I understand the early eighties were marked by, I don’t know, 1,050 horror slashers, each with their own little twist on the horror genre, each wanting to take a piece of the pie. But only a handful and I do truly mean 5 of 1050 were effective. Curtains was NOT one of them.

curtains_poster_01

Actress Samantha Sherwood (played by Samantha Eggar) is a long time collaborator with director Jonathan Stryker (played by John Vernon). She gets the rights to his latest project Audra for him. Audra is imagined to be a mad woman. So they visit Dr. Pendleton (played by Calvin Butler) where she acts out as a charade in order to get into asylum for research (something like Daniel Day-Lewis who went living with Indian tribe for his role in “The Last of the Mohicans” if rumors are to be trusted). She is truly dedicated actor, I give her that. While being there she found out that Stryker is holding audition for her role in his mansion with 6 more other actresses ready to do everything to get the role. Even having sex and committing murder! And guess what? He left her in asylum without saying goodbye! Now she really can get mad! And she plans to get it back!

you-see-the-interesting-thing-about-asylum-isYou see, the interesting thing about asylums is….

One of the actresses, Amanda (played by Deborah Burgess) couldn’t make it to the audition. After unsuccessful sexual role-play with her boyfriend (her fetish is raping) and after dreaming about herself being killed by doll, she got actually stabbed in the dark by some mysterious person wearing an old lady mask. Well, I guess that ends her career. She might appear in commercials though, like many other dead celebrities. Anyway, all the other actresses had arrived on time, including Samantha who made an unexpected cameo. There all of the girls confirmed to us once again how big sluts they are and what they would do to get this role. Especially a comedian Petti O’Connor (played Lynne Griffin) who wants to be taken seriously and who is most probably the biggest slut of them all.  Washed up actress Brooke Parsons (played by Linda Thorson) even mentioned a murder. No such problems for Matthew (played by Michael Wincott) who already got the lead male role and now he can enjoy in casting couch (or jacuzzi in this case) with Tara Demillo (played by Sandra Warren).

real-hollywood-starsReal Hollywood stars

While rivalry between the actresses is building up naive-looking Christie Burns (played by Lesleh Donaldson) decides to take a chill out with ice-skating at nearby frozen pond. There she finds the doll in a snow and that was the cue for the masked killer to bust in with sickle in hand. The whole scene is put together in such a wonderfully campy way with the music and the slow motion. The seriousness of the acting adds to the campy feel of the movie. It’s like an Actors Studio discussion and killings happen every once in a while. Anyway, Christie used the doll as a shield and then as a weapon. She banged the killer in the head with it. Instead of unmasking the villain Christie loses her head and runs into forest where killer finds her and makes her lose her head once again, this time definitely.

 

The next morning, at rehearse, Stryker announces that he has found the note left for him by Christie in which she states that she is leaving mansion because this was too much to handle for her. If you think this was suspicious then what would you say for the next scene when Stryker throws that mask to Samantha, asking from her to seduce him? Does he know something? Or has the old director finally went insane in demanding perfection? I guess we are going to find out soon. As for Christie, Brook finds her head inside toilet seat. But as it is the usual case in such movies, head disappeared while she called for help. To calm herself down Brook had a sex with Stryker. Two birds with one stone. And Samantha saw them!

oh-someone-clogged-the-toilet-againOh someone clogged the toilet again

Meanwhile, killing spree continues. Laurian Summers (played by Anne Ditchburn) had danced her last dance that night. And I think we can rule out Stryker as a suspect since him and Brooke got shot while standing together and drinking. Matthew? Oh we won’t be seeing him again. He ended up the same way he lived – in a jacuzzi. Tara had put up a decent fight and almost managed to unmask the killer, but she also ended up like Christie. So we are down to Samantha and Patti. They are having conversation over glass of champagne during which Samantha confesses murder of Stryker and Brooke in pretty coldblooded manner. But the last say in this is Patti’s. To return the favor she confesses murders of other actresses while stabbing Samantha with large knife. And for all of her efforts she eventually got to play the role of Audra…in asylum! Hah poetical justice!

 

Conclusion: This movie is one of the slowest and most boring slasher movies I’ve seen in a long time. It takes a good third of the movie to get to what it’s all about: six actresses are auditioning for a role of a “lifetime” but they’re being picked off one-by-one by someone who would “kill” for the role. The mask worn by the killer is shown way too much and loses its creepy factor very early on. Though I must admit that such hideous and creepy mask deserves much better movie. There is no straight line here in Curtains; you have horrible dialogue, laughable acting and a hollow plot. The gore was nothing, the sex all-but non-exist and the less said about so called “twist” at the end – the better. Meh I could hardly have expected more from Canadians.

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