Cathy’s Curse (1977)

Also known as CATHY’S CURSE, this movie was apparently an attempted cash-in on the popularity of horror movies featuring telekinetic and/or possessed young girls in the 1970’s, such as THE EXORCIST and CARRIE. This is one strange flick, and the copy I have has visibly aged a great deal, giving it an even creepier feel. Add in the clunky music, the weak acting, things flying around on strings, Beverly Murray’s intense eyes, and a dirty old doll without eyes, and this becomes a movie that isn’t as scary as it is surreal.

CATHY’S CURSE begins in the past; a man comes home and finds his little daughter, tells her that her mother is a bitch, and takes her to his car. They drive off, only to end up in a crash and the whole car is engulfed in flames within seconds. Flash forward to the present, as George Gimble (Alan Scarfe) moves into that same house with his wife, Vivian (Beverly Murray) and little preadolescent daughter, Cathy (Randi Allen). The opening car wreck was evidently the origins of a curse on the house that centers on young Cathy, who starts moving things around with her mind, irritating the local canines, assaulting other children, getting the senile old guy drunk, and occasionally killing dogs and people. She also uses a lot of curse words, in keeping with the whole curse theme.

This is not a movie for everyone. It is not well written nor well acted, and the special effects are weak, even for the 1970’s. It is also not a movie that aged well in terms of theme or story–younger viewers especially may have troubles finding anything captivating about this one. It does, however, have some interesting qualities; little Cathy is genuinely disturbing at times, and the setting is isolating and effective.

If you would like to see this, I would recommend trying to find it online as it is, apparently, in the public domain. I watched it as part of a 50 movie boxed set (“Chilling Classics”), and it might be available on little two- and four-movie sets for very, very cheap. As a horror movie, this is certainly not a must-see title, but it is certainly a decent viewing experience if you happen to acquire it.