I first heard about CURTAINS a long time ago, probably around 1988 or so. A friend of mine showed me a picture of the hag mask, and my interest was immediately piqued. Unfortunately at the time, my source for movies was pretty limited, so I wasn’t able to find it for rent anywhere. After a while, the film faded into the dark, cobwebby sections of my mind.
Fast forward to earlier this year. Imagine my surprise and delight when I received the press release from the fine folks at Synapse films, announcing the release of CURTAINS on Blu-ray. I can’t tell you how excited I was. Needless to say, there was some cheering involved. And thankfully, the film exceeded my expectations and then some. This is truly a horror classic that every fan of the genre should check out.
If you are not familiar with CURTAINS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Synapse Films:
John Vernon (CHAINED HEAT, National Lampoon’s ANIMAL HOUSE) and Samantha Eggar (THE BROOD, THE EXTERMINATOR)star in this horror classic from the golden age of the slasher genre. A group of women gather for a weekend casting call at the secluded mansion of director Jonathan Stryker (Vernon). He’s searching for the perfect woman to play the role of the crazed character Audra, and these women are just dying for the chance to play her! Stryker’s last star, Samantha Sherwood (Eggar), is so determined to get the part, she committed herself to an asylum to prepare for the role. Unfortunately for all, a crazed killer in a disgusting hag mask is viciously murdering everyone, one by one. Who will survive the final curtain call?
Lovingly re-mastered in 2K resolution from original vault materials virtually untouched for over 30 years, CURTAINS makes its high-definition world premiere from Synapse Films.
An interesting bit of trivia—-the opening credits in the film show the director as Jonathan Stryker…which is actually John Vernon’s character’s name. This is a fun homage to the film itself and a nice way to start the film.
CURTAINS is shot pretty well for the most part, although a couple of the camera angles had me puzzled. The production value looks fairly high (for a film from that time period), and everything looks good onscreen. The picture is nice and vivid, thanks to an exhaustive restoration effort, and the sound is crisp and clear.
The acting in CURTAINS is great as well. Both John Vernon and Samantha Eggar give excellent performances, while the rest of the cast also does a top notch job. I will not divulge the killer’s identity, but this person does a great job with the role.
And speaking of the killer, I liked the twist as to who it turned out to be. Definitely not who I expected, and I was very surprised, as I didn’t see it coming. This twist alone was enough for me to recommend the film.
There’s not many special effects to speak of; most of the killings happen off-screen. But there’s plenty of tension built up prior to each one. And the hag mask is a heck of a persona to display onscreen. Creepy and haunting, this face is one you won’t soon forget!
CURTAINS is a big win for me, and every fan of horror should check it out. It is a great addition to the slasher genre and deserves a place in every film fan’s library. Be sure and get the Blu-ray version as well. In addition to a restored picture and sound, you’ll get some nice special features that include:
* The Ultimate Nightmare: The Making Of Curtains – Retrospective
* New 5.1 Surround Remix
* Audio Commentary With Stars Lesleh Donaldson & Lynne Griffin
* Audio Interviews With Producer Peter R. Simpson And Star Samantha Eggar
* Theatrical Trailer
The film is available now, so check it out!