Although I never saw Superstition before now, I have viewed bits and pieces of it because my husband, Enzo Giobbé, is one of the cinematographers who worked on the film. Enzo has a bunch of footage on videotape, showing his original lighting (the final product was printed up, making for a less-shadowy, brighter, blander look) and including some scenes that were shot with Heather Locklear (who was then just another pretty face hoping to make it as an actress).
Now, as it stands on the newly-released DVD from Anchor Bay, only a pseudonym is given DP credit ("Leon Blank") and Locklear is nowhere to be seen.
Superstition, also known as The Witch, was conceived shortly after the success of The Amityville Horror — and it shows. It's an interesting, if somewhat bland, hybrid between the religious-tinged 70s scarefests and the slasher-shocker craze of the early 80s. Although the movie is not as stylistic nor as suspenseful as theirs, obvious influences also include the more memorable murder set pieces of Italian gore-masters Mario Bava and Dario Argento (furthermore, the synthy score seems Goblin-siphoned).
Superstition starts out with a sequence showing a teenage prank gone horribly wrong in an old, reputedly haunted house: in death scenes that have since gained cult classic status, one boy is halved by a sliding glass window, and another's head winds up exploding in a microwave oven. The credits roll, then the story rolls along by showing the long-ago execution of an evil sorceress at the hands of an angry mob led by a fanatical priest. But the old crone has some life in her yet.
Flash forward another 200 or so years when the blessed cross that was implemented in her death is dredged from the pond where she was drowned… and the witch is back (with a vengeance, of course) ready to smite the priest and volunteers who've come to renovate her house and turn it into a church (or something like that… Superstition is short on sense, but long on splatter).
Pretty much everyone dies in this flick, and we care about none of them (not even the 10-year-olds who fall prey to the hooded hag). They are simply there to slake an audience's blood thirst, but if you're in the mood for a low-budget 80s curio with pretty good practical effects and inventive death scenes, Superstition is worth sitting a spell.
= = =Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson