Curse of the Black Widow (1977)

   

Executive Produced & Directed by: Dan Curtis

Written by: Robert Blees & Earl W. Wallace

Starring:

Anthony Franciosa .... Mark Higbie
Donna Mills .... Leigh Lockwood
Patty Duke .... Laura Lockwood
Irene Cagen .... Rita
June Allyson .... Olga
Max Gail .... Ragsdale
Roz Kelly .... Flaps
Sid Caesar .... Lazlo Cozart
Vic Morrow .... Lt. Gully Conti
Rosanna Locke .... Jennifer

Special Appearance:

June Lockhart .... Mrs. Lockwood

Release Date: Made-for-TV: September 16, 1977

 

 

Rating:

 

A detective named Mark Higbie (Anthony Franciosa) is on that trail of a female murderer who seems to kill her male victims with some sort of poisonous venom and are wrapped up in some sort of a cocoon but then discovers that this venom is from a black widow as this woman was bitten by black widow spiders as a child and seems to turn into a giant one.

 

A perfect mysterious beginning which we spot a scene at a bar with someone talking to a mysterious figure dressed in black along with her accent as this gives you a cringing feeling that she's the black widow by how this was all set out and looking darkly impressive. Also a nice close up shot on her eyes looking firey outside of the bar towards him and good shots on a glance from a spiders eyes towards him screaming as well as cheesy looking widow legs pinning him down in which this seems to pay a tribute to those old monster flicks by how this was all designed out.
A nice discussion between both lead character's Leigh Lockwood trying to talk to Mark Higbie on a situation and what she wants him to do which looked carefully concentrated as well as showing some of their sterness and serious situations within this as well making this scene look good and solid.
A nice moment with the character Laura Lockwood having a heartwarming conversation with her niece Jennifer in which their interactions really flowed and looked uplifting as well as natural. Also later on in this moment there's a good moment with the family woman Olga showing some concerned expressions as if there's a deep dark secret in the family that draws your attention to greatly here.
Also we have a perfect still moment with Laura going in a room and speaking to someone that we don't spot adding a perfect mysterious and chilling moment here making us think if she's talking to that mistress who turns into the black widow. This scene also looked perfectly well done here.
We spot a moment with a zoo watchman about to make out with the mysterious woman in the area as this leaves an impression that something deadly is about to occur and what we spot here looked fairly intense but cheesily done too in a fun and entertaining way.
A nice shot on a corpse wrapped up in a web with the coroners taking him away as well as nice moments on Mark trying to figure out on what it is.
Perfect dysfunctional moment between Leigh trying to snub her ex at a bar but him getting persistent with her to dance with him along with other situations between them as this looked good and sharp by what goes on here.
A good and still moment when Mark goes to an abandoned building where there's lots of spider webs in the way leaving this moment a perfect and creepy touch to it as well as a tarantula crawling down near him which really adds to the creepiness here. Plus a moment that makes you jump when he crashes down on a weak floor onto the ground below with other spiders falling on him which doesn't look pleasant for anyone who has fear of them.
A perfect serious and dark conversation with an eccentric middle aged man talking to Mark about a legend that affected a family with some venom and someone turning into a big black widow as this added a perfect touch to the story and explaning as to why these events are happening which looked good and serious. A fun touch here indeed.
A perfect moment with Mark talking towards Laura on the other line about what is going on as well as a perfect silent and disturbed moment with her by what he tells her adding more mysterious feels to all of this which leaves you a feeling that the mystery will soon unravel itself.
A perfect moment with a paranoid old woman up in the attic freaking out as well as spotting the giant black widow launching towards her with a perfect shot on the house outside at night and her crashing out a window adding more great deadly horror touches here.
A great moment with the black widow cornering Leigh and spraying it's web on her as well as spotting the widow's mouth doing this which looked cheesy and funny to watch even if this moment was supposed to look terrifying.
Perfect dark sequences with Mark discovering a couple of people cocooned up in webs which adds more of the tribute to those old fashioned horror flicks and adding alot of great creepiness to it all as well as him trying to battle this black widow himself and how to kill this thing off but yet it's quick when he snuffs her out as there needed to be a bit more struggling moments here.
Bottom line is that the story is very simple and to the point without it being complicated adding alot of mysterious elements making it an enjoyable made for TV horror flick back in the das. I remember as a child seeing bits and pieces of this on TV myself which looked fun to watch but I was scared to watch it alot of the times as my parents watched it. There's an almost happy ending to the story but yet leaves a door open for a sequel in which it was a bummer that it didn't arise but again most movies of the week don't have them unless it was a reunion of a TV series we all remembered. A hard one to come by these days but worth checking out if you ever come around to getting it and watching this flick as for people who like those creepy old fashioned types of horrors this one is for you.

The acting is greatly performed in which Anthony Franciosa (Mark Higbie) really showed off his taalents a great deal by having a charming and flirtatious type of attitude as well as showing a great focus on what he's dealing with. Plus shows good aggressions or getting stern as well as sarcastic in the spots that he needed to do this. Shows some great adrenaline when he freaks out with certain moments like a spider landing on him or struggling against the giant widow. Defientely grabs your attention a great deal while performing all the way through here. A worthy character actor indeed.
Donna Mills
(Leigh Lockwood) seemed to have the hot looks and a good sharp type of personality to her part which are perfect qualities for a horror flick. She does well getting to the point with stuff as well as showing a nice stern and aggressive attitude in certain spots which also shows off perfectly. Plus does a nice job with her screaming behavior when the terror strikes her. She shows off alot of good spunk into whatever she did here and came off well while performing all of this onto the camera.
Patty Duke
(Laura Lockwood) stole the film with her performance showing every single type of versatality that she could think of. Does a great job with her appearance portraying someone who takes care of herself as well as having a perfect heartwarming type of attitude as well. Plus does a great job showing disturbed expressions as well as speaking nervously in certain scene's leaves her presence very mysterious. Plus she does a great job having a french accent as well as coming off perfectly wicked. Does well with her freaked out and sobbing emotions and then springing into action attacking someone too. Basically she presented herself in many different types of formats as you'd think that they were different actresses playing this part and deserved an award for portraying all of this. She was indeed a gifted actress with no boundries.
Irene Cagen
(Rita) came across nicely into the story as someone with a good hyperactive type of behavior and showing off a good bronx accent. Was convicning to have a no nonsense type of attitude and really knowing her stuff with someone who speaks their mind as well as showing off some good energy with her aggressions too and getting to the point with stuff. Was pretty witty by what she does here and a good choice to play this type of character as she made it look very effective.
June Allyson
(Olga) showed off some interesting characteristics herself as she really drew her role as to someone who has a deep dark secret especially revealing her expressions or reactions to certain things. Also shows a nice calmness to what she does in the film. Also shows a good upsetting type of behavior and acting weird like for what is going on which she offered a nice eccentric type of attitude within this. She was another great character actress here.
Max Gail
(Ragsdale) lived to play the chief of the law by having a perfect gruff behavior as well as coming across someone whom is closed minded. He certainly showed a great appeal by doing both of this as well as showing a great stern and sarcastic type of behavior. His rough looks were also a great plus to his role as well. He had a nice key supporting role to the story indeed.
Rosanna Locke
(Jennifer) showed a ton of spunk as a preteen in the film acting believeably full of life by how she was talking in which she came across perfectly as one of those happy go lucky types. Studied her role terriically well and showing off alot of great energy and charisma too. Plus does well in a scene when she is sobbing during an upsetting moment adding another type of versatality into this. She defientely knew on how to portray this role inside out.
June Lockhart
(Mrs. Lockwood) only has a small role in this one but it's really effective as she seems to approach as someone haunting like with her freaked out and paranoid attitude. Plus her expressions looked even differently as you wonder if it's a different person alltogether. She really did the trick for fooling viewers as if she was someone else. Brings up her intense type of energy to a high pace here and can be well remembered for what she did here.

A widow's legs is stabbed in a victim's chest but nothing too graphic.

The music sounded terrific for that generation having a nice crime adventurous feel to it all almost having a slight disco type feel to it as well as the horn music playing and tomrbone playing too. Plus we have the mysterious and creepy violin chords sounding slick and smooth too along with some piano playing. Plus we hear the odd chiming sounds too for the terror moments with the victims webbed up and in other areas too. All of this was put together by Bob Cobert

[Higbie is calling Flaps to get the results of a toxicology report on the blood of a victim]
Flaps: I got the analysis back from my friend at USC. He doesn't know what it is, exactly.
Mark Higbie: Well, what do you mean "exactly"?
Flaps: He says the closest that it comes to is, er... All right, get this, you ready? The venom of a black widow spider.
[Silence]
Flaps: You're not laughing.
Mark Higbie: [Seriously] I know.
[He hangs up thoughtfully]