Curdled Review

Who says death can't be funny? I mean, aside from the immediate knee-jerk reaction of personally witnessing a decapitation or some other horrific method of dispatch, it's a pretty fair bet that culturally we can find individual X's demise a funny thing. In dark comedies it's almost always the ultimate form of irony (or a classic example of Murphy's Law). It's even become chic to make movies founded and marketed almost entirely on the phrase "what a way to go" (Final Destination and its sequel spring to mind). Let's face it - we're morbid little schmucks. But even if you like dark comedies per se, you probably will get no more than a few sardonic smirks out of this movie.

There's a formula for good dark comedies, and somehow the cast and crew of Curdled screws up this formula entirely. Instead of being cool and quietly ironic, Curdled is the attention whore of dark comedies, begging for loving by acting out in dumb ways and being blatantly over the top.

The whole movie revolves around a death-obsessed Columbian maid named Gabriela (Angela Jones) and a bartender (William Baldwin) who moonlights as a gigolo who moonlights as the Blue Blooded Killer (talk about killing your customer base). For good measure, they also throw in Gabriela's boyfriend-in-waiting, Eduardo (Bruce Ramsey), but he's like the motive in slasher movies: unexplained and useless.

The maid finds work at a company called PFCS, the Post Forensic Cleanup Service (that little pain you feel is an incredibly dumb joke hitting you over the head). Work becomes crack for the little gore hound, and before you know it you know it she's developed an obsession dealing with whether or not heads speak after they've been chopped off. Meanwhile the bartender/manwhore/psychopath ends up getting his name written in Sharpie underneath the copious amount of blood left by one of his victims. Ensue freaking out.

Curdled has roughly the momentum of a snail on speed. Throughout the 88-minute dance towards each other, Curdled fails to make a single really funny joke until the end. (The whole movie may be worth watching just for the most unique salsa number ever, but you'd have to sit through the other 80 minutes to get to that point or appreciate it.) Curdled spends its running time building up to a joke that, truth to be told, isn't all that funny and ends up coming out like a long episode of Seinfeld without any of the building up humor - it's a golf joke that takes forever to get to the punch line.

Not to suggest another remake (Curdled was itself a remake of a 1991 movie), but if Curdled had maybe added some funny things in between, or made us actually give a damn about any of its characters (the neurosis that drives the bartender to kill is a vast unexplored wilderness of potential funniness, as is the source of Gabriella's obsession with gore), then Curdled would actually be worth sitting through. As it stands, you just want to stab the movie and chop off its cinematic head.

Dance lessons.


Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th September 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $49.6 thousand

Budget: $2.3M

Distributed by: Miramax

Reviews 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 17%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: as Eduardo, as Paul Guell, as Katrina Brandt, as Lodger, as Elena, as Gabriela, Vivienne Sendaydiego as Eva, Sandra Thigpen as Grace, as Kelly Hogue, Caridad Ravelo as Joan, as Lourdes, as Clara, Lupita Ferrer as Marie Clement, Nattacha Amador as Young Gabriela's Mother, Therese Marie Gutierrez as PFCS Spokesmaid, Charles Tucker as San the Barback, Allysa Tacher as Young Gabriela, Sabrina Cowan as Red Haired Waitress, Nicoll Bacharach as Beheaded French Revolutionary, Jay Arnor as Falling Man