Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Curtains


(1983)**

Samantha Sherwood will do anything for a movie role. When she learns that famed director John Stryker is shooting a movie about a psychiatric patient named “Audra”, she agrees to pretend that she’s a patient in order to spend some time on a psychiatric unit. Once Stryker has her committed he quickly abandons her because he’s tired of dealing with Samantha's high maintenance behavior. With Samantha out of the picture (literally), Stryker invites six beauties to his winter estate to spend the weekend auditioning them for the “Audra” role (and to screw a few of them along the way). The six actresses crab and chitchat with one another as they vie for the coveted acting gig. Meanwhile Samantha learns of Stryker’s deception and immediately escapes from the psych unit to confront him. Soon the six actresses begin dying from an unknown assailant wearing a creepy-ass mask. Which actress would kill for the role of a lifetime?


Help, Faye Dunaway is trying to kill me!


This was a cut above the usual 1980s slashers, with a more involved plot and a few good deaths. Still, there’s an awful lot of silly things going on in this film. My favorite moment occurred when one of the actresses fell out of a second story window into the first story window directly below (?). The narrative is overly convoluted and the pacing is off, especially during the bizarre climax involving several of the characters in separate chase sequences that nonetheless appear to be occuring concurrently. Overall however Curtains delivers with few good chase sequences/scares, characters I didn’t hate, and a decent film score.

3 comments:

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Don't think I didn't catch that "crabs and chitchats" bit JPX! Hilarious!

(This is one of those had-to-be-there references to the Critic cartoon in a scene involving poet Rod McKuen. I can't explain why JPX and I found it so funny but it's been a running joke for years. Part of it has to do with the voice.)

"The front-yard squirrel
is stealing oranges.
He crabs and chitchats to himself,
then threading through and
into leaves and branches
he spies an orange
three times his head size."

JPX said...

Awesome, I can't believe you located the full poem!

Octopunk said...

I can't believe you located Curtains! I've been scouting for this one as a 'thon choice since 2006.

Great review, although that's a bit harsh on Faye Dunaway.