Underrated Gems: THE CURSE
The Curse (also known as The Farm) is one of those 80’s lesser seen flicks I love the same way I dig American Gothic, The Outing, The Video Dead, and I, Madman—gems with a lot of neat stuff happening that just sorta got lost in the VHS boom or easily dismissed despite some really cool ideas on a low budget. Co-produced by Lucio Fulci and directed by David ‘Firestarter, White of the Eye’ Keith (aka Jack Parkman in Major League II), The Curse is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space, and while other adaptations usually stray from the source material, this one is surprisingly a bit more faithful than one would expect.
Life on the Tennessee family farm is difficult for young Zach (Will Wheaton), hard work and numerous run ins with his bible thumping stepfather and idiot stepbrother who’s always picking on him are a daily occurrence. On top of that, his mother gets zero attention from the strict father and starts having an affair with a hairy farmhand. Things drastically change when a meteorite lands on farm during a storm, Zach and the next door neighbor/town doctor believe it's connected to strange plague-like events afflicting the crops, the farm animals, and even the family themselves as everyone and everything that ingests the water starts acting or showing signs of being ‘off’
The Curse is an interesting movie for many reasons... gooey puss infused vegetables, animals filled with maggots, a sex scene involving a guy with numerous chia pets growing on his back, deadly peckerhead chickens, secrets of the ooze that would freak out the Ninja Turtles, bible thumping Claude Akins, Will Wheaton, shitty water, rotting apples, a random EPA guy, an idiot inbred brother with a football shirt on two sizes too small, and the full transformation of people into evil Slime-drooling crazies when the fucking gates of Hell opening up during the finale of this zany 80’s movie that kinda plays like an extended Twilight Zone episode.
I wish the family meltdown would have been more prominent instead of the EPA water guy joyriding around with the shifty real estate/local town shyster, but even with its faults I can’t really complain when the ending goes off the rails just how I like it: bonkers crazy with lots of smoke and crazy lighting. This is a fun one y’all, and genre heroes Scream Factory released this on a double bill with its unrelated sequel Curse II: The Bite, which is also well worth a watch.
Definitely worth picking up for a Friday night 80’s popcorn munch fest, and if you dig those two there’s two more unrelated sequels that follow!