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Curtains (1983)

 -  Crime | Horror | Thriller  -  4 March 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,204 users  
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Six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion are targeted by a mysterious masked murderer.


(as Jonathan Stryker)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Stryker
Samantha Sherwood
Brooke Parsons
Anne Ditchburn ...
Laurian Summers
Patti O'Connor
Sandee Currie ...
Tara DeMillo (as Sandra Warren)
Christie Burns
Deborah Burgess ...
Amanda Teuther
Joann McIntyre ...
Calvin Butler ...
Dr. Pendleton
Booth Savage ...
Amanda's Boyfriend


Samantha Sherwood has worked with the well-known director Jonathan Stryker on all his major films. She naturally assumes she has been given the title role in his latest venture, "Audra". He tells her that she nn needs to do some background research on the part, so arranges to have her committed to an asylum (as Audra is a former psychiatric patient). She goes along with this, not realising that he intends to leave her there indefinitely and audition six young women of various professions for the part instead. She finally manages to escape, and returns to the spooky old mansion where the auditions are taking place. But who is causing the disappearances of the young hopefuls?? Is it Samantha? Stryker? Or is one of the actresses willing to kill for the coveted part?? Just who is the killer behind the old-hag mask??? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Stage is Set for the Final Act See more »


Crime | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cortinas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 3,700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Céline Lomez was originally cast in the role of Brooke Parsons. However she was replaced by Linda Thorson after a brief time on the production. For years afterward there were rumors that Lomez was replaced because she refused to do a nude scene, however producer Peter R. Simpson said in an interview with that Lomez was really replaced because they weren't impressed by Lomez's acting skills. The issue of nudity had no part in the decision. See more »


When Stryker and Sherwood see Dr. Pendleton at the beginning of the movie, a microphone is clearly visible above them for several seconds after they sit down. See more »


Jonathan Stryker: What makes you think you're right for Audra?
Patti O'Connor: I'm as right as anybody else you've got here... I mean GOD DAMMIT, you haven't spent five minutes with me and now you're telling me I'm wrong for the part. WHY? Because I haven't got a staple to my navel like that centerfold, because I wouldn't pirouette into bed with you and skate on your face? I mean, what the hell are you looking for anyway and what do you want from me? I mean, who the fuck is Audra anyway?... Are you enjoying yourself?
Jonathan Stryker: I'm ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are divided into acts like a play, due to the movie being centered around acting and scripts. See more »


Save my Soul
Courtesy of Burton Cummings & Shillelagh Music Co.
See more »

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User Reviews

Oh the Drama!
6 August 2010 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Curtains is an underrated Canadian flick directed by Richard Ciupka. Ciupka's name isn't plastered on horror memorabilia to purchase wholesale but a resurgence of interest for Curtains has grown increasingly over the years. You won't find Richard's name during the film's opening credits - in the place of director you'll see the name Jonathan Stryker, a character within the story. This was done to avoid putting Ciupka's name on the film…for what reason I do not know. Part of the team that helped create Curtains is UK-born producer Peter Simpson of Prom Night 1 & 2 fame and the classically trained Canadian pianist and composer Paul Zaza; praised within the community as the man responsible for scoring Prom Night 1-4 and 1981's My Bloody Valentine. This talented team was met with difficulty, however, as the film saw 3 years worth of re-shoots and re-casting after filming began in 1980. As a result of so many set-backs, Curtains was finally released in March of 1983.

The story opens with two characters: famous method actress Samantha Sherwood and well known director Jonathan Stryker. As a powerhouse couple, Stryker creates a film called Audra about an unstable woman with a vindictive personality towards men. His intentions are to cast his lover, Sherwood, as the lead role but after seeing her mock performance he proposes the idea of performing background research in a mental institution. After a violent but believable performance the two convince the staff at the institution to commit Samantha; allowing her full access to the grounds and to personally witness the mental deficiencies of the patients. Meanwhile Stryker holds an audition for the role of Audra without Samantha knowing - extending the offer to a small group of girls to audition at his mansion. Angered immensely, Samantha escapes from the asylum and confronts Jonathan at his home; joining the troupe of actresses that are all competing for the same role. In addition, a young actress who was sent an invitation did not arrive but was murdered instead. Six women, along with Stryker, must live in a tense household over the course of a few days while strange events plague the atmosphere.

Actor John Vernon portrays the character of Jonathan Stryker in this suspenseful tale. His resume is filled to the brim with 50 years worth of television appearances and film roles - two of which that I can recall is an episode of Tales from the Crypt in 1992 and the 1976 western starring Clint Eastwood, The Outlaw Josey Wales. Samantha Eggar also plays a role in this film guessed it...Samantha Sherwood. I drew a connection to her after her appearance in David Cronenberg's horror classic The Brood. Without debate the strong suit of Curtains lies in this decision; casting the two strongest thespians as the lead roles. The other cast involved is acceptable, too, and those are strong words when you mention this around the word "Slasher."

Zaza's composition for the musical score is brilliant because it utilizes the sound of a classic piano. Many films from the 1980's relied more on an experimental and synth-based medium which remains a distinguishable feature from the decade. It's refreshing to hear Zaza's rendition during this period because I believe it works in conjunction with the set design. While on that topic, Stryker's mansion houses a basement that features old theater props and equipment. The creators of the film accentuated this by adding manikins that intensify each scene. How many of you who have shared similar feelings while walking through unlit rooms in a theatre? If this is something you've experienced then getting on-board with this idea is effortless. Naturally these segments that I mention occur at the tale-end of Curtains but working to obtain this goal transitions smoothly without any major plot hiccups. Unlike the previous film that I reviewed, The Prey, Curtains paces itself correctly without incessant time-wasting techniques and pointless footage.

The killer bears the mask of an elderly crone; definitely not the most original concept to hide the face of the killer by using a mask ***insert Halloween reference here*** but the inclusion of this didn't come across as a cheap knock-off. It would be outrageous to think that fans of Halloween require notification before a masked visage is adopted into a film post 1978 so the fact that Curtains embraces a familiar approach shouldn't be seen as a rip-off. Besides, the premises differ greatly so any quarreling among horror fans should remain null.

I enjoyed Curtains - it incorporates chilling surroundings with a well- thought-out screenplay that help boost the film above the droves of Slasher films that litter the '80's. If casual fans still appreciate early Slasher titles, they may enjoy it too.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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Release date delayed again! h-corbett
After years of waiting I watched Curtains tonight cloyesds
Nostalgia nicole-miller1
so let me get this straight..... moviefan72000
Poll for release on DVD no longer available :( stellarpulse
Such a great horror film! klspag
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