Back For More – Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice (1988/1993)

Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice states things pretty definitively, yet truly, for this is the final movie in the series. Originally filmed in 1988 and titled Catacombs, it was shelved for a few years before finally being released under the Curse umbrella and while it did not end up making the picture any better than it was, at least it saw the light of day instead of remaining buried so to speak.

Directed by David Schmoeller and produced by Charles Band, the mastermind behind the Puppet Master and Subspecies franchises, one had to expect a little bit of cheese to go along with the horror of the picture and it did not disappoint in that respect. At times the dialogue is terrible and the rookie performances by a number of the cast make it seem even worse. As corny as it might sound sometimes though and despite the script, the film had some fairly good production values and it looked a lot better than it actually was, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Does it even things out? Again, one has to remember that the picture was out of sight and out of mind for a number of years and to say it was lacking in certain departments is putting it nicely.

That being said, Schmoeller does have a flair for the dramatic and no matter how bad the movie might have gotten, for all the same reasons that it was awful, also makes it a must-see. There is just something about it that makes it compelling and when the horror is factored in, it makes it all the better. The Ultimate Sacrifice deals with priests and demons, one in particular who was locked away for hundreds of years in the catacombs beneath the church, that is until someone decided to remov the seal keeping it locked within. The movie is not so much frightening as it is ridiculous, but again, it is entertaining and in that respect, Schmoeller succeeds.

There is some decent suspense and overall, the movie tends to be a little creepy, but it could have been a lot better with a stronger injection of that which would scare an audience, a horror more palpable than what was present. Out of the four, this is the weakest film of the bunch, but a good enough movie to end the series on.

2.5 out of 5

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