I’ve been very excited about Synapse’s release of “Curtains” for a long time and the reason being that there is something really cool to me about plucking a movie from complete obscurity and giving it not only a high-quality blu-ray release, but also a much better home video release, than many much more famous movies have had.
“Curtains” is an early 80’s Canadian slasher that follows a group of women who travel to a lunatic director’s house to audition for a highly coveted role in his upcoming film. One of the actresses wants the part so much she begins to kill the rest of the women for it.
After finally getting to watch this movie it isn’t incredibly hard to imagine why this one slipped through the cracks and was never given a decent VHS or DVD release, but at the same time it's also very easy understand why Synapse chose to give it such a great blu-ray release now. Apparently the director was fired and the film was subjected to extensive reshoots, which in some ways make “Curtains” a giant mess. For instance there are quite a few narrative and continuity erros, my personal favorite being when one of the characters falls out the second story window of a house and then magically falls into the first story window (which had originally been intended to be a snowmobile crash).
While “Curtains” isn’t particularly unique in any way, I still really enjoyed this film, and even more than I expected to. In some ways this is a very typical slasher movie, although it is still appears to carry with it an interesting satirization (or probably more likely, an unintentional parody) of the movie making process. Also nearly every scene of the movie is filled with some kind of unintentional weirdness that wasn’t uncommon in low-budget films of that era, and continues to make them appealing to look back on today. Despite all the flubs and the parts that don’t quite fit together, there is a lot to like. "Curtains" is the type of movie that makes me nostalgic for the times I spent hours rifling through stacks of gigantic clamshell VHS’s, and discovering incredibly ridiculous movies to share with my friends like “Nail Gun Massacre,” “The Pit," and so on. I imagine anyone who grew up watching low-budget horror movies in the 80’s, or found these kinds of films later on like I did, will really enjoy this release.
Special features: This blul-ray contains gobs of special features including a mini-featurette that is mostly about the first director, which was made at the time the movie was being filmed, an audio interview with an angry producer, a half-hour series of modern interviews that were made specifically for this release, and an audio commentary with two of the actresses who were in the film. Altogether these extras are as equally interesting or even more interesting than the movie itself, as people who were angry about the way the film turned out at the time still seem bitter about it, and the actresses who appear on the special features seem equally confused and excited that people are still interested in "Curtains" today, one even laments that she wishes that she'd have made more horror movies instead of focusing on Shakespearian plays.
Bottom line: The “Curtains” blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic, and I believe the quality of the release has turned a mostly forgotten film into a cult classic. This is a really great movie for people who are fans of low-budget horror movies from the 80’s. I found my copy on Amazon Prime for about $15 which I think is a really fair price. My only complaint would be that the blu-ray didn’t come with a DVD copy also, although this probably does make watching it a little less expensive for people who would be perfectly happy with just a DVD.