Two elderly couples have taken RVs out into the woods for a little vacation. Jack and Cynthia are miserable. Or rather, Cynthia is miserable and Jack is miserable because of Cynthia. She is not happy at all to be outdoors, eating natural foods like rutabagas and bok choy.
On the other hand, Harry and Lucille, in their own RV are having a civil discussion. Lucille, who has something planned at midnight (she’s black — gee, I wonder whether TFTC will make her a witch doctor or voodoo queen) wonders why they had to bring this unlikable, constantly bickering couple. Turns out Jack saved Harry’s life at Guadalcanal — you’d think this might have come up in the past 40 years — this weekend is his chance to pay Jack back.
Jack and Harry go off by themselves with shovels and Cynthia thinks they are digging a grave to get rid of her. In fact,they dig up Harry’s ex-wife Emma whom he murdered. Bulbs he buried in Emma’s mouth quickly sprout into large white flowers (thanks to some magic bones provided by Lucille, natch). That night, Lucille sees that Cynthia has become young again. Harry has become younger also, but frankly I don’t see much of a change in him — apparently even witch-doctors have not conquered male pattern baldness.
Cynthia is thrilled at the prospect of being young and happy again. Jack says he is too, but he is not going to waste another 25 years watching Cynthia turn again into a hateful, bitter old crone. Stupidly, they allow her to beat them back to the campsite where she spikes the magic juice. They are all having a grand old time as they drink the potion, but within seconds they become emaciated and fall over dead, cracking open as dried out husks.
Cynthia has wisely saved some of the unspiked potion for herself. She drinks part of it, spilling the rest on the ground where Harry’s dog laps it up. For a few seconds, Cynthia is happy as she sees her young face in the mirror, and begins dancing. Unfortunately, Harry’s dog is feeling younger and friskier too and off-screen either rips her throat out, or humps her leg to death.
This was in between times when Margot Kidder (Cynthia) was having some personal problems. She had an auto accident that was so bad that she didn’t work for two years. Four years later, her bi-polar issues surfaced. So I didn’t really know how much of the old crotchety Margot Kidder I was seeing was real, and how much was make-up and acting.
Based on a few seconds we see her in her natural state, it seems she did an unbelievable job of acting in this role and was supported by some excellent make-up work. Of course her character was over-the-top, but that’s what TFTC is supposed to be. Her every body movement, hand gesture and vocal inflection were perfect for this role. If there were any integrity in Hollywood, this would have won her an award.
It is also a fine story, and the other actors were fine in their lesser roles. There is a nice twist and a coda of questionable necessity, but it worked for me.
- Title Analysis: Hunh? Curiosity killed the cat, but there are no cats in the story. I wouldn’t describe any of the characters as being particularly curious. I give it a zero on the title.
- Lucille was played by Madge Sinclair who did a rare two-peat on Star Trek.