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!

May 2, 2024

Chilling Classics Cthursday: MESSIAH OF EVIL (1974)

On the one hand, I say that Mill Creek Entertainment should be immediately arrested because they have no business being within a country mile of Messiah of Evil. As you might expect, the Chilling Classics version of this beautiful and perfect dream of a movie is cropped and smushed and yellow-tinted and inexplicably begins with a frigging ballad wherein a woman croons "hold onnnnn to looooove" over the entirety of the (what should be) eerie opening scene. It's insane, and like I said, it should be an actual crime.

Guess which version is the Chilling Classic!

On the other hand, I say that Mill Creek Entertainment should be immediately presented with all of the Nobel Prizes because regardless of the quality, this here 50-pack was my intro to a movie that has since become one of my very favorites. Sure, that was in large part thanks to the Code Red DVD, which was so gorgeous that it was like seeing the movie with, like, a baby's brand-new eyeballs or something. But still, at least Mill Creek put this movie in front of me in some form.

I've written about and talked about this film many a time, so much that you likely know how I feel about it by now--and you likely also know how hard I recommend it. (If you don't know, the answers to both "how I feel" and "how hard I recommend" are "a fuck ton" and "very.") It's so cool that this cult classique is really getting out there, what with last year's fancy-ass Blu-ray from Radiance Films and its occasional appearance on streaming services and whatnot. It's accessible! The love is spreading, like the weirdos from Point Dume (or maybe Point Dune) who are peering around buildings at night and waiting. Waiting for you! And they'll take you one by one and no one will hear you scream. No one will hear you--well, you know.

There are times that I wonder whether or not I should go door to door and ask people if they've heard the good word about Messiah of Evil. That's how much I love it! But I'm also lazy, so please consider this blog to be my missionary work, and tell me:

Have you heard the good word about Messiah of Evil?


Steve K said...

The grocery store and the movie theater set pieces are easily two of the top 5 of all 1970s horror set pieces. Suspiria has some great set pieces, but the build-up to the climax of these two scenes in Messiah of Evil are just masterpieces in the creation of dread.

I love this movie so much, and when I found the restored version I was over the moon.

Francis said...

I have heard the good word about Messiah of Evil, Sister Ponder! Funnily enough from a different Mill Creek 50 pack, and since then via a few different streaming services. What I haven’t heard is that there are versions that start without that weird ass ballad! At the very least it adds to the otherworldly nature of the film with its non-rhythm and odd lyrics, but now I really want to rewatch with the intended music. I’m loving this series, thanks for giving me something to look forward to every Thursday!

matango said...

I'm all about that California Coast horror.

Stacie Ponder said...

I love all the love for this gem ㅠㅠ we've come a long way, baby

@Francis - the ballad intro is WILD. It makes no sense, sets a weird tone, and then when it cuts for the title card and Arletty's monologue it's so jarring haha. Bless whomever decided to ditch it for all the restored versions.

Jason Adams said...

I have one Miss Stacie Ponder to thank for bringing Messiah of Evil into my life -- just one of many wonders you've gifted me with, but probably the best of them all, and for that I am eternally grateful. May we stand in a frozen meat section and slurp on raw hamburger together one day!

Astroboymn said...

It's a great, great movie. The theater scene is a classic scene, truly frightening to me.

Richard said...

Stacie, I have to do work, don't make me go watch Messiah again!