Superstition - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Superstition


    [​IMG]
    Movie: :3.5stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :3.5stars:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    The 1982 film Superstition (originally titled The Witch) is a simple genre film that does quite a good job at creating horror and gore that works without needing much backstory. I’m a self admitted lover of 1980s horror films, so I was incredibly excited to view Superstition, as it was a film I hadn’t seen in at LEAST 20 year years (VHS was the last format I saw it on). Upon watching it again on Blu-ray I’m rather enthused about how good it looks, as well as shocked at how SIMPLE the entire thing is. Superstition seems to focus on simplicity of motives, and simplicity of outcome, and instead of getting hung up on some mumbo jumbo backlog of story, it instead focuses on the gore and guts of the process (quite literally as well as figuratively) and just has fun with the idea of a killer witch on the loose. There’s some odd directional choices at times, and some of the characters aren’t that well fleshed out, but the ooey gooey nature of the whole bloody affair is a lot of fun to watch.

    Reverend Thompson (James Houghton) has been brought into a small town to help renovate an abandoned bit of church property for another pastor and his family who is temporarily in need of shelter. The old abandoned bit of property hasn’t been well taken care of, and supposedly is “haunted” by the ghost of an old witch (although nobody REALLY believes that). Even though Reverend Thompson isn’t a believer of fairy tales, he IS aware that several deaths have occurred on the property due to trespassing teenagers who make the old place a make out spot, and it’s high time the place was purged of ner do wells and restored to its former glory.

    Digging into the job, Revered Thompson and the rest of the church leadership get the place spic and span, but not before a freak accident takes the life of Father Maier (Stacy Keach Sr.) in a bizarre and gruesome manner (in one of the most hilarious scenes of the whole movie). Old groundskeeper and housekeeper, Elvira (yeah, I kid you not at that name), still takes residence on the property, and mumbles gibberish about an ancient evil, a curse, and words of doom and gloom that seems to permeate the old place. Tossed aside and ignored, Elvira’s words become truth when the new family begins to experience weird happenings in the house, and one by one the family members being to disappear.
    [​IMG]
    Superstition is a simple film really. We’re introduced to the horror of the evil witch early on in the film, and forced to watch as she slowly picks off the intruders one by one in extremely gory fashion. Past that there’s not a whole lot of plot to the film, nor are many of the characters really fleshed out in any meaningful way. However, this is kind of the purpose of the film, though, and the movie gets it’s jollies with the copious amount of blood and gore that goes on during the 85 minute run time, and in that it succeeds in spades. The film is ridiculously gory, even by 1980s standards, with fountains of blood, intestines, spikes through the head and many other gruesome means of death and violence. I did get a good chuckle at the special effects, though. You can actually see when it switches to dolls and mannequins for some of the more gruesome kills, and it’s kind of chuckle worthy to see a spike being driven though a mannequin’s head (you actually see a bit of the plastic chip off in one scene). The witch is limited to an arm and single scene where she floats down the stairs, otherwise most of the scares happen just off screen, with only the gory moments where he magic takes control of other objects to garner her murders (I’m guessing due to budget restraints).

    The film is a bit odd at times, with a seriousness that ignores the hokey nature of the whole thing. The whole time that people are trying to build this house up, there are copious amounts of weirdos hanging around. Elvira is literally nuts, a young girl named Mary shows up to help (who is definitely more than she seems), and crazy mutes running rampant, and uninvestigated murders hanging over their heads, yet no one seems too put out about all the crazies. If it wasn’t such a gory mess, the plot itself would unintentionally hilarious, and at times it can be a bit hilarious. Still, the film is a gas from start to finish and the over the top gore helps make up for some of the narratives shortcomings.




    Rating:

    Not Rated by the MPAA




    Video: :4stars:
    [​IMG] Scream Factory has proudly announced that
    Superstition has gotten a brand new scan from the source elements, and the film really does look fantastic with this new transfer. The film at many times looks like it was shot yesterday, with a distinctly organic grain texture to the presentation (although there are some scenes that get grainier than others), and only a few minor speckles and flecks on the transfer to show that it has aged at all. Colors are bright and vivid, with blood actually looking like blood (or at least what we perceive as blood in film) instead of that bright orange stuff prevalent in the 70s and 80s, and the nasty gore scenes are appropriately detailed. there’s a few moments where a scene goes green for a second, or something looks a bit faded, but all in all this new transfer breathes life into a low budget film over 37 years old.








    Audio: :4stars:
    [​IMG] Like the movie itself, the 2.0 DTS-HD MA encoded Mono track is simple and concise. There’s not a whole lot of activity outside of the score and the screaming, but vocals are transposed onto the track cleanly, and the score itself is nice and punchy. The ambiance shows off some creaks and groans, while there’s a mild amount of baked in LFE (such as when the witch is tossed into the river, or the smashing of a wooden wall). It’s a solid track, and while it’s not going to compete with modern ones, is clean, clear and free of distortion.







    Extras: :3.5stars:
    [​IMG] • Lake of Fire
    • That Crazy Witchcraft
    • TV Spot
    • Theatrical Trailer







    Final Score: :3.5stars:

    Superstition is a goofy little 80s horror film that has long been forgotten by most people. However it’s a hoot and half to watch again and actually holds up quite well. The weirdness of some of the characters aside, the film is gory, full of nasty surprises and has just enough presence of mind to wink and nod at the camera and not take itself too seriously. The Scream Factory master for the film is quite pleasing to look at as well, and the audio is no slouch either. Extras are pretty substantial and overall this is a great pickup for anyone who loves old 80s gore fests.




    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: James Houghton, Stacy Keach Sr., Albert Salmi, Lynn Carlin, Larry Pennell, Jacquelyn Hyde, Robert Symonds, Heidi Bohay, Maylo McCaslin
    Directed by: James W. Roberson
    Written by: Galen Thompson, Michael O. Sajbel, Brad White, Bret Thompson Plate
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
    Subtitles: English SDH,
    Studio: Scream Factory
    Rated: NR
    Runtime: 85 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: April 16th, 2019






    Recommendation: Fun Watch

     
  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the review. Never heard of this one so will check it out. :)
     
  3. Asere

    Asere AV Addict

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    Alright, this one is right up my alley. I will watch this one. Thanks for the review!
     
    Michael Scott likes this.

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