Curtains (1983)

Directed by “John Stryker”/Richard Ciupka/???
Vestron Video VHS

Curtains woke up earlier than usual this morning and promptly put its pants on backwards. Shrugging it off, the film then poured orange juice on cereal instead of milk. Upon leaving its quaint Toronto apartment for work, Curtains realized it was wearing nothing but black dress socks. The poor sap just can’t get it right.

There’s nothing like a serious slasher that’s stuck in an eternal pair of Bozo shoes. You can root with the shits ‘n’ giggles for a full 90 minutes, but in the end, it’s all for naught. Plagued with production problems (no actual director being the most obvious), Curtains is an unbelievable botch with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, potential doesn’t buy poppa a new pair of shoes. The attractive fragrance whiffed in by earlier Canadian produced slashers like Happy Birthday To Me and My Bloody Valentine has been replaced with a fusty odor. Hence, the Bozo shoes are in dire need of medical attention. Dr. Scholls, where are you now?

Big shot Hollywood director Jon Stryker (John Vernon) is planning a big shot Hollywood movie called Audra. The leading lady, Samantha Sherwood (Samantha Eggars), decides to fake insanity in order to study for the part. After seeing what it’s really like in an asylum (lots of tickling, stolen puzzle pieces), Miss Samantha is ready for her dream role, “dahlings.” Mr Strykeforce sez “Relax, save it for the film” and promptly abandons Samantha, leaving her to rot in the nuthouse. He then summons six lookalike “actresses” to his wintery abode for some Audra try-outs and casting couch rumpling. So who’s the shithead in the old hag mask, knocking off the cast in the most padded-out, digression-filled kill scenes imaginable? And how many times are they going to pull the ol’ “is-this-scene-real-or-isn’t-it” shit? Enough already.

Curtains may not sound that messy, but wait until you sit through it. Watch as an amazingly strange killer and terrific icy locales get the shaft: A spooky doll is introduced and pops up in the damnedest of places, then promptly disappears. Thick padding (ice skating, ballerina moves) joins a group of nameless, bitchy characters as they argue and say things like “You…BASTARD.” Several ridiculous plot occurrences fly by without explanation. Curtains is pretty much a listless soap opera with half a script and fifteen cooks in the kitchen. Burn the ending. Ban the stand-up comic. At least there was a toilet with a bloody head inside of it. That was the best thing in the movie.

Somewhere out there, Curtains continues to stumble under ladders and break mirrors. The shoes still fit.

There’s a lot of tape wear here, but the print is clean and dandy. Nice blacks, little damage, and lots of gray photography.

No, but I didn’t want them anyway.

Curtains is a well intentioned, serious slasher that trips several times before splitting its jaw on the concrete. Aside from a few moments of frightening imagery, this film is a wet snot. Rent with caution.