“In 1925 I went into Oklahoma looking for snake lore, and came out with a fear of snakes that will last me the rest of my life . . .” states the “old” woman, played by Amy Schweickhardt, addressing the camera as The Curse of Yig begins.
After her spoken introduction, the story then flashbacks to 1925 where we meet a younger incarnation of this same woman, played by the same actress, (the credits state she is Zelia Bishop, but never once is her name given in the film). She is arriving at a notorious asylum in search of some crucial information about the snake God known as Yig.
She encounters Dr. McNeil, played by Tim Uren, who has quite a tale to tell about this Yig, and the curious “inhabitant” in room B-116. But before he launches into his story, he brings Zelia Bishop down to the room to have a gander at what lies within. And what does lie within, you might ask? A naked female stretched out on the floor, at least, until the camera gets closer and we see the snake-like traits she is sporting.
McNeil then takes Zelia, who has been badly shaken by this sight, back to his office and weaves a tale of how the snake woman of room B-116 came to be. The film flashes back yet again to a time when settlers were first populating the plains of the Midwest. Walker Davis and his wife, Audrey Davis, also played by Uren and Schweickhardt, are in search of a new home and move cautiously out into the world to find it. It’s a problematic journey for Walker for he has a deathly fear of snakes, and isn’t it funny with people who have almost debilitating phobias; the Universe seems to single them out so it can torment them with their fears.
Walker is no exception, and wherever they settle for the night he’s constantly searching the ground for snakes. His fear is exacerbated further when they bump into an old man who tells them about the legend of Yig. Yig is an even-tempered snake God, unless you fuck with one of his children, and he has many children. Just about every snake on earth is considered his progeny and to hurt or kill one will bring down a wrath worse than death itself, for he has a propensity to turn violators into snakes.
Audrey doesn’t take the man’s tale to heart, and as after she finally talks Walker into settling down for the night in a location that has snakes; she ferrets out and kills them. Witnessing this, Walker. But as we the viewers know, the damage has already been done, and it is only a matter of time before Yig puts his curse upon the couple.
Being a loyal fan of just about everything H.P. Lovecraft ever wrote, I am surprised that I never knew of this tale. First heard about it last year, I believe, when I came across this short film on a website. I did some research and learned Lovecraft ghost wrote it for Zelia Bishop. He apparently did the same for her with three other tales.
The film runs thirty-two minutes and is an excellent piece of short (weird) fiction. The acting is solid, and the FX is, too, if not fleeting, but it’s in keeping with Lovecraft’s tone of less is more. By the way, actress, Amy Scheickhardt also played the snake woman. As of this review, The Curse Of Yig has not been released on DVD yet.