‘You’ll believe it just before you die!’
Superstition is a 1982 Canadian supernatural horror feature film, also later released as The Witch. It was directed by James Robinson from a screenplay by Galen Thompson [as Donald G. Thompson], although co-story writer Michael O. Sajbel disputes how much was written by Thompson (see link to interview below).
The movie stars James Houghton (writer on Tales from the Darkside), Albert Salmi (The Coming) Lynn Carlin, Larry Pennell, Jacquelyn Hyde, Robert Symonds, Heidi Bohay, Maylo. McCaslin, Carole Goldman and Stacy Keach Sr.
Executive producers Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna went on to be Hollywood heavyweights with movies such as Angel Heart (1987), Jacob’s Ladder (1990), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) and Basic Instinct (1992).
When a family moves into a run-down New England home, one of the key features that convinces them to renovate the property is a large pond in the back garden. Little do the family know that this pond was used to execute a witch three hundred years ago, and that she has returned to seek her bloody revenge….
“Even now that it’s gotten its long deserved DVD release, it still hasn’t garnered the attention it truly deserves. I first saw the film during its initial VHS release and was fascinated by it then and even more so now considering its lingering unknown status as one of the better unsung horror movies of the last few decades. With its loyal, yet small fan base, hopefully more people will see the film and enjoy it for its creative energy on a small budget…” Cool Ass Cinema
“It’s not just the chunk-blowing slayings that make Superstition stand out from the splatter pack of the 80s, but also the above-average cinematography, well-executed special effects and creepy atmosphere Director James Roberson manages to sustain throughout. The camera prowls and lurks in the shadows, often with the hideous cackle of the witch over the soundtrack, while the ritual and mystical elements of the narrative hold it all together like a bloody tourniquet.” Robert Winter, Digital Retribution
“By turns gross, funny, and yes, even scary, they just don’t make ’em like this anymore. From the synth music to the darkened corners to the creepy glimpses we get of Elondra stalking the halls, this movie is chock full of grody, cheesy, schlocky ’80s fun.” Final Girl
In the UK, the film released on video via the VTC label and drew the interest of Manchester’s notoriously repressive police force during the ‘video nasties‘ censorship furore, although it was never successfully prosecuted.
Main cast and characters:
- James Houghton … Reverend David Thompson
- Albert Salmi … Inspector Sturgess
- Lynn Carlin … Melinda Leahy
- Larry Pennell … George Leahy
- Jacquelyn Hyde … Elvira Sharack
- Robert Symonds … Pike
- Heidi Bohay … Ann Leahy
- Maylo McCaslin … Sheryl Leahy
- Carole Goldman … Elondra
- Stacy Keach Sr. … Reverend Maier
- Kim Marie … Mary
- Billy Jayne … Justin Leahy (as Billy Jacoby)
- Johnny Doran … Charlie
- Bennett Liss … Arty
- Joshua Cadman … Arlen (as Josh Cadman)
- John Alderman … Romberg