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John’s Horror Corner: The Curse (1987), another satisfying melty mutant zombie movie

September 11, 2013

Just FYI, this movie poster has no business looking this cool!

MY CALL:  Low budget melty mutants get cranky and start killing things.  That’s all I needed to hear to know I wanted to see this.  If you feel that’s not enough to make an informed decision, then I assure you, this movie is NOT for you.  LOL.  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  I was quite pleased with the much more “Lovecraftian” Lovecraft adaptations Dagon (2001) and The Resurrected (1991).  Also try Hellraiser (1987) and The Re-Animator (1985) for serious gore and weird tones.  And if you enjoyed watching Zack’s mother’s transformation in The Curse, then try Flesh Eating Mothers (1988).

During a storm, young Zack (Wil Wheaton; The Big Bang Theory, Eureka) witnesses a meteorite landing on his stepfather’s farm.  This meteor brought with it an other-worldly ooze that gets into the local water supply.  After exposure, the local produce immediately grows to look appetizing, but is filled with what looks like blood, guts, bugs and gook; the chickens become mangy and violently carnivorous; the cows become explosive reservoirs of rotten flesh and pestilence; and Zack’s mother slowly becomes a psychopathic, drooling, open sore-covered pulsating mess!

This actress moved on to play the head orc in Lord of the Rings.

Zack’s stepfather is a no-nonsense, “our God is a vengeful God” kind of Bible-toting, God-fearing farmer who disciplines his kids with the back of his hand.  He is in denial about everything that’s going on around him (even as his wife turns into a warty, stabby monster), thinking that God is punishing them all.  Being the only one to avoid exposure to the water, it’s up to Zack to save his kid sister from the strange malady that has struck his family and their land.

Zack’s stepfather and stepbrother start looking like Klingons that spilled acid on their faces.

The story follows the same (simplified) trends as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and The Stuff (1985), and helped gestate the similar Slither (2006).  Although allegedly an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour out of Space”, I hardly find any Lovecraftian satisfaction in this–although it’s still a dumb-fun movie.

Here’s something totally random and symptomatic of terrible writing.  At some point a water treatment investigator (John Schneider; Smallville, Super Shark), who has nothing to do with the recent meteorite sighting, randomly comes to Zack’s aid.  The movie would’ve been fine if that character was completed deleted–no one would even notice.

It is blatantly obvious that this movie had a super-low budget, and with that comes its share of major filmmaking and writing flaws.  For example, the local doctor is somehow also the only scientist investigating the meteorite and its potential dangers.  The general randomness of the scenes in which we see new mutations just substantiates the lack of thought that went into this screenplay.

The gore and make-up work is entertaining.  Whether a blood-gushing head of lettuce or the pulsating forehead of Zack’s mom, I was constantly smiling.  As the movie progresses, so do the pus-oozing make-up jobs on Zack’s parents and stepbrother…who eventually “melt” away.

A not so appetizing head of lettuce’s guts.

I think that’s why we decided to watch this in the first place, right?  To watch melty mutants kill people.  I certainly didn’t expect much from the writing, nor did I care that it sucked.

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