The last movie I watched from my Chilling Classics collection (Where the words “chilling” and “classics” have slightly different definitions than they do in the outside world) takes us to a wacky land where apparently nothing makes sense; Canada. I watched Cathy’s Curse from 1977. I had high expectations of WTFuckery of this movie based on Final Girl’s review. If anything, it was even more weird than Stacie Ponder let on. Where to start, where to start…
The movie opens up with this text.
I love me some movies that start with creepy text like this. We see the aftereffects of this explanation with the shouted dialogue, “Your mother is a bitch!” A man with the most epically amazing mustache gets into a car with his daughter, Laura.
You don’t argue with a mustache like that. You just sit back and admire it for the thing of beauty that it is. Anyway, Laura and dad end up in a fiery car crash. So I guess it’s kind of good that mom took George away, huh?
George returns to his ancestral home with his dead-eyed, emotionally fragile wife, Vivian, and their daughter Cathy, of the title. This is when things start to get a little abstract. Cathy’s asleep in the car and she pulls her blanket down as she wakes up. The bed sheets are then pulled down by themselves in a bed in the house. I don’t know what this means. As far as powers go it’s about as lame as Meg’s ability to grow her nails.
The family’s getting settled in their house when Cathy finds the creepiest doll ever. The normal response would be “Kill it with fire!!!” But she’s nicer than I am and keeps it.
Seriously, it looks like it has about eight different diseases. Oddly enough, her mom refers to the doll as a “filthy rag” throughout the movie. But it’s really not a rag. Not even a rag doll. Oh, and I hate the mom. She’s shrill throughout the movie, has creepy dead eyes, and seems to look for reasons to argue with people. Like in this amazing piece of dialogue where she says something like, “It’s not hereditary or genetic. I know and you know that I had a nervous breakdown!” This was prompted by absolutely nothing. She’s literally quiet one minute and then shrieking the next.
The mom and dad have some friends over while Cathy plays with their children. Cathy creeps them out with her creepiness. Agatha, the neighborhood crazy lady apparently, is also there to visit and announces within five minutes of knowing Vivian that she’s a medium and that all objects have a story. Whatever, Sylvia Browne. She picks up a picture of George and his family and starts talking about the car crash and then in a deep man voice. I’d be a little skeptical, the crash should be pretty common knowledge.
Around this point we start to see that Cathy may be kind of different. She makes a statue explode with her mind and it’s accompanied by a synthesizer noise that’s only appropriately played during alien attacks. Then she makes a bowl crash. The housekeeper picks up about two pieces of it and then says, “That’s all.” This is one of the many, many things that makes this movie baffling. Clearly, that’s not all, there are about fifty gazillion more shards of glass on the floor. Did this movie not have an editor? Any adult supervision?
Cathy finally gets in a fight with the housekeeper who wants to take the doll. The doll flies into Cathy’s arms and the housekeeper falls out a window. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing, she was doing kind of a crappy job what with the shards of glass.
The shrill mom has taken to her bed, after freaking out after the housekeeper dies. In a moment of kindness, Cathy brings her a tray of food. The sandwich and the apple slowly rot on the tray and the milk turns to blood. This is actually pretty creepy but it happens in the hallway and then the food is normal when Cathy gives it to her mom. So what was the point of that again…?
Dad seems to be out a lot so he lets Cathy be watched by the drunk, British handyman. Go, dad! The medium Agatha shows up and him and Cathy taunt her for…some reason. She’s ridiculous but mostly harmless. Then the drunk guy gets drunk and suddenly all these snakes and one spider appears. He doesn’t seem to react to them so it may just be the DTs.
A dog dies. I guess it’s the family’s. At one point the mom complains about a dog barking and it’s never acknowledged that it’s their dog and not just some random neighbor’s dog. But then the dad says later that it was the pick of the litter. Make up your mind!
Drunk handyman teases Cathy and tries to take her doll and he ends up with a hand gash for his trouble. Then they go into the attic. This is becoming an increasingly dada-ist movie. The medium shows up again and much harsh language is used. Cathy calls her a “filthy female cow.” And then this old hag shows up and starts arguing with her and no one acknowledges the hag and we never see her again. The hag calls the psychic “an extra rare piece of shit.” What does that even mean?! ARGH!
So Cathy’s pretty possessed. As if to emphasize her terrifying powers that she used to do nothing, a portrait of Laura starts to have glowy eyes.
All this just begs the question, what is your point, ghost-Laura? Are you possessing Cathy because she vaguely looks like you? Are you angry at moms? There seems to be no motive whatsoever. Someone needs to tell her that not all attention is good attention.
The medium runs out of the house and falls face first in the snow. I rewatched that part at least five times, it’s too funny. Then we never see her again.
Cathy’s mom is in and out of a mental hospital because of this. At one point Cathy uses her mind powers to lock her out of the house but then she lets her in. Then Cathy somehow falls in a pond that is very very deep but then her father rescues her and it’s not deep at all.
Vivian decides to take a bath to escape her troubles but then blood starts coming out of the faucet. Well, blood or delicious Kool-Aid. And then she’s covered in…leeches? Black marks make in Sharpie? Cuts? I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.
Cathy attacks the old handyman with light and we see his face up close and it’s pretty much the only gory thing in the movie. Someone made the handyman teriyaki style.
Finally, the mom grabs the doll, rip the thread sewing its eyelids shut and everything ends. I guess.
I know I should hate this movie. It dragged so much in the middle. There’s no consistency, like one time we see a guy leave a car and then we never see him again. There’s no explanation for who he is. The whole film is incredibly green, like it was shot through a lens made of green jello. Whenever a character moves on camera everything’s very blurry and it starts to look like that animation technique they used in A Scanner Darkly. The transfer is so scratched and the letters “sc” are in the lower right corner for about the first thirty minutes. This all speaks to crazy levels of incompetence. Yet, I still like it. I guess this says something deeply wrong about me. I like it because it makes no sense and the little girl talks like a sailor with a not very dirty mouth at all. I’m not saying that you should go out and watch it but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a funny attempt at a scary movie. I will say that the music was creepy, aside from the alien “Pa-CHING” noises whenever Cathy blew something up. It was kind of like the music you’d hear from a creepy music box that you found in someone’s attic. Plus, there were creepy kids singing, but just the right amount. Take that, Bell From Hell!!