Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 5th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: France / Canada, 1977
Director: Eddy Matalon
Writers: Myra Clément, Eddy Matalon, Alain Sens-Cazenave
Cast: Alan Scarfe, Beverly Murray, Randi Allen, Dorothy Davis, Mary Morter, Roy Witham
BluRay released: April 11th, 2017
Approximate running times: 91 minutes (Director’s Cut), 82 minutes (Alternate U.S. Release Cut)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Both Versions)
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English (Both Versions)
Subtitles: English SDH (Both Versions)
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.98
Out of all of the Horror sub-genres, films that feature children as the main source of evil are some of my favorite Horror films. There is something genuinely creepy about demonic children. With a lot of the appeal coming back to the juxtapositioning of childhood innocence and with the darker side of humanity. And one this better examples of this type of film is Cathy’s Curse.
The opening of the film does a great job setting in motion the events which are about to unfold. Anchoring this diabolical tale is a protagonist named Cathy who outward demeanor does a superb job covering her true motives. And nowhere is more evident, then in the way Cathy contributes to her mother’s nervous breakdown.
The one area of this film that seems to divide those who have watched this film. Is its narrative which has a disjointed feel and an inconsistently pacing. And though these things usually can be viewed as detrimental. These minor flaws actually serve this film well.
Perhaps the most surprising asset of this film it is score. Which perfectly captures the mood. Another strength of this film are its visuals, especially when it comes to its set pieces. The cinematographer on Cathy’s Curse was Jean-Jacques Tarbès who’s other notable films include, Farewell, Friend, La Piscine (The Swimming Pool), Justine de Sade and Flic Story.
When it comes to the performances, none shine brighter or stand taller than Randi Allen in the role of Cathy. This film would mark her one and only feature film. And she delivers a pitch perfect performance. Another performance of note is Beverly Murray in the role of Cathy’s mother. She delivers a convincing performance of a women who has lost her grip on reality.
Both versions of Cathy’s Curse are presented on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay and both versions are presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression. And when compared to previous home video releases, this new transfer is vastly superior in every way.
Each version comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and both versions come with removable English SDH subtitles. Both audio mixes are in great shape, dialog always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when they need too.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 36 seconds), introduction to Cinematic Void Screening At American Cinematheque by BirthMoviesDeath Critic Brian Collins (4 minutes 28 seconds), an interview with director Eddy Matalon titled Tricks And Treats (20 minutes 16 seconds, in French with English subtitles), an interview with actress Randi Allen and costume designer Joyce Allen titled Cathy & Mum (12 minutes 42 seconds), an audio commentary on U.S. Cut by BirthMoviesDeath critic Brian Collins and filmmaker Simon Barrett and the alternate U.S. release cut (81 minutes 49 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Eddy Matalon include, how the film shot in Montreal in the winter of 1976, the advantages of shooting cinema in Canada during the 1970’s, information about the crew, how to make a film when you don’t have any stars and are working with a limited budget, The Exorcist’s influence on Cathy’s Curse, special effects, onset memories about key moments, stunts, the cast and how they found Randi Allen, how the film was shot in about six weeks and why they were forced to shot in the winter and his thoughts about bootleg editions of Cathy’s Curse.
Topics discussed in the interview with Randi Allen and Joyce Allen include, Randi’s audition, how they didn’t receive a script until the first day of shooting, Eddy Matalon, the cast, special effects, the use of vulgar language in the film and their thoughts about Cathy’s Curse’s cult following.
The differences between these two versions include, exposition moments that were cut or trimmed and U.S. release version has text title cards that explain some of what is going on.
Overall after years of shoddy releases Cathy’s Curse finally gets a definitive release from Severin Film’s, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by Severin Films on DVD.