A young girl is accidentally run down by a car driven by a careless city slicker. This careless injustice provokes the girl's grandfather into summoning his mystical powers and placing a death curse on the young man. Desperate to stave off the dire consequences of the hex, Barry seeks the counsel of a local psychic medium.Written by
Sal DeVito (J. J. Barry), finished with New York City's problems, and separated from his spouse, has moved to Stowe, Vermont where he maintains his occupation as illustrator, encouraged by a new romantic involvement with local painter and gallery owner Jackie (Carole Shelyne). Unfortunately, soon after his arrival in the Vermont town, Sal kills a young girl who runs in the path of his auto, arousing the animus of her grandfather with whom she lived, who then places a curse upon Sal, as seen when action opens, the camera focused upon the old man's mouth as he utters a lengthy malediction. After Sal and those close to him begin to suffer from a series of mysterious misfortunes, a friend of Jackie's suggests employing a local sorceress, Adrianna (Kim Hunter), to raise the spell, and a confrontation inevitably ensues between the Forces of Good and of Evil. This is the basis for a plot developed skillfully by director Martin Goldman who, alongside the two principal players, is responsible for a script that is cobbled as the film is being shot, resulting in a naturalistic feeling with no lapse of interest to a viewer. A high level of intensity characterizes the acting by the entire cast, with the laurels not unexpectedly going to the accomplished Hunter, who cunningly creates her role as a latter-day shamaness within a mundane setting. Cinematographer Richard E. Brooks offers a wide gamut of techniques, including frequent use of a hand held camera and effective slow tracking, while his creative use of angles and lighting produces a quality akin to cinema verité. Solely filmed on location and with little available funding, a good deal is achieved in an aesthetic sense, although shallow production values are evident in a work wherein the teeming avenues of tourist choked Stowe provide an ironic and surreal background for matters of witchcraft.
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