Superstition (1982)


aka The Witch

USA. 1982.


Director – James W. Robertson, Screenplay – Donald G. Thompson, Story – Bret Thompson Plate, Michael O. Sajbel & Brad White, Producer – Ed Carlin, Photography – Leon Blank, Music – David Gibney, Mechanical Effects – Dick Albain, Roger George & Garth Van Dam, Makeup Effects Supervisor – William Munns, Makeup Effects – Steve LaPorte & David B. Miller, Art Direction – Penny Hadfield. Production Company – Mario Kassar-Andrew Vajna


James Houghton (Reverend David Thompson), Albert Salmi (Inspector Sturgess), Larry Pennell (Reverend George Leahy), Stacy Keach Sr (Reverend Henry Maier), Lynn Carlin (Melinda Leahy), Maylo McCaslin (Sheryl Leahy), Heidi Bohay (Ann Leahy), Billy Jacoby (Justin Leahy), Jacquelyn Hyde (Elvira Sharack), Kim Marie (Mary Shire), Robert Symmonds (Reverend Andrew Pike), Joshua Cadman (Arlen Sharack)


Reverend George Leahy and his family move into the strange old Sharack house. As they settle in, mysterious things begin to occur and people start being killed. A fellow minister discovers how the witch Elondra Sharack was drowned in the lake on the property in 1692 and how her spirit now wants revenge.

It is only a relative degree of slickness in its production values – a little higher budget than many of its ilk – that stops Superstition from being a rotten film. It is nevertheless fairly bad. The plot has been constructed with evident haphazard regard and no other raison d’etre than to show gore effects every few minutes. A number of these are entertainingly absurd, although mostly on the absurd side – such as the head in the microwave and the victim who gets his legs chopped off in a window and is left still twitching on the other side, which both happen in the first few minutes; the elderly priest who is dispatched with a buzzsaw blade through the chest; or the priest who gets attacked by popping wine bottles. The appearance of the demon at the end as only a sinister-looking arm and a backlit hooded figure is fairly effective. However, the film is underdeveloped in almost every other area.

Director James W. Robertson is mostly a cinematographer, often specialising in films shot in the wilderness. He has directed four other films. The only one of these of genre note was The Legend of Alferd Packer (1980) based on the true-life story of the 19th Century cannibal.

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