I am not familiar with The Curse horror movie series, even though apparently there are four of the things. I recently picked up the Scream Factory Double Feature blu ray that contains the first two of them, because a quick glance at the cover made me think they were evil snake movies. Well, I can confirm after watching the first movie that is at least half untrue. The first movie is not an evil snake movie. It’s not even a kind snake movie. It’s a non-snake movie. I suppose the dad is a bit of a snake if snake can be code for asshole. Which I don’t think it can. I think that means backstabber. He doesn’t really do that so no, no there are no snakes in this movie.
The Curse is about this family living on a farm. The dad is super religious and strict so it sucks that middle child Wil Wheaton has to deal with that nonsense. He also has to deal with his idiot/asshole older brother. His younger sister seems nice though. His mom seems ok too, except one night she can’t get any action from her husband because it might make God mad, so instead she goes and has sex with this super hairy guy in a shack. She ends up having remarkably bad timing because space uses this time to hurl a meteorite at the earth so when the rest of the family comes out to look, they see her leave the shack, looking as one does after having sex with a hairy dude. Nobody has much time to dwell on it though as before too long, the meteorite leaks a bunch of fluid into the water and that of course leads to all sorts of bad stuff. The dad thinks it’s because the wife slept with a hairy dude, but we all know it’s actually space water. Wil Wheaton of course knows this too, but ain’t nobody gonna believe Wil Wheaton!
The curse (it’s not really a curse though is it? It’s just a lot of bad luck related to space water) starts simple enough. Their crops are rotting and the water tastes funny, that kind of thing. Then it starts affecting the animals. Their horse attacks the older brother but they are never in the same shot so it makes the whole sequence pretty goofy. The chickens gang up and attack the younger sister in a far more effective bit of business (possibly because she is one of the few likable people in the movie). Eventually most of the family has disgusting growths on their faces and are trying to murder one another.
There’s an interesting idea here. A lot of tension could be wrung from watching the family gradually having to deal with an increasing threat before realizing the true nature of what is going on. The problem is that, outside of Wil Wheaton and the sister, none of the characters here are likable. The mom only has a few minutes of screen time before she becomes a complete weirdo on account of the meteorite juice, and most of that is spent boning the hairy dude. The dad and the brother are bad dudes from minute one. It really does make it tricky to feel that bad for them as their situation gets progressively worse. That being said the acting is pretty solid across the board, with Wheaton and the dad (Claude Akins) being the stand-outs for me.
There are some peripheral characters outside of the main family, but they don’t add a whole lot and often don’t serve much of a purpose at all. There’s this real estate asshole trying to buy up a bunch of land that didn’t amount to much. There’s the town doctor and then there is Bo Duke himself, John Schneider as a guy trying to help them whose job I don’t remember. Something to do with science probably? Or no…something to do with the town government? Possibly? The idea that there are big gaps of the movie missing from my memory already is perhaps the most damning thing that I can say about it.
As with Slugs, the occasionally impressive special effect/gore gimmick is the highlight of the movie. Once affected by the meteorite slop, people go through a hell of a transformation and the make-up is appropriately icky once that occurs. Much of that happens in the final chunk of the movie which goes pretty off the rails bananas and perhaps doesn’t make a lick of sense but it’s pretty gory and gooey so hey, I’ll allow it.
The Curse is…fine? It moves along at a good enough pace and it’s always fun to discover Wil Wheaton movies I had no idea even existed. A lot of the movie is spent watching bad shit happen to people you don’t like, though it’s nowhere near as satisfying as that perhaps make it sound. The sequel definitely has a snake prominently featured on the cover however, so I’ll still be making my way through at least one more entry in this series. It’s delivery on the promise of snakes will be the deciding factor on whether I continue on to part 3, which a quick Google search reveals is not even worthy of receiving it’s own Wikipedia page. That means that not a single soul on this Earth cares about the movie enough to even make a page that says “This exists.” Not a single post on it’s IMDB page either. Man. I may watch that movie out of pity. Poor thing. Everyone deserves at least one friend…