Monday, June 23, 2014

Superstition (1982) d/ James W. Roberson

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Hey ho, Theatergoers, here's another unrated eighties low budget gore-nucopia from the guy who lensed such horror efforts as So Sad About Gloria (1975) and The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), famous to me for it's indelible trailer, found at the outset of so many video cassettes I purchased and rented during that glorious era. Otherwise, it's a pretty ordinary vehicle for gory witchery and standard haunted house-ishness, with a few inventive death sequences thrown in for good measure, that might set it apart from others of its bracket, in the critical eyes of discerning hardcore genre freaks.

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If you cook a rubber head in a microwave, will half of it taste like real meat?

   After a pair of teenage pranksters get done in (one's cut in half by a window, the other gets his disembodied domepiece microwaved like a Hot Pocket), we're introduced to Revs. Maier (Stacy Keach, Sr.) and Thompson (James Houghton), who are attempting to renovate the old church-owned place for the next set of victims, errr...tenants, Father Leahy and family, amid the scrutiny of a police investigation led by one Inspector Sturgess (Albert Salmi). There's a sketchy caretaker named Arlan and his witchy gypo of a mother, Elvira, living on the property and arousing suspicion when a police officer mysteriously drowns in the pond while tailing the violent mute. A strange little blond girl turns up all over the place, as a handyman lynches himself in the elevator shaft, while Maier gets impaled to his chair by a runaway circular saw blade.

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"Id cross myself, but I can't afford to lose the fingers...", gurgles Rev. Maier (Stacy Keach, Sr.).
Through Thompson's crack research skills we're treated to a flashback, in 1692, where we meet a vengeance-minded witch condemned to drown for her crimes in the very pond outside the house (jeez, that explains a lot), and a priest is later squashed in a wine press to further illustrate her seriousness. Back in the eighties, Leahy's blonde daughter swims with a severed hand, much like the one she uses to slap the sass out of her brunette sister's bitchy face further down the road. Wives get tossed around by invisible, dark forces like so much pizza dough, pretty heads get impaled on stakes, an English translation of Malleus Maleficarum turns up, as does an improbable sub-basement chamber with obligatory odorific cadaver, and of course, it all wraps up with a twist ending, just the way they used to.

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"Shut your bitchy mouth!": 500 mg of  palm o' granite is a certain cure for sudden sassmouth outbreaks.

James Houghton, who had appeared in things like More American Graffiti (1979), went on to write several episodes of popular television horror anthology, Tales From The Darkside. Billy Jacoby/Jayne of "Bloody Birthday"(1981) fame also shows up here, as do Stacy Keach, Sr. and longtime television staple, Lynn Carlin, who horror fans will recall from her excellent performance in Bob Clark's Deathdream (1972). Maylo McCaslin was a soap opera star and the former wife of Willie Aimes. We'll go right ahead and call this one a two Wopper. Give it a look.

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Sheryl (Maylo McCaslin), suffering from a killer migraine, stakes out a nap for herself.

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Crank here: thanks again B.W. everybody reading this, you are required to visit WOPSPLOITATION at least everyday, it's informative and searingly funny. We here at TOG are honored to have such a talented writer on board!


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