Ah....amateur night. Let's dispatch with this nauseating little straight-to-DVD atrocity as quickly and painlessly as possible. Apparently, young Cassy finds herself asked to play Lizzie Borden in a haunted house for Halloween. Yet, what her boyfriend Andrew, and future employer Mr. Moody among others, don't know, is that Cassy may not be the best choice to play Lizzie, because of some pesky homicidal tendencies that no one knew about.
There's really no point in going on with any description of the action, because most of what happens in The Curse of Lizzie Borden defies description. Ineptitude seems to be the unifying factor for all aspects of the production, from direction, right down, apparently, to the catering (everyone looks faintly nauseous, as if they've eaten a bad kosher meal). Granted, there are isolated pleasures to be found (the film's funniest moment comes when the first title card comes up: Sterling Entertainment). And Mr. Moody, played by Randal Malone, is so...inadequate as to defy description, that one does almost feel sorry when his inevitable fate becomes apparent. This pity is mitigated somewhat by a feeling of absolute mystification as to the exact nature and composition of Mr. Moody's wig. It's not a divot, and it's not a pelt, with the truth lying somewhere in-between. Cassy, played by Danielle De Luca, almost disrobes for the film -- it could only have helped.
The screenplay was perpetrated by Jeremiah Campbell, and the direction committed by Ford Austin. Unfortunately for Mr. Campbell and Mr. Austin, there appears to be no onscreen quid pro quo for the mayhem they've commissioned. Mr. Austin's chief transgression that stands out (which is saying something, let me tell you) is his astounding habit of having Lizzie/Cassy swing her mighty ax on the left side of the screen, while apparently, someone is throwing water glasses full of blood on the poor actors from the right side of the screen -- even when there are no blows forthcoming, thus defying the laws of gravity and physics (But hey, as Bugs Bunny might say -- maybe he never studied law). General hilarity ensues.
Paul Mavis is an internationally published film and television historian, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, and the author of The Espionage Filmography.