just all around my cup of tea. It's cheesy, it's hilarious (although maybe not intentionally), it's a little scary and it's a lot entertaining. Well, entertaining for me and anyone else who gauges entertainment by the number of awkward faces and haircuts present in the film. Well look, I know it may not be the best movie out there, please... that title is reserved for Pee Wee's Big Adventure, but Curtains may slowly but surely be entering my favorite horror movies shelf. Of which there is no actual shelf--just a pretend one I keep stored in my head. The only problem with Curtains is that it is not released on DVD. This breaks my heart, but if you are feeling adventurous you can watch it on YouTube I guess.


Chris H said...

haha, so glad you enjoyed this!

This is actually my sister's favorite movie. She recorded it from cable when we were kids and watched it over and over and over again. She probably still has that tape.

I've been meaning to pick it up on VHS or DVD, but never found it anywhere. Did you netflix?

Andre Dumas said...

I don't think it's on DVD. I probably did the wrong thing and watched it on YouTube. I don't have a VHS player what am I supppppppose to do?!

Hhhhh said...

How do you not have a VHS player Andre? That's craziness...

Anyway, I read this post and headed right over to ebay. Looks like right now there are two VHS copies there.



Stacie Ponder said...

It's been released on DVD overseas- I've seen it on Amazon UK.

Get a VCR! They're, like, 10 bucks at thrift stores. There's so much unavailable on DVD!!

Franco Macabro said...

Okay now I know where that long drawn out ice skating sequence is from, thanks!

Andre Dumas said...

I know I probably should. My sister has one that I can snag when she moves. It's sad the only VHS I own and want to watch are home movies. But my home movies are the BEST so don't judge!

brett g @ oh-the-horror.com said...

Ah, Lesleh Donaldson is in this. Kind of the unsung scream queen that just sort of disappeared.

I need to see Curtains again. Been a long, long time.

MissSardonicus said...

I have not seen Curtains and you have successfully convinced me that I have also not truly lived. Time to fix both of these tragedies!

Unknown said...

Love this movie. It is out on dvd, I bought my copy at Walmart two years ago around halloween. It's on a disc with 3 other movies. The Midnight Horror Collection: Bloody Slashers and you can also get it from Amazon.