Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Curse of the Headless Horseman (1972)

Opinion being what it is, cinefiles will never agree on which movie deserves the title “Worst Film Ever Made,” or even the title “Worst Picture of the ’70s.” Nonetheless, Curse of the Headless Horseman would be a fierce competitor in either contest. Cheap, grubby, incoherent, and stupid, this unwatchable horror flick blends amateur theater, half-assed FX, insipid hippies, and weird sexual encounters into a nonsensical stew of poorly exposed and frequently out-of-focus images. The movie has several different main storylines, but it’s not as if the filmmakers strove to generate a multi-threaded narrative; rather, one gets the feeling that they either made up new scenes during production or simply shot every idea they had without bothering to reconcile how different elements related to each other. Mark (Marland Proctor) and his girlfriend, Brenda (Claudia Reame), venture to an old ranch that Mark has inherited, because the terms of a bequest require that Mark transform the ranch into a viable business. Mark tries to open a resort (or a hotel or something), but every night, a headless horseman shows up to either splatter someone with blood or kill someone. Exhibiting the sort of illogical behavior that’s typical of characters in bargain-basement horror flicks, Mark stays put instead of fleeing, thereby ensuring a steady supply of victims as the headless horseman continues his/its supernatural search for a group of gunfighters from the past. Whatever. If anything makes sense in this movie, it’s accidental. The acting is as wretched as the storytelling, the kill scenes lack any discernible excitement, and the soundtrack is filled with screechy noises. Furthermore, once the filmmakers start assaulting viewers’ eyes by tinting different shots with random colors, it’s clear that pure desperation has taken root, even though every effort the filmmakers make to generate stimulation utterly fails. Make your own jokes about how the people behind Curse of the Headless Horseman could have solved their problems by using their heads.

Curse of the Headless Horseman: SQUARE

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