Saturday, March 25, 2017

Messiah of Evil (1973) Review

Messiah of Evil is a 1973 horror movie directed by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz and starring Marianna Hill, Antrina Ford, Michael Greer and Joy Bang.

The movie begins with a woman who is in an institution. She talks about a small town called Point Dune and she says that there is something happening there. She says that 'they' are waiting there and that nobody will hear you scream. She begins her story. Her name is Arletty(Hill) and she went to Point Dune in California to look for her dad. She had received no letters from him recently and she was worried about him. The town is a bit odd. Some of the people are weird. Arletty goes to her dad's place and she sees signs that he was there. She discovers his journal and she realises that he was disturbed. She asks around town about him and nobody seems to know anything. Something isn't right.

She is told by a woman that there was someone else looking for her dad too. She goes to find them and she meets a man called Thom(Greer) who has two women with him, Toni(Bang) and Laura(Ford). He is meeting with a homeless man who  is talking about a blood moon and a dark stranger and how Arletty will have to kill her dad. He heads off and gets killed. Thom and his two ladies go with Arletty to her dad's place. Thom is a collector of legends and he is interested in what is happening in Point Dune. He sees people standing on the beach by the rocks as if they are waiting for someone.

Laura decides to leave when she gets jealous of Arletty. She heads off and takes a lift from a weirdo in a truck. She gets in and sees him eat the head of a rat and she gets out again! She is in the middle of nowhere. She reaches town and goes to the local supermarket. She sees other people there. They are at the meat section munching their way through the raw meat. Laura realises that something isn't right and she runs off. They chase her and she gets trapped and eaten. Meanwhile, Thom is reading the journal and he reads about a dark stranger coming to Point Dune and strange things happening etc. Toni decides to go to the cinema and gets surrounded by and eaten by the creatures. Thom wanders around town and sees the monsters roaming around. He escapes.

Areltty gets infected and she vomits up disgusting things. She is visited by her dad who is one of the creatures. He tries to kill her and she has no choice but to kill him first. She discovers that the dark stranger in his journal is a man who was a cannibal in the Donner party and who has come back to lead his new acolytes. He will be arriving soon, hence the title Messiah of Evil. Thom arrives back and Arletty stabs him as she thought that he was another creature. They go down to the beach and they see the creatures waiting for their messiah. They go in the water to try and swim away but Thom is injured and he doesn't make it. She ends up alone. She gets rescued by the weirdos and they let her live only if she spreads the word about them. Of course, when she does this, she gets locked up in an institution. She lives in fear of the creatures coming back to get her.

This movie was unknown to me until recently. I had never heard of it, I will admit but it was recommended to me. I liked it as it was a pretty simple story, but done pretty well. There were some good scenes in this. My favourites would be the one in the supermarket where Laura walks in and sees the locals attacking the meat section and the scene in the cinema where Toni is sitting oblivious to the creatures who keep coming in one by one and surrounding her. It was very entertaining and I really liked it. I think that it is kind of nightmarish in parts and it did sort of remind me of Carnival of Souls because of this. I think that if you haven't seen it, it is worth a look. I will give it a 7/10.


Susan Leighton said...

Sounds like one of those cool movies you see late at night. I enjoy time capsules like this. The premise sounds unique. The Donner Party. That is inventive. Will add this to the list. Good review!

Amanda said...

Thanks. It is a strange movie, but I enjoyed it from start to finish. I love these old 70's movies. They are great fun!!

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