Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Curse (1987)

The Curse is one of those 80s type films involving a meteor crashing to Earth in, or around, a small town and messing shit up for the yokel locals.  In this case, it lands on the property of abusive farmer Nathan Hayes, played by the spectacularly sinister Claude Atkins.  Nathan is a puritanical monster ruling over his familial unit with an iron backhand.  The meteor contains an oozing menace that infects his crops as well as the town's water supply.  The crops mutate into worm infested apples or something, while the tainted water changes those who imbibe into puss spewing creatures of the night (I think).

Loosely based on Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" and directed with a sure hand by David Keith (yes, the actor), The Curse is an enjoyable tale well told.  Atkin's plays the Hayes patriarch as a cross between Mitchum's Harry Powell and....well....a puss dripping monster.  Able support is given by Will Wheaton as Nathan's ill fitting (adopted?) son and John Schneider (yep, Bo Duke) tags along as a scientist researching the town's odd happenings.

A side story about evil developers out to buy the Hayes farm on the cheap so they can put in strip malls or some shit only adds to the fun.  Also enjoyable, is the way Nathan continues to deny anything strange is happening even after his wife tries to eat their children.  Creepiness ensues after she's been locked in the cellar.  And then the house disintegrates for some unknowable reason that left me scratching my head.  Even some horribly shoddy effects work (meteor on a stick, anyone?) can't undermine this thing.

As an added bonus, here's a quickie review of The Curse II:  The Bite.  Well, shit man, this one is just a couple good scenes strung together by what seems like hours of tedious bullshit.  We got a guy and his girlfriend driving through the desert (were they running from someone or something?  Can't remember).  They stop to do some sightseeing on the side of the road when the guy is bit by a radioactive snake and then, SLOWLY, his arm starts to change into one (a snake I mean).  The two good scenes are the one where the young couple drive over a highway littered with snakes, which are beaten and battered in slow motion, and also when the guy's arm changes into a snake, while in bed with his girlfriend.  Then the guy chases his girl through some drainage pipes or whatever.  None of this has anything to do with the first picture.  Not much to recommend here.  Well, except for Jill Schoelen,  as the girlfriend, who is fairly adorable.  I can't remember if she got undressed in front of the camera or not.  Find out for yourself.

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