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Messiah of Evil

by on Jan.01, 2010, under Daily Review

 A fine masterpiece of the 70’s, this is a lesser know gem and one that should not be missed. Based on HP Lovecraft’s ‘Shadow over Innsmouth’, it’s the tale of Arletty (the talented Marlana Hill) who, upon receiving disturbing messages from her father, travels to his town only to discover messiahofevilsome strange goings on with the locals acting weird and at times, turning into crazed flesh eaters. Soon she discovers the town’s secret involving a stranger who came to the town many years before, bringing with him a religion and a strange event of some sorts. The locals spend their time on the beach, looking to the sea, to the stars, waiting.

It’s lovely and as close as cinema can get to capturing the essence of Lovecraft. It flows like a dream with strange characters including a beach-rat eating albino (Bennie Robinson) who is an amazing visionary character. The colours are dramatic with scenes dressed in blues and reds, resembling classic Argento, Suspiria & Infern. The soundtrack is moody with an experimental electronic score which compliments the cinematography.  It’s a nice, easy film to watch and enjoy with many scenes feeling like independent set pieces, very Lynchian.

Marlana Hill who started in Paradise, Hawaiian Style with Elvis and the Godfather II, floats through this film, captivating the audience, with charm and real presence adding some special magic to the film, alongside Anitra Ford, Joy Bang and Michael Greer. Oscar nominated William Huyck writes and directs, it’s no surprise that the script is so good, continuing his career with George Lucas on American Graffiti, Indiana Jones and Howard the Duck.

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