The Curse of the hairy bears and the deep throating snakes

It came from the 80s…and ended in the 90s. So just how bad does The Curse franchise get? Let’s take a look.

THE CURSE (1987)

curse and curse 2The man hair in The Curse is out of control!!! There is a farmhand stud who proudly shows off his chest and back fur, and Wil Wheaton’s step brother is this chunky monkey who sports a T-shirt throughout the film, showing off his booty treasure trail. He then gets a barbed wire booboo treated on his big fat hairy ass in a major close up! It FILLS the frame. I’ve never seen so much focus on man fur in a mainstream movie.

curse butt

The Curse is directed by David Keith. Remember him? He’s the poor man’s Kurt Russell who played Drew Barrymore’s dad in Firestarter. Veteran actor Claude Akins (Gunsmoke, Rawhide, BJ & The Bear) plays a crazy religious man who lives on a farm with his son, his new wife, and her son and daughter, played by Wil Wheaton and his real life sister.

Claude treats his stepkids like shit and won’t give his wife sex. So she hooks up with the hairy farmhand. Then a meteor crashes on the farm. It oozes gunk into the water. Animals start acting crazy. Vegetables start oozing nasty crap. The mother goes bat shit. Claude pretends none of it is happening and won’t let any outsiders interfere, not even John Schneider, who comes to town mostly just to add man candy. He’s also planning to build some sort of water reservoir. Timing is everything, John.

curse mother

The movie starts to feel like Evil Dead, with everyone turning into hideous ghouls. Mom even gets locked in a basement. The problem is, any kind of creepy atmosphere is destroyed by this fricking hillbilly banjo melody that plays during EVERY tense scene. WTF? The movie just comes across as a farce.

Just when it looks like Wil and his real life sister are going to have their souls swallowed, the banjo music is replaced with cheesy Euro synthpop horror movie music, and there’s a promise of a sequel. But instead, we got a non-related movie that stole the franchise name….

CURSE II: THE BITE (1989)

Curse II: The Bite is worthy of the sequel title simply because it’s just as bad as The Curse. Awesome scream queen Jill Schoelen is annoying as fuck (as always).

curse and curse 2 jill schoelenShe’s traveling across country with her hot as hell boyfriend, played by an 80s pinup pretty boy named J. Eddie Peck. He is by far the best part of this film. The camera makes love to his shirtless body and he also gets a shirtless/tight jeans car wash scene.

curse and curse 2 j. eddie peckAll the locals in this desolate stretch of land are terrified of snakes, some gas station dude has a deformed snake-dog, and Peck gets bit by a snake. Klinger had nothing better to do following the cancellation of After MASH, so he takes his medical expertise to this film as a traveling salesman who knows a thing or two about snakebites. Why am I even going to continue writing about this movie?

Peck’s bitten hand starts turning into a snake. He uses it to deep throat people to death. Klinger has sex with a big butch trucker lady. Peck smacks Jill’s whiny ass across the face (it’s about time someone did). They split up and he ends up crashing at the home of a religious family (No, not the home of Claude Akins and crew).

Eventually, this film kind of turns into a remake of the 1970s flick Sssssss. Best part of the movie.

CURSE III: BLOOD SACRIFICE (aka: Panga) (1991)

As was the trend back then, random horror movies were slapped with a sequel title to an existing franchise for name familiarity…even when the franchise was a mess like The Curse.

Blood Sacrifice/Panga could have been an okay standalone film in terms of being a hot 90s mess if it weren’t for the fact that it takes so long to get to the point.

It’s the 1950s. Cindy Snow from Three’s Company lives in Africa with her husband. She’s the epitome of a nationalist, for every time she’s confronted by a black person, she chants “America” over and over like she’s casting some sort of KKK spell. WTF?

But I will give her props for trying to stop natives from sacrificing an innocent goat. It’s her rejection of any religion that isn’t Christianity that gets her cursed. Even doctor Christopher Lee, despite decade of horror experience, can’t cure her.

Even though she’s cursed, the curse brings an unseen sea creature out of the water to hack anyone but her up with a machete (aka: Panga). I kid not, when we finally see the monster at the end of the film, it looks like an updated Creature from the Black Lagoon. Cindy’s chase and battle with it finally bring on something other than repetitive, anti-climactic creature POV that pervades the rest of the movie.

CATACOMBS (1988)

Filmed in 1988, this film was apparently not released until the 90s, so it got slapped with a Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice title in some markets. I couldn’t even find box art for the film as Catacombs.

The whole movie takes place in a monastery with celibate monks. I really just can’t relate. All the Omen­-esque music aside, this movie is so BORING. Nothing happens…except a couple of failed attempts at jump scares.

A chick comes to stay at the monastery and study. There’s another chick who is friends with one of the monks. There’s a monk who believes there’s a demon locked away in the catacombs beneath the monastery (there is). There’s a young priest caring for an elderly dying monk.

There are a couple of cheesy Exorcist rip-off attempts, but the guy who’s possessed only appears at the beginning and end of the film. There are some deaths, but no real gore. The best scene is when Jesus on a statue of the crucifix pulls out his spikes and comes down to kill a priest with them.

But the big question about all movies like this one—WHO lights all the candles that are always burning and never melt down in the underground caverns???

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
This entry was posted in Living in the 80s - forever, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Curse of the hairy bears and the deep throating snakes

  1. Pingback: From Batman to bad movies – the hokey horror of Adam West - BOYS, BEARS & SCARESBOYS, BEARS & SCARES

Leave a Reply