Movie Review: Superstition (1982)

Drowned Witch Comes Back And Does Lots Of Killin

April 25 2008 Categorized Under: Movie Reviews 4 Commented

Superstition (1982)
Director: James W. Roberson
Starring: James Houghton, Albert Salmi, Lynn Carlin, Larry Pennell, Jacquelyn Hyde, Stacy Keach Sr., Robert Symonds, Heidi Bohay, Maylo McCaslin, Carole Goldman, Kim Marie

(out of 4)

Head In Microwave

WARNING: Some spoilers ahead.

Superstition is a Canadian flick (I think) from 1982, but I would swear it was directed by somebody like Umberto Lenzi or Lamberto Bava. It plays like an alternate universe version of Argento’s Suspiria, if it was directed by somebody like Lucio Fulci. In other words, it’s just plain bad, but gory enough and silly enough to keep one interested. There are no real characters in this movie, just meat for the grinder. Basically, Superstition is a succession of kills strung together to a funny prog soundtrack (by David Gibney, doing his best Goblin impersonation). It’s also partly produced by Kassar and Vajna – how the hell did they get involved in this?

Some of the kills are gory (spinning blade through the torso), some disturbing (spike through a girl’s forehead), some stupid (guy cut in half by a window pane – how the hell does that happen?), some funny (exploding head in microwave) and some downright boring (hanging, body thrown around room). But there certainly are a lot of them.

Spike in Head from Superstition (1982)

So who’s causing all this commotion? Well it turns out that many years ago, a witch was sentenced to drowning, and in order to keep her in the lake, a special cross was tossed in to make sure she keeps out of trouble. Folks, it didn’t work. The priest who sentenced her to a watery grave gives no good reason why she isn’t just burned. I guess his heart wasn’t in it? As soon as she hits the water the village burns down. Bad sign #1. Soon the poor priest finds himself crushed to death. Bad sign #2. That cross must obviously be defective.

It’s years later, and the witch is still at it – killing anybody who comes near the lake, and the old house in front of it. I think the creators of this movie wanted an Amityville vibe, but there isn’t much time to build up a mood in that regard, with all the slaughtering going on. What we do get is a clueless reverend named David Thompson, a cowardly dad, a few babes, a kid, a priest, a strange old lady and her retarded son, an incompetent detective (played by Albert Salmi, who in real life would later die with his wife in a murder/suicide), and a girl who may or may not be a ghost. The priest is killed early on by a spinning circular saw blade, which flies across the room at him. The fact that it is still spinning under some ghostly power as it burrows through his chest seems to be of no importance to those who witnessed it. Rev. David Thompson says he’s shaken up, but otherwise reacts as if he just witnessed a minor rear end collision. The rest of the running time is filled with people running back and forth in full panic mode, but for some reason failing to run in the one direction that might save them, namely out the front door.

Ghostly Witch from Superstition (1982)

Spoiler: everybody dies in Superstition. Well, why shouldn’t they? They have created a monster (not shown, by the way, except for monster hands with claws) that has pretty much been established as invincible. You gotta wonder about movies like this where Satan can do whatever he wants. Crosses don’t work (well, one cross sort-of-works) ,priests are useless. Hey, God! We could use a little more help down here! After a while, one wonders if they should just drain the pond, bulldoze the place and put up condos or something. Maybe the witch will want to be superintendent.

- Bill Gordon

Bad Day at Sunday School Superstition - Middle Ages?

4 Responses to “Movie Review: Superstition (1982)”

  1. The acting for this movie was pretty wretched, but at least it has over the top kills.

  2. Brian says:

    This movie rocks big time! Really true old horror classic. When it was released, it scared the shit out of me.

  3. Nikki says:

    I actually LIKED this movie. I just love old school gore, and believe it or not, I’ve actually seen a lot worse acting! I love making a pallet on the floor with the kids on a Saturday afternoon and popping in something creepy like this. Not scary enough to totally freak the kids out, but just enough blood & guts to make it worth watching! ;) Cut “Superstition” some slack. It wasn’t ALL bad, and the old school gore is actually very refreshing in the days of “SAW” 15 and the like.

  4. Robert the Wallace says:

    Saw this back in the late 80′s–really, truly enjoyed the Hell out of this little gem; actually wanted to purchase it, however didn’t have the $95 for it { now on Amazon, I see it listed new ( DVD ) for $280, go figure }.
    Anyway, it spooked me alright, and really Loved the FX kills; I liked Albert Salmi, he was pretty good, the rest of the cast were fair. . .some cheesy spots but overall one of my favorites. Want to get the best DVD of this but have heard some copies are ‘ cut ‘; anyone know where an ‘ uncut ‘ or ‘ unrated ‘ DVD can be purchased? ? Thanks!

Leave a Reply