The Curse of the Screaming Dead is a 1982 American horror feature film directed by Tony Malanowski from a screenplay written by Lon Huber. It was picked up for distribution in 1987 by Troma Entertainment and retitled Curse of the Cannibal Confederates.
The film follows six young friends who unwillingly raise the undead corpses of Confederate soldiers, resulting in what the video box promises as a “a finger-licking good fright film“.
The Little Warsaw Productions movie is a remake, of sorts. It’s based on a 1981 movie that director Tony Malanowski had collaborated with “star” Steve “The Sandman” Sankuhler, known as Night of Horror. The former feature was also about dead Confederate soldiers tormenting a bunch of dirty hippies in a Winnebago.
In his book, All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger, Troma CEO Lloyd Kaufman lists Curse of the Cannibal Confederates as among the five worst films in Troma’s library (and considering Troma‘s releases, that’s baaaaaad). Amongst the films more notable flaws is the lack of a single Confederate uniform.
“There’s amazingly not one aspect worth mentioning here. Every terribly edited scene drags like an old mule with a bump leg while bland characters inaudibly blather in piss poor lighting. A few laughably dressed zombies bathed in flour rise in near pitch blackness and meekly attack while you ponder the benefits of doing laundry instead.” Basement of Ghoulish Decadence
“Curse is the movie every young horror fan aspires to shoot when they walk through an old graveyard in the woods. Except that it contains bad acting, bad effects and no scares or humor. Aside from that, it’s pretty good […] Charlie Barnett’s original score is decent.” Horrorview
“The dialogue is howlingly bad at times, the acting is terrible (it’s one of those movies where the actors try to express great emotion by hanging their mouth open and getting a vacant expression in their eyes), the music is annoyingly bad (especially during the zombie attack scenes), and all the human characters become so unlikeable during the length of the movie that you’ll be quite surprised that the script allowed any of them to survive.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“For all this talk of limitations, Curse really springs to life when the living dead attack. The zombie make-ups and mask designs are almost Fulci-esque at times, and the scene where the ghouls rip yards of intestine from the abdomen of a policeman is wonderfully gruesome and convincing…” Steve Thrower, Nightmare USA
“Aside from the little merit in the gut-crunching, I am hard pressed to think of anything else notable about Curse of the Cannibal Confederates. It is truly the absolute pits in almost every aspect that you find in films. And don’t get me wrong – this isn’t the kind of awfulness that’s funny – it’s so bad as to be almost unwatchable.” The Unknown Movies
“Much of Curse of the Cannibal Confederates in indefensible. The acting is amateurish at best, the editing sucks, the lighting is too dark, and the music will put you to sleep […] Having said that, the flick does offer two or three excellent gut-munching scenes and the exploding head gags are hilarious.” The Video Vacuum
Cast and characters:
- Steve Sandkuhler … Wyatt
- Christopher Gummer … Mel
- Rebecca Bach … Sarah
- Judy Dixon … Lin
- Jim Ball … Bill
- Bumb Roberts … Deputy Franklin
- Mark Redfield … Captain Matthew Mahler
- Richard Ruxton … Police Captain Hal Fritz
- Mimi Ishikawa … Blind Kiyomi
- Eric Supensky … Zombie
- 91 minutes
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33 : 1
Director Tony Malanowski went on to be an editor for low budget movies such as Tales of Frankenstein; Dismembered; Mutant Species, Night Trap and Nightmare Sisters.
Image credits: Basement of Ghoulish Decadence