Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Terror (1978)

Yeah, I know- I suck at blogging regularly. This is because I am lazy and booze makes me lazier.

Okay, 1978's Suspiria homage Terror is good bloody fun in a totally daft and illogical sort of way. But, let's be honest, Suspiria is also good bloody fun that's totally daft and illogical.

The film begins with an effective credit sequence featuring creepy pictures of people in pain and somewhat prog rock organ music. Then, bam, we get a mob of angry villagers with torches hunting down a woman and preparing to burn her as a witch. Before they can get that done, though, she screams, "Master, help thy servant!" and the lot of them get lit up instead. They finally get her burned up, but she shows up in a noblewoman's house, vows to curse her bloodline, and lops off her head!
And then we discover it was all a movie made by some 70s hip young people in the old house where it really happened. They're all English, so they call each other "dear" and "love" constantly, but otherwise they're the usual drug-taking, sexually promiscuous, ready-made victims. However, two of them were actually related to the cursed bloodline and the story was true. And the curse is real!

Before too long, Ann, a cute bird from that cursed line who's been hypnotized for a party trick picks up the sword and tries to carve up a fellow- sorry about that, love! And then another bird wandering in the woods gets a bit of the old stabby stabby and is left pinned to a tree. I suck at British slang as well as blogging.

What follows is a mild parody of the world of 70s filmmaking with a good amount of stalking and slashing. The slashing part is surprisingly gruesome and lovingly detailed; director Norman J. Warren was somewhat known for his love of the red stuff. And he uses it well here. The film is rather light on sex, but there is a nice bit with a "punk rock" stripper that sets the film firmly in 1978. There's also a mystery afoot because we don't know if Ann's bonkers and killing people, there's someone else doing so, or it really is the witch's curse.

Actually, I'm not entirely sure what was going on with all the bits in the movie. The film goes from supernatural mumbo jumbo to typical slasher film and then, suddenly, back to supernatural mumbo jumbo with everything in a sound-stage coming alive and attacking a character. There's also a woman stalked by a levitating car- seriously. All of this is great, but who was doing the stabbing? Why is the witch who shows up the same woman as the fictional movie-within-a-movie? What the fuck was going on with that levitating car? And, seriously, if this is a bloodline curse, why do all those people not related to the family get killed?

1 comment:

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