FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Sep 23, 2015

Horror Without People: MESSIAH OF EVIL

So there's this terrific tumblr (I know, tumblr, right?) called Cinema Without People. The first time I saw it, I was like hey, wow, what a great idea, wish I'd thought of it. But then I thought, hey, wow, didn't Picasso or Shia LeBeouf or whomever say something about stealing? I think so, so why don't I...appropriate the idea sometimes and link back to the dude who thought of it first? Seems fair, particularly since he only posts about horror movies once in a great great while (The Brood is sweet) and generally doesn't indulge in the delightful trash that I sometimes do.

And that's what's up with this idea I didn't think of! I thought it'd be fun to explore it a bit in the context of horror because of the ways in which place can be so important: building tension, establishing a sense of isolation, showing the aftermath of violence, etc.

I thought a good place to start would be the 1973 film Messiah of Evil, which, as you should know by now, I want to take as my unholy bride because I adore it to no end. The empty streets of Point Dune, the surrealistic art in the beach house, the beach itself...all of it imbues the movie with a desolate, ominous feeling. Even bright, familiar places like an innocuous grocery store have entered the realm of the uncanny–something really ain't right in Point Dune. Pray you can escape, because no one will hear you SCREAM!










7 comments:

Sean Belcher said...

Man oh man, I love this movie. It came as part of one of those cheapo DVD collections I picked up from a wire barrel at Walmart or something, a collection of zombie flicks with a few real gems on there like The Night Evelyn Came Out of The Grave and this one. Such a wonderfully nihilistic - I don't know if it's the grainy 70's film stock, but it just oozes menace; that super market scene gives me the chills just thinking about it!

Stacie Ponder said...

It's just so damn eerie. I love it. It's got so many wonderful shots and moments...and the grocery store & theater scenes are A++

Sean Belcher said...

That theater bit is so brilliant! I find it crazy that a flick like Carnival of Souls gets tons of love (and mind you, I dig that movie too), but Messiah of Evil is so under the radar. It really does need a better agent.

Stacie Ponder said...

Agreed. It's definitely a cult classic...but in the true sense of the term. It's very word-of-mouth and doesn't get much love from the community at large. It's a shame because it's so wonderful and different! This and LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH make such a great double feature.

CashBailey said...

Great movie with such an amazing atmosphere. It's kind of like if Mario Bava directed a HP Lovecraft story.

I know the creators consider the film unfinished but I love the bizarre ambiguity of how it ends.

The Code Red DVD is definitely worth getting. A beautiful transfer and some very interesting features.

originalslugboy said...

SO GOOD

Nick Mullins said...

Thanks for the DVD recommendation. I love this flick.