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Old 09-25-17, 12:51 AM   #1
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"Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge





Messiah of Evil (1973)



Selected by DaveyJoe



IMDB ENTRY

ON PRIME
Warning: Synergy Edition!

ALYXSTARR LINK

ALYXSTARR LINK ~ CO-DIRECTORS COMMENTARY MODERATED BY LEE CHRISTIAN

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2017 DISCUSSION | 2017 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 10-10-17 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 09-25-17, 07:12 PM   #2
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

For anyone interested, the Oct issue of Drive-In Asylum will have interviews with Marianna Hill and Anitra Ford:

Spoiler:
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Old 09-26-17, 12:09 AM   #3
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

Hey Chad, your streaming link is actually going to C.H.U.D. on Shudder.
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Old 09-26-17, 12:41 AM   #4
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

And that's what happens when you don't double-check the links. It's updated.
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Old 10-27-17, 02:54 AM   #5
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

I've had this blu-ray of Messiah of Evil in my watch pile for at least 2 challenges so I'm glad this pick is 'forcing' me to finally check it out. What a strange fever dream of a movie. The voiceover narration over leering shots really messes with the head. I love how there's just strange stuff happening with the guy getting this throat opened in the intro and the corpses in the red truck at the gas station, etc etc with no explanation like the lead is just unaware she is in a horror movie that's happening all around her but not especially impacting her. The film does a lot with a beach setting and a few wide eyed people in suits.

Maybe it's the beach setting or the townspeople ghouls some things reminded me of Carnival of Souls. I love the movie theater scene where the girl is just watching the show and the screening is slowing filling up with more and more ghoulish townspeople, it's like a sitting down chase scene.

At first I thought maybe the main girl was a female reincarnation of the dark stranger, but I guess not. "They're growing in number and spreading out into the rest of the world... and no one will hear you scream." Overall I especially liked Messiah of Evil with it's cryptic mix of violence, wide eyes strangers, and vague lost father plot. There's a commentary on the blu-ray I probably won't get to but I bet would make an interesting listen.
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Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-27-17 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 10-27-17, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

Hope ya'll find some time to watch this in between episodes of Stranger Things.
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Old 10-27-17, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

I'm getting a Carnival of Souls sorta vibe during this. That's a good thing.
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Old 10-27-17, 07:44 PM   #8
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

Used the Alyxstarr link. What's so wrong with Synergy edition I don't think I've seen that one before ...or perhaps I have and don't realize it. Either way I'll probably watch it as well after I return from watching Jigsaw.
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Old 10-27-17, 08:32 PM   #9
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

This is one of my favorite first-time views of the challenge. It definitely had a Carnival of Souls vibe to it. There were some very disturbing scenes for me, especially the scenes at the supermarket and movie theater. There was also something about how seemingly normal the townspeople looked even as they prepared to attack. A lot of great random moments that added up to a surreal gem. I'm happy I sprung for the Blu-ray.

Now off to watch some Stranger Things!
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Old 10-28-17, 08:48 AM   #10
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

I watched this last night with my husband. We didn't love it. I'd give it a 3 or 4 out of 10. The production values were so bad and the storyline didn't hold my interest. After watching 32 other horror films this month, the premise didn't seem very original. (I just watched Dagon the day before, another small-town-cult horror that was more impressive albeit a much later production.) Maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for this. Meh.

I watched it on Amazon Prime and the print also seemed quite bad. Maybe that's as good as this film gets, but it was very muddy in the dark scenes.

But, man, there were some incredibly tall and thin people in this film! My favorite set piece was the slowly growing crowd in the theater. The weird murals in the father's house were cool.

The old "Donner Party" saw. Um-hmmm.

Afterwards my husband looked at me like "Why did you make me watch this?" Hehe. Then we watched "The Babysitter" on Netflix and it was fantastic. I know, apples and oranges. I can see the surreal similarities to something like Carnival of Souls. Maybe if I had a better copy and watched it with that in mind, I would have liked it better.
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Old 10-28-17, 01:10 PM   #11
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

I'm not entirely sure what I just watched..... I was expecting something a bit more different. Is Code Red the only blu out there? I love this image:



It almost seems this image from The Evil Dead:


Couldn't get it all in the frame, but reminds me of:

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Old 10-28-17, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: "Messiah of Evil" Reviews/Discussion - 2017 Horror Challenge

My second viewing of this. My first was over 10 years, of a terrible print that was part of one of those 50-pack DVD sets. Glad to see this in Blu Ray quality. I don't know about Amazon Prime's print, but the colors looked sharp.

I think the comparisons to Carnival of Souls are very apt. Both are very low-budget efforts, but do a great job at building up an atmosphere of dread while featuring some very memorable horror set-pieces (the carnival climax in Carnival and the supermarket and theater murders in Messiah). I can also see how some horror fans watching either movie could have it be a complete swing and miss, coming away thinking they're MST3K-levels of awfulness.

The resemblance to Lovecraft was brought up in this thread, and that was something that I thought when I first saw this. The Shadow Over Innsmouth in particular, with its small town on the ocean whose townspeople are transformed by the influence of some dark god from the sea.
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