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Monday, July 18, 2016

Messiah of Evil (1973)

SPOILERS!

The tagline is WAY wrong


Quick Overview:
 AKA: DEAD PEOPLE

Directors: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz(Uncredited)
Writers:  Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz
 Cast:
Marianna Hill as Arletta
Michael Greer as Thom
 Royal Dano as Joseph Long
Elisha Cook Jr as Charlie

Plot: A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

I see your future and I am afraid.


Let me start by saying many will enjoy this movie, it has it's upsides to be fair but I just couldn't get into this movie, the pacing and acting is not great and while the backgrounds and feel is creepy and keeps you off kilter and never quite sure what is going on and how to feel it doesn't balance in my opinion with the slow pacing and the kind of lame killings and how things play out.

Funding even ran out and someone bought the unedited film and finished the film but never spent a lot, it opens with some guy running and out of breath suggesting that he had been running hard or a long time and he catches a break when a young girl opens a gate and lets him in. He washes off in the pool and turns to her for help when she slits his throat!

We cut to a hospital or mental asylum where a woman is telling us about a town, with a blood red moon that will mess with you, they way they messed with her, they want to make you scream! But that no one is going to hear you or save you.

AHHHH...It is a hallway...



This lady narrates the story about how she heads to this town to find her now missing father and her first stop on her trip that we see is at a gas station, that we assume is right outside town, where the attendant is shooting at things in the dark. She tells him she is heading to Point Dune and he has very strong opinions about that town, how it is piss poor and boring.

A second customer pulls up and the attendant sees to him, seeing two bodies in the bed of his truck but saying nothing and really seems barely fazed by this, she heads off towards town and later the attendant is killed by someone or something for reasons I am never sure of.  We gets lots of shots of the waves and we met some of the strange people that will play different roles and parts as the main lady looks for her dad.

There are no brains in this movie, so meat works fine
Main Lady goes to the apartment or house that the father was staying at, it has cardboard cutouts of people, stuffed dogs, and chains among other weird things. Really, all signs you should fucking turn around and leave.  She finds her fathers journal and between that and some asking around she finds she should talk to some newcomers in town who loved her fathers art. She finds the newcomers, a guy and two girls, in a hotel room listening to the town drunk ramble on about blood moons and other nonsense. The drunk says her father must die, and others won't talk about him at all. Not long after the drunk spills all these "secrets" he is found dead and things "kick up a notch".

 
Right before she dies...


The newcomers come to stay with the daughter but there is in fighting, one of the girls in the group leaves and is killed at a supermarket, where the whole supermarket turns into killers or zombies or something...not really sure. Later this happens at a movie where the other girl is killed townfolk suddenly turning into killers, so it becomes something about the town having a secret that still affects it to this day, somehow the girl's father is a part of it, or the key to it or something.


So the town comes to life, or death? Not sure. The cops, 2 of them, at first fire into the crowd of killer dead but soon one just suddenly starts bleeding from his eye, though no one is near him? The weird guy is one of the only standing against the rising evil and so he teams up the daughter. We get some backstory about a dark stranger and he is connected to the father and the Donner party or something...I don't know, it is all kind of stupid and pointless. The Dark Stranger would return to a dissillusted world and they would rejoice and eat people or something. Somehow the woman gets out and she is the one from the asylum at the start, she has a CODA but by this time who really cares. Just avoid this slow mess of a movie.

I am the hero of this movie, sort of


My Thoughts: While I know that some people will and do consider it classic suspense movie it admits to having issues, it was dropped, picked back up by a whole other studio and country and moves slow with some major plot holes, the killing at the start doesn't fit, the girl who does it is never seen again as far as I can tell or remember.

The story and its "secret" are dumb and I say that loving movies like The Wicker Man and town or houses with secrets but not this pretenious junk. The cops not being turned but then suddenly hurt and turning later makes no sense, nor does why they allow the girl to live even if she is locked up forever but not killed or drawn into the family business. While some of the weirdness gives it a unique flavor it is just not enough to keep you focused on this yawner of a film.  

You just want it to be over but it keeps dragging on and on. There are way better psycholocal thrillers and horror films from this time that are way better and deal with some of the same themes in a clever way that this one tries to pull up but fails in an awful way. The slow boring pace even makes it hard to joke, as something HAS TO FUCKING HAPPEN for you to joke about it.      

 

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