How did a 40-year-old, little-seen Canadian horror movie land a 2k restoration and limited theatrical run? It started with an internet movie review.
Brian Collins publishes Horror Movie a Day. For the site's first six years, Collins watched and reviewed a horror movie every single day. Two months into his run, buried in a fifty-film “Chilling Classics” DVD pack, Collins discovered Cathy's Curse. His review crowned it the “Best/Worst” film he'd seen.
If Cathy's Curse was a cult film, Collins became the cult leader. As his site's audience grew, Collins kept recommending the film and even posted a commentary track.
All this exposure convinced Severin Films to acquire the rights and sponsor a 2k restoration. In recognition of Collins' efforts, they invited him to record a new audio commentary for the Blu-ray release. Said release also included a limited theatrical run, which is how I found myself watching Cathy's Curse on the big screen.
The story follows a couple and their young daughter as they move back into the husband's childhood home. A malevolent spirit possesses the daughter leading to lots of profanity, extreme acne, and several unexplained deaths.
It's as bad as Collins' review claims, with inane dialog, incomprehensible editing, and whiplash performances. Aside from one scene, where a drunken groundskeeper finds himself covered in snakes and spiders, it's a disaster.
And yet, I found myself bored.
Cathy's Curse achieved cult status as a so-bad-it's-good film. One with flaws so obvious and fixable, it was as though the filmmakers were blissful idiots. But watching the restored digital projection, the film looked too good. Cleaning up the picture made the film feel less like an inept amateur effort and more like a lazy professional one. The added scenes smoothed over the worst editing mishaps but added to the film's glacial pacing. Several scenes elicit laughs, but they're few and farther between. It's still bad, but so-bad-it's-good? Not so much.