CURSE OF THE BLACK WIDOW (1977) Reviews and overview

New! Visitor ratings! Click on a star to indicate your rating of this movie!

Curse of the Black Widow is a 1977 American made-for-television horror feature film directed by Dan Curtis (Burnt Offerings; Dark Shadows; The Norliss Tapes; Trilogy of Terror) from a screenplay written by Earl Wallace and Robert Blees (Doctor Phibes Rises Again; Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?; Frogs). The telefilm originally aired on ABC on September 16, 1977.

The movie stars Anthony Franciosa (Julie DarlingTenebrae; Web of the Spider), Donna Mills, Patty Duke, Vic Morrow and June Lockhart.


For the past four years, Los Angeles has been terrorised by a series of mysterious murders, in which several men have been found dead with huge puncture wounds in their chests. The latest happens when private detective Mark Higbie (Tony Franciosa) is visiting a bar. A dark-haired woman with a German accent needs help with her car, and one of Higbie’s friends goes out to help her. The woman makes a pass at him but is turned down. Minutes later, the man is found dead.

Higbie does some digging and finds out that Lieutenant Conti (Vic Morrow), who is leading the investigation, knows who the culprit is but is covering up details. He soon finds out why–all of the victims have had their bodily fluids sucked out of them, and the wounds are filled with spider venom…


“This has the feel of an extended episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker with a few modifications to accommodate a different set of characters. I don’t mind that in the least; for the most part, the movie is lively and entertaining, and there’s quite a few familiar names in the cast…” Fantastic Movie Movies and Ramblings

“C’mon you know you can’t resist this! It’s like someone mashed up that giant spider episode of Gilligan’s Island with Kolchak and then forced some Love Boat stragglers to perform in it! Curse in no way Curtis‘ finest hour but if you are a fan of seventies television and laughable giant monsters it may be yours.” Kindertrauma

“A stumbling narrative drags out what is actually a fairly slight story with far too many time-outs for pointless walks on the beach, drinks over disco or in one instance a scene designed solely for Curtis to show-off his cute little daughter Tracy Curtis’ prowess as a child gymnast. Despite Curtis’ customary solid production values this is less atmospheric than many scary Seventies TV films.” The Spinning Image

Cast and characters:

  • Anthony Franciosa as Mark Higbie
  • Vic Morrow as Lt. Conti
  • Donna Mills as Leigh Lockwood
  • Patty Duke as Laura Lockwood/Valerie Steffan
  • June Lockhart as Mrs. Lockwood
  • June Allyson as Olga
  • Sid Caesar as Lazlo Cozart
  • Jeff Corey as Aspa Soldado
  • Max Gail as Ragsdale
  • Roz Kelly as Flaps
  • Michael DeLano as Carlo Lenzi
  • Robert Burton as Jeff Wallace
  • Bryan O’Byrne as Oakes, zoo watchman
  • Tracy Curtis as gymnast
  • Irene Cagen as Rita (credited as Irene Forest)
  • Bruce French as Summers, hospital administrator
  • Mari Gorman as Sophie
  • Elizabeth Grey as Charlene
  • H.B. Haggerty as Marion ‘Popeye’ Sykes
  • Crofton Hardester as Gianni
  • Howard Honig as Harker
  • Rosanna Locke as Jennifer
  • Robert Nadder as Hank, morgue attendant

Buy The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis: |