Superstition (1982)

Directed by James W. Roberson. Written by Donald G. Thompson. Starring James Houghton, Albert Salmi, Larry Pennell, Lynn Carlin, Heidi Bohay, Billy Jayne, Maylo McCaslin, Kim Marie, Jacquelyn Hyde and Stacy Keach Sr.

Plot: an inspector and a reverend try to help a family rid their new home of the vengeful witch who haunts it.

Now, I’m not sure why, but this movie was one of the many banned during the UK’s infamous “Video Nasty” era. Considered lurid, obscene and overly violent, it was shelved for four years. Even now it is cited for it’s violence, with many critics speaking negatively of it’s gore and schlock. We, however, find it good 80’s fun.

It opens with two young men being killed by something unseen inside an abandoned house. Inspector Sturgess (Salmi) shows up and believes that the murders were occult-driven. Also, the house is on church property, so he meets with Reverend Thompson (Houghton) and Reverend Maier (Keach Sr.) to voice his concerns. He is especially upset about a pond on the land where kids tend to drown. When one of the policemen drowns, Sturgess suggests the pond be drained, but then the mute caretaker flips out and assaults him before running off.

The pond is never drained and some time later the house gets new tenants in the Leahy family. There’s the alcoholic father, George (Pennell), his stupid wife, Melinda (Carlin) and their three children, Ann (Bohay), Sheryl (McCaslin) and Justin (Jayne). Justin even falls in love with the pond calling it their “very own pool”.

Before the completely hopeless starts to happen, both Thompson and Justin meet a little girl named Mary (Marie) who just wanders into the house. Thompson also meets Elvira (Hyde), the mother of the mute caretaker, who tells him that her son’s “mistress” is a witch and that she can’t even reach him anymore. Then, Maier is killed in the house by a flying table saw and the shit really hits the fan.

The direction was alright, but where were the boob shots? The daughters run around in barely any clothing, but you never actually see anything of either one of them. The innovation is excellent, as are the effects, but the motive is poor. I did jump once or twice and it is funny. Unintentionally funny, but funny. The worst thing about the movie really is that George is a lousy drunk, Melinda is totally inept and Thompson is perpetually creeptastic. It is a simple little movie, but it is quite useful in passing the time.

Our score: 57.


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