‘You’ll believe it just before you die!’
Superstition aka The Witch is a 1982 Canadian supernatural horror feature film 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.
The movie stars James Houghton (a writer on Tales from the Darkside), Albert Salmi, 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).
On April 16, 2019, Superstition is released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory with the following features:
New 2K scan from the original film elements
New That Crazy Witchcraft -an interview with director James Roberson
New Lake of Fire – an interview with actor James Houghton
1080p High-Definition Widescreen 1.85:1
DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
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.” Digital Retribution
“It’s all very rote, redundant and ridiculously dry. The Canadian production boasts roundabout plot machinations, stodgy acting performances, and very little in way of mood, pacing or style. The small handful of random deaths which occur in the flick’s first hour are not nearly tantalizing enough to keep the yawns at bay — and by the time the movie wheezes to its body-count finale, you’ll be way too sleepy to even care who survives.” DVD Talk
“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
“Superstition lurches from one inconsistency to another with little regard for anything so boring as logic. It is a cheapskate production without an original thought in its head, but there’s more than enough gory goodies and cheap jump-frights to keep all but the most sober viewer entertained. It is also blessed with a derivative, but highly evocative score – all Omen-esque and Cathedral caterwauling.” Hysteria Lives!
“A swollen bodycount, a handful of feisty gore moments, and an utter disregard for plotting highlight this otherwise uninvolving bore, which culminates in lots of screaming and blood. There’s some inventive deaths, which will surely delight genre fans, but the haphazard pacing and lame acting are too much to ignore.” The Terror Trap
“A competent rollercoaster ride of revoltingness but little else.” Anne Billson, The Time Out Film Guide
“We get an exploding head in the microwave, a body cut in half, a power saw to the chest, and a priest getting squashed. If you’re the type of person that will watch a horror movie just for the gore, you may enjoy Superstition. If you’re more concerned about stuff like “plot”, “characters”, “atmosphere”, “mood”, “pacing”, “surprises”, and “entertainment”; you might be a tad disappointed.” The Video Vacuum
“The film has loads of atmosphere, and is very creepy […] The gore is handled very well, and most of the killings are very gruesome. The flashback scenes pertaining to the witch, and her demise, give the film a Hammer feeling, or something that Paul Naschy would have made. If you are fan of the genre, and haven’t seen Superstition, maybe you aren’t such a big fan?” Vitamin Burger
In the UK, the film was released on VHS via the VTC label and drew the malign interest of Manchester’s notoriously repressive police force during the video nasties censorship moral panic, although it was never prosecuted.
Main cast and characters:
James Houghton … Reverend David Thompson
Albert Salmi … Inspector Sturgess – The Coming
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
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