Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Curtains (1983) Scary Movies 7
I miss the days when you had to go to the movies to see the latest slasher flick. I miss the days when a new horror movie would open and everyone would pile in the car and go to the local single screen or twin cinema and see the latest horror movie. I miss the days before home video really took off- when you had to go see a movie because you had no idea when you’d get to see it again.
Back in 1983, not long after I got my driver’s license I went to, I believe, the Plainview Twin theater and saw Curtains. The place was packed with horror nuts like myself. It was back in the halcyon days just before videotape I would hit every horror movie on the night it opened sometimes they would be packed, sometimes empty. Sometimes they were good sometimes they were bad. Very often you’d see the same faces at each new movie because everyone wanted to be the first to see the latest lest someone tell you what happened. The screening I saw of Curtains was packed.
Curtains is the story of a great movie director (John Vernon) that his favorite actress (Samantha Eggars)she needs to research her next role and has her locked up in an asylum- for research. Of course he intends never to let her out.. Meanwhile he invites 6 actresses over to a creepy mansion to compete for the lead role. As the auditions proceed, Eggars escapes and someone starts killing off the actresses.
This sort of film has been done to death of late, it’s easy and cheap to do and you can cheat. As a rule I don’t like this sort of a film since they are now so by the numbers that its extremely rare that they generate any suspense. They are so bad that I very often won’t even go back and watch films in the sub-genre I like because I ‘m so fed up with where it’s gone. Curtains, on the other hand I actually like. I like it so much that I recently bought a 15 film set of horror films of the sort you see in the supermarkets just to get the film.
To be honest it’s not a great film. Actually its just a good film, but there is something about the performances that make it stand up after 30 years. To be honest until recently I hadn’t seen it in probably a decade, but the film has always been in my mind. It’s always distinguished itself as being better than the rest. Yea its little more than your typical mad killer in a house film, but somehow it works, somehow it remains in your mind when others go away. It’s a film that I would always pull out when I would talk about mad killer movies that are good, or horror films that no one talks about…
…which makes me wonder why did it take Scary Movies for me to finally write it up? I don’t know. My guess is simply the crush of films. Whatever the reason isn’t important, what is important is that I’m telling you about it early enough that you can go out and see the film when it runs this Friday at Lincoln Center.