The Curse (1987)

The Curse

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The Curse is a 1987 film based on good ole horror master HP Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space. One night a mysterious, glowing meteor lands on the clearly financially suffering Hayes family farm.

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Of course, the first thing that happens, is someone decides to touch it. Oi.

Their neighbor, Dr. Forbes, can’t explain what the object is, or why the strange orb seems to have inexplicably shrunk overnight. Lucky for him he doesn’t have too spend much time worrying about coming up with an explanation, as the next night the strange object melts and oozes into the ground below.

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Do you think gelatinous space astro-groo is covered by insurance?

Suddenly the Hayes farm is sprouting large, luscious looking fruits and veggies like crazy. Patriarch Nathan Hayes, a devoutly religious man, thinks this is a sign from God. But unfortunately, he soon finds that his good fortune only runs skin deep.

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You see, despite the lovely glowing exterior, none of the food they’re growing ends up being in any way edible, either due to being infested with bugs, or because it’s oozing some sort of brownish-green, foul smelling substance.

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Ah, what a beautiful head of lettuce…

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Or not…

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Lady, there’s no dishrag in the world that’ll save that cutting board.

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I know what you’re thinking reaching for that tomato. I would advise against it….

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Oh, God! She nicked a vein!

And the plants aren’t the only thing on the farm suffering. Pretty soon the animals start acting strangely too, even going so far as to attack other members of the household.

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Rise up my feathered brothers! We shall be main courses no longer!

The only person who seems to have some idea of what’s really going on is young Zach, who was present both when the meteor struck and when the thing melted and seeped into the ground. Judging by the new peculiar taste of the water, which oddly doesn’t seem to bother any of the adults in the household, Zach deduces that the water supply has been contaminated in some way and goes to great lengths (or at least great lengths for a 13-year-old anyway,) to keep himself and his younger sister from consuming the questionable liquid.

Meanwhile the other members of the household quickly begin to show troubling signs of contamination too, starting with bumps on the face that swiftly turn into lesions, which then quickly morph into something much, much worse.

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And thus is the point in the film where people start loosing their minds.

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And their looks…. and any form of common sense.

This is the type of movie where as each new character is introduced you can immediately point at the screen and go, “Yes, that one’s not making it to the end of the film.” The adults in this tale are either too submissive, too greedy, or to fundamentally suborn to ask for help when things start going downhill, and woven into the Lovecraftian tale is a message about the dangers of too much greed and bible thumping, to the point where the film is just one or two lines away from being outright blatant about it’s message.

Apart from the fundamentalist farmer, the film also has a couple other obvious stereotypes, including the unscrupulous realtor, who’s only interest is in how much money he can make from buying and selling the Hayes farm to the TVA, to Nathan’s son Cyrus, the quintessential backwards hick/bully, complete with cut-off jersey that you’re forced to look at for the entirety of the film, because apparently the boy doesn’t own any other outfit.

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Belts: A small blessing.

One of the things this movie has going for it is the effects. As the curse starts spreading and the people infected start getting worse and worse, you’ll likely become both interested and a little wary about seeing just how much worse they’ve gotten since the last scene. Kind of like when you watch the remake of The Fly. As much as you want to know what Goldblum is going to look like you also know you’re going to be creeped the hell out by the results. What’s left? Could it possibly get any worse?

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Of course the answer is yes, things can always get worse.

I was surprised how much I liked The Curse. It’s a bit of a slow burn as you watch the effects of the curse slowly, yet methodically take over the farm bit by bit, but I enjoy those kinds of films, so I didn’t feel like it was too much of a slog. It’s also the type of film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and the film loudly wears it’s “1980’s B-Horror movie” as a badge of honor. I can appreciate that.

My only complaint is how perpetually in denial everyone seems to be. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d think anyone with even a drop of common sense would go to the doctor once they started getting open sores on their face, or when one of their cows suddenly explodes in front of them. It’s a sad state of affairs when the wisest among us is the 13-year-old Wil Wheaton.

Unintended moral of the story: Never trust a realtor in a pastel suit, wearing a straw hat and smoking a cigar. Especially if he mentions anything about doing you a favor. That man is lying out his paisley, straw hat wearing ass.

The Curse is available on a variety of streaming services.

The Curse is also available on DVD.

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Michi

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