HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
   
 
  Deadly Blessing The Fear Of God
Year: 1981
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner, Jeff East, Colleen Riley, Douglas Barr, Lisa Hartman, Lois Nettleton, Ernest Borgnine, Michael Berryman, Kevin Cooney
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Jim Schmidt (Douglas Barr) moved away from his rural Hittite background to go to college, he always planned to return, but when he did he found himself rejected by the fiercely religious sect who saw him as tainted. Nevertheless, farming was the life he knew, and he brought his new wife with him, Martha (Maren Jensen), who was willing to fit into his chosen profession and home, and now she was in the early stages of pregnancy with their first child. However, the superstition in this community runs deep, and there is much talk of the so-called Incubus amongst them - could this affect Martha's contentment?

Well, as this is a horror movie directed by Wes Craven, it's safe to say that would be the case. Deadly Blessing was a variation on the then-popular slasher movie craze of the early eighties, something that he had helped to start with Last House on the Left, but had found the genre getting away from him as many of his contemporaries did. Craven found his feet doing this kind of thing in the eighties with A Nightmare on Elm Street, but was less certain in this case, apparently more interested in creating starkly beautiful bucolic imagery than concentrating on gory special effects sequences. Indeed, what violence there was in this film was surprisingly muted for its auteur's reputation.

Even the first murder features a trickle of blood on the victim's face, leaving the rest up to the imagination of the viewer. That first victim being poor old Jim, who goes out to investigate the noise of his tractor starting in the barn, only to find a mysterious killer running him over with it once he ventures inside. Martha is distraught, but cannot think of anything to do other than stick with the farm and manage it alone, having given up her previous, city existence. But her friends are not going to abandon her, and both Lana (Sharon Stone) and Vicky (Susan Buckner) drive over to stay at her home and offer moral support. Naturally, with a killer about Martha needs all the support she can get.

And Craven needs all the victims he can get, as if his mind was wandering and every so often someone nudged him in the ribs and said, hey, enough of the rolling fields, this is supposed to be a horror movie. This leads to sequences of the trio of not unattractive ladies (Stone rarely looked better and became the film's poster girl) being menaced by unseen forces, with Lana not only dreaming of spiders but getting trapped in the barn with the body of one of chief adherents to the Hittite cause, which sends her into a fragile state of mind for the rest of the film. Vicky is made of stronger stuff, and makes moves on Jim's younger brother John (Jeff East) who is starting to reject the ways he has been brought up with, partly due to sexual frustration as Vicky brings out the lust in him and looks to be available, which his virginal fiancée is not.

Ernest Borgnine plays his father and the head of the community in a surprisingly restrained performance, only raising his voice a couple of times, but making plain his pious fury through his stifled - and stifling - personality. But here's the problem: Craven took a script of religious intolerance and in tinkering with it made it look as if the bigots were entirely correct in their opinions, and all because he wanted a shock ending (or two). So while we are on the side of Martha and company all the way, for the sake of springing a plot twist on us it turns out that Borgnine's fervent belief that Satan is abroad in his land was absolutely jusitfied, therefore making an intriguing study of how an insular society can turn against its outsiders for entirely spurious reasons thanks to widespread and constantly self-maintained ignorance into simply another silly shocker where anything goes as long as there's a splashy finale. There's an interesting film in here somewhere... Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3130 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Wes Craven  (1939 - )

Intelligent American director, producer and writer, at his most effective when, perhaps paradoxically, he was at his most thoughtful. Controversial shocker Last House on the Left set him on a path of horror movies, the best of which are The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, New Nightmare and Scream (which revitalised the slasher genre).

Less impressive are Deadly Blessing, Swamp Thing, the ridiculous Hills Have Eyes Part II, Deadly Friend, Shocker, Vampire in Brooklyn, Cursed and the successful Scream sequels (the last of which was his final movie). Music of the Heart was a change of pace for Craven, but not a hit, though aeroplane thriller Red Eye was a successful attempt at something different; My Soul To Take, an attempt at more of the same, flopped. One of the pioneers of the American new wave of horror of the 1970s and 80s, he brought a true edge, wit and imagination to the genre.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: