The Cult of Horror

The Cult of Horror

Total Views

Messiah of Evil 73' aka Dead People dir. Willard Huyck

I have acquired a recent personal sentiment for this film. I was watching the re-mastered version alone in a San Antonio hotel and midway I decided to go for a walk (about 1 am) and sat on an all-night diner and finished watching it on my phone. The bleak abandonment, the searching in a foreign town late at night, shadowy  faces peering around corners added an atmosphere that I haven’t felt while viewing a film since the first time I had seen Let’s Scare Jessica to Death.

A young beautiful Arletty (Marianna Hill) travels to a dark and dreary town called Point Dune, to visit her abstract artist father. She finds letters in his heavily decorated gallery type, abandoned beach house addressed to her about the “Blood Moon” and the terrible things that have recently happened to him and the strange things at night, most importantly his foreboding to not look for him.

The next morning, she searches for more answers at a local art gallery and meets Thom (Michael Greer) a well-dressed art snob and his two gal pals who are also curious about the “Blood Moon” as well. The nightmarish and surreal events that take place after their meeting at the beach house can be likened to a bizarro, Pre Lynchian-Fellini-esque night of horror, that also fades away when the sun rises. At night some of the towns folk turn into a form of cannibalistic vampires that can only be destroyed by fire, tearing one blood droplet from the left eye, wandering the dark streets, in supermarket’s and movie theaters added numbers to their ghoulish horde, led by a dark stranger, a 100 yr old a descendant from the "Donner Party"  Some ghouls leap through high windows, resist gun shots to the throat and one pours a gallon of blue paint on his face to add to the artistic back drop of the film.

A perfect score electronic score adds to the hypnotic and at times psychedelic vibe, similar in tone to “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death” makes this unsung gem an ultimate creepfest. Highly recommended.