The Horror Honeys: W-W-Witch! There’s a witch in the pond!

W-W-Witch! There’s a witch in the pond!

Superstition (1982)

I have a bad habit of buying movies, putting them in their appropriate alphabetical places on the shelves, then promptly forgetting about them. So as I was perusing my collection for something to engage my brain, I came across Superstition. I took it out and stared at it for a good 5 minutes wondering if I had actually watched it. Nothing about it rang familiar. Once I put it in the DVD player, however, I instantly remembered why I had chosen to block it out.

An abandoned farm house, once the site of a church where a witch was condemned to death in the 1600s, is being reopened to house Reverend George Leahy and his family. Unfortunately, there have been several deaths in the house and on the property over the years, particularly in the pond (where a witch lives), and no one who has ever tried living in the house has made it out alive. Several accidents happen while the house is being prepared, but the family takes a leap of faith (see what I did there?) and move in, undaunted. Current Reverend, David Thompson (James Houghton), does his best to understand the ongoing tragedies, all the while creepily staring at Leahy’s daughters.

Law man, Inspector Sturgess (Albert Salmi), is hot to capture a local mute, Arlen, who he believes is the perpetrator behind the deaths. Arlen’s mother, Elvira, a crazy who lives right on the edge of the property, tries to convince Sturgess and Thompson that it is the witch, not her son, who is behind everything. Thompson sets out to find answers while Sturgess hangs out on the porch doing a poor interpretation of a policeman.

What I did enjoy about this movie, and believe me, there isn’t much, were the special effects. This was obviously a LOW budget film and, rather than spending that budget on people who could write or act, they focused on a few pretty cool practical effects. 

There is a severed head that explodes in a microwave. The head itself is ridiculous looking, but when it blows, it looks damn good. During a flashback to the witch “trial,” the witches face morphs and it’s pretty gross. There is a significant amount of blood in this movie, right from the first act. The other thing that was done smartly was not really showing the witch when she’s out and about on a killing spree. At most, we see a hooded figure or a clawed hand coming out of the pond. She’s handled pretty much the same way the shark in JAWS was, but that’s the only comparison I’ll make to a good movie.
I’ve never heard of any of the actors in this film with the exception of Billy Jacoby, who plays Leahy’s son, Justin. You’ll remember Billy from Bloody Birthday, Cujo and Just One of the Guys. His part is pretty short lived, if you get my meaning. 

Basically, the witch wins, but it’s fine because all of the characters are beyond insufferable and deserved their fates.

I think this is another case of having a decent foundation, but the building materials for the rest of this haunted house were all soggy sheetrock and warped 2x4s. If you weeded out a few characters and cut out some of the sub-plots, it could have been a really decent film. But I'm just the Supernatural Honey, what do I know? 

Supernatural Honey verdict:  2 incompetent clergymen out of 5.