Curtains is a Canadian slasher film, that was released in 1983 and looks like it’s from the 70s, much to the thanks that Canada is always one decade behind. I was unaware of the movie until I picked it up in a 10 movie pack and gave it a watch. One awful VHS looking transfer and interesting kill later, the credits roll and we come to this review…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion are targeted by a mysterious masked murderer.
Curtains is definitely an interesting movie and follows the theory of not making much sense in its plot, for a good portion of the movies run time. We first start off with Samantha Sherwood (Samantha Eggar), an actress who is completely dedicated to her role, so much that she checks herself into an insane asylum, just so she can see what it’s like. Unfortunately, staying at an asylum, even if you’re normal, will do horrible things to you. Cue the director, the suave son of a bitch, Jonathan Stryker (John Vernon), who abandons her and decides to do a recast for his movie and invites a bunch of beautiful ladies up to his mansion, to do a little “acting”, if you know what I mean.
Jonathan Stryker (John Vernon), just moments before sleeping with your wife, or husband. Jonathan Stryker don’t care, he don’t discriminate.
Once everyone arrives, well almost everyone, things start taking a turn for the weird, as a masked killer crashes the party and we are left wondering who the killer is, all the way to the ending.
I will admit, Curtains does an effective job at keeping the identity of the killer a secret all the way to the end and there wasn’t a moment where I guessed right. So, bravo on that! Unfortunately, the movie isn’t all pluses, as it takes it’s sweet ass time going anywhere, with several long, boring points in the movie, where I was almost lulled off to sleep. Also, Curtains is all over the place at times. For some strange reason, a doll is part of the plot for a bit and I have no sweet clue what it has to do with anything, only that it’s creepy as shit. Also, there’s another guy in the movie besides the director, who doesn’t really do anything, except sleep with a woman and drive off drunk on a ski-doo (cause, Canada).
Christie Burns (Lesleh Donaldson) with that damn doll. What the hell is the point of the doll?!?
However, I will admit that there are times where the movie excels at what it’s supposed to be doing and that’s having some inventive kills. This movie reminds me very much of a Giallo, in that for the most part, you just see the black-gloved hands of the killer and nothing more (Dario Argento inspired). That is until you get to the best damn kill in the movie, which is the ice skating scene, where you get a beautiful look at the killer, in what can only be described as a surreal scene, that needs to be seen to be believed.
Did I mention the killer is pretty creepy looking?
Curtains is very much a low budget slasher film, that was lost to the abyss of other films released at the same time. Having also been Canadian didn’t help matters (this ain’t Black Christmas), still, in the end, I ended up enjoying myself for the most part, even if the plot trotted along slowly. Curtains gets a borderline recommend from me, but don’t go expecting something equivalent to an icy hand job from an Edmonton hooker.
P.S Echo Bridge is guilty of releasing a DVD of the movie, that looks worse than VHS. They know DVD players don’t have tracking control on them, right?