Monday, March 4, 2013

Curtains: 30 Years of Casting Audra

Curtains. They are an interesting item as far as home decor goes. You can open them to let in the light and warm things up or close them to keep things dark and cool. You can use them to keep out wandering eyes or use them to show the outside world just a little bit of what it's like on the inside. However, curtains can also be more menacing than they mean to be. As much as they are about privacy, they are also used to hide. They cover things up. They keep secrets. Though, sometimes, being on the inside of the curtains isn't always the safest place to be... At least not in the 1983 cult horror film, Curtains.

Curtains is a film about a group of six women auditioning for a movie. Not only are these women auditioning for the same film, but they are all trying to get the same part; Audra. To make things a bit creepy, the casting call is being held at a mansion in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, there is a masked killer that goes after the wannabe leading ladies one by one. It sounds simple enough. 

The film starts out with a woman, Samantha, auditioning for the role. She is doing a great job, but the director, Johnathan Stryker, has some criticisms for the young actress that put her in a mental institution. Don't worry, she hasn't gone mad... she just wants to do some research for the role of Audra and does a little method acting so that other patients think she really is mentally ill. While Samantha is locked away she discovers that Stryker is auditioning a group of girls for Audra. Samantha freaks out and goes out on a killing spree targeting that ladies trying to get the role of Audra.

This film isn't the best horror movie ever to hit the screen. It has a cheesy story line and the director, Stryker played by John Vernon,  is probably the most noteworthy actor in the bunch. However, what makes this a cult film has nothing to do with these things. More so, it has to do with the kill scenes. Most notably, the scene where one of the actresses is ice skating on a lake and the masked killer comes after her. This was the first time a kill scene was filmed on the ice and not because some kid went after his ball and slipped through the broken ice. This was pure icecapdes murder realness! (That last sentence is a testament to my ever growing RuPaul's Drag Race addiction, FYI.) There are a bunch of other crazy murder scenes. Some involve a doll, a vent, a head in a toilet, and there are almost always curtains with someone behind them watching.

I think this is a film to check out, at least once, even if it is just to check out the kill scenes.

To end this post I would like to share some random facts I learned about this film.

1. This film has several references to the production of this very film itself.

2. The real director, Richard Ciupka is not credited for the film as the director. The fictional character Johnathan Stryker is.

3. Stryker is played by John Vernon who has also been in Dirty Harry and Animal House. "Double Secret Probation!"

4. The film was originally in it's beginning of production in 1980, but got shelved for a year for multiple re-writes, re-shoots, and even one re-casting.

5. The credits at the end of the film are brought on by the closing of curtains and are listed by acts to continue the ongoing theme of scripts and acting.

6. A band named Morticia wrote a song called "Audra" and they lyrics are about the film. It's a metal band, so you can't understand a damn word the band is saying, but it's cute when you read the lyrics. Also, the intro to the song is a sound clip from Curtains. 

Audra Lyrics

Betrayal, left to die, lust for blood
Casting call for Audra, six summoned
Desolate, eerily dark estate

Jealousy for the part, seals their fate
Masked killer, morbid rage, waits for them
Murdering one by one till there's none
Hideous horrid face, takes your life

Slits your throat, spilling blood on the ice

Hatred, all must die
Icepick in the spine
Darkened rooms of death
Sound of morbid breath

Psychotic killer comes, mask of death
Hunts for you, shining blade, blood is fresh
Mutilated corpses lie in the snow
All are dead, Audra lives, curtains close

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this post and Happy 30th, Curtains!

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