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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Horror Movie Image Experiment:1983

Finally one that I can get a little excited about!! I just watched this film again the other night. It makes a better watch now that I have became friends with one of the stars, the beautiful, Lesleh Donaldson. Although Curtains was a very troubled production, surprisingly it still came out very coherent, scary, and watchable. It also has always been lumped into the Slasher movie movement, when in reality, it is a very taught suspense film. I think part of it's bad reputation indeed comes from that reason. Younger genre fans who didn't see the film when it came out, search this one out, looking for a bloody bodycount movie, and that's definitely not what it is. The story is a about a sleazy movie director(John Vernon), who is directing a very anticipated blockbuster called "Audra". Samantha Eggar is his ex-lover, and dwindling ex-movie star, who has been promised the role of Audra, since it became an idea. She decides to check herself into a mental institution to prepare for the role of the mentally deranged Audra. The director, decides to lock her in the for a long period of time, against her will, and recast the role. He holes away in his mansion in the Canadian wilderness to try out a group of 5 actresses. Samantha escapes from the mental facility and also shows up vying for the role. The director starts sleeping with the girls, and mentally manipulating them, and someone starts picking off the girls one by one. Like I said it really is a mystery movie, and there is not a lot of blood, or hacking. There is one scene that sticks with all genre fans who are enamored with this film(myself, included). Lesleh, who is the youngest of the actress hopefuls, and actually just an ice skater trying to get into film, after the director has got into her pants. She decides to go for an early morning skate on a frozen lake out in the woods. She brings along her boom-box(hey, it was the 80's, remember) and starts playing her music, and skating away, after a few moments the music inexplicably stops, and Lesleh skates over to see what happened. She see a small hand poking out of a snow drift, and pulls out one of the creepiest dolls you have ever seen. After staring and being freaked out by the doll for a few moments, she hears a sound and looks over her shoulder, to see a figure in black skating fastly towards her. Now you really have to see the scene to understand why it has struck fear in so many viewers. The killer is wearing a mask that has come to be known as the "old hag" mask. A very old, female face, with vacant eyes, and stringy hair, and she is brandishing a scythe as she now skates in slo-mo vision towards the petrified young actress. Needless to say, the dear Lesleh meets her demise in this scene, but we are left to wait and find out who is killing these actresses off? Is it the director, is it the now crazy famous actress Eggar, or one of the hopefuls? Looks like you will have to watch it and see. Sadly it is only available on a cheapie DVD, although Netflix has it for streaming, and sometimes AMC and IFC will run it. Please check it out.

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