John’s Old School Horror Corner: Superstition (1982)
Oh good. Another poster which misrepresents the movie.
MY CALL: Neither gem nor skipper, this is a typical 80s slasher movie. The kills are pretty random, the story is comically uninspired, and the actual murderous acts and the killer are never seen. [C-] IF LIKE THIS THEN WATCH: The Sleepaway Camp series (1983, 1988, 1989, 2008) provides uber-random kills and, in part 1, we don’t see the killer until the very last image still of the entire movie. It’s campy fun at its horrible best though. Other uber-random kills can be found in The Outing (1987). Equally crazy but better done and more interesting for the era were Deadly Blessing (1981) and The Sentinel (1977), and even the misdirected and awful The Nesting (1981) was better than this.
TAGLINE: “A witch put to death in 1692 swears vengeance on her persecutors and returns to the present day to punish their descendants.” [--IMDB]
This flick wastes none of your time. Before we’re 20 minutes into the running time a couple of pranksters intruding in the wrong abandoned house meet horror-humorous fates: a decapitated head exploding in a microwave and a killer window cuts a guy in half.
Reverend David Thompson is approached by the police about this property, which has a bloody history. We learn from the weird caretaker lady that the killer is a “she.” But some crazy lady’s words aren’t sufficient evidence to keep the reverend from renting the house out to the family of a colleague of the cloth.
The kills are pretty random, almost comically uninspired, and the actual murderous act and the killer are never seen (just a black clawed hand), making this flick feels like most 80s slasher movies. Additional kills include a drowning, a rogue buzz saw blade to the chest, a hanging, crushing by giant vice, glass shrapnel to the face, hammering a stake through a forehead (my favorite in the movie!), and other random draggings by claw off camera.
Clearly a witch hand. Geez! Looks like this witch could palm a basketball!
The weird old caretaker lady is standoffish and uninformative as to what’s going on until Rev. David removes a crucifix from the pond out back. Evidently, removing the crucifix from the pond somehow empowers the killer and now he must perform some ritual. Why? Well, evidently the killer was a witch that was “drowned at the stake” (not a joke) back in 1692. It seems that she’s exacting her revenge on the descendants of her executioners and she waited about 300 years to do it. I guess it’s a good thing for that evil witch spirit that they didn’t just decide to move to Florida. Otherwise, she might have been waiting in that pond forever!
More people die, the story never really goes anywhere, and the last scene was the most painful of the entire movie. Despite this being advertised as something of a witch movie, it would be best to ignore that altogether and simply consider this another bad slasher flick with a supernatural component. There is really no reason this should be called “Superstition” either.
Another bad title and cover that misrepresents the movie.
Yet another awful title and cover that misrepresents the movie.
This flick should neither be skipped nor treated as a hidden gem. Chance it if you’re a horrid slasher fan who loves random flicks, don’t if you’re not.