God Told Me To - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

God Told Me To Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2014
Larry Cohen might not be the most sophisticated filmmaker but he is one of the most unbridled in terms of the inherent lunacy of New York. In the harrowingly scary 'God Told Me To', a sniper shoots bystanders from a water tower and Tony Lo Bianco is nonplused to unearth that the culprit committed the heinous in the name of God. Richard Lynch is photographed in a fluorescent halo that gives him both a messianic aura and an otherworldly glow. He is a genuinely galvanizing figure in a furnace room scene where Lo Bianco is unscathed during an uncontrollable fire. Somehow the vise grip wreathes the viewers with an enigmatic angle with Lo Bianco's inquiry over immaculate conception and the second coming of a Christ-like figure. The crisis-of-faith storyline overrides the brainwashing horror but 'God Told Me To' is a crazily ambitious gem in Cohen's forte.
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
May 11, 2011
I can't honestly say I enjoyed this, not entirely anyways. It had a few good moments in it, but not enough to warrant repeated viewings. It started out ok, with everybody getting shot at random...it was actually quite comical. :) I'm still confused on the whole God/Alien/Supreme Being device in the plot, but oh well. It was an interesting attempt anyway.
Super Reviewer
July 10, 2007
Freaky, almost an exploitation film about people committing random acts of violence because "God told me to kill." is what they would always say when caught. A detective investigates the strange rash of killings, and then things go off into an unbelievable direction where the detective finds this "god" is more than he ever imagined it would be. A freaky hellish ending. It worked. I felt creeped out. OMG!
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2012
It's an interesting story that works for the most part. The mistery is nice at first, has some disturbing imaginary on a couple of scenes and one or two neat twists but are a bit forced and predictable. Technically, it's a horrible movie to look at with an atrocious camera work and unconvicing soundtrack. Passable.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2008
God Told Me To starts off really well but somehow takes a wrong turn during the second act and left me kinda confused. A sniper shoots 14 people, a husband kills his wife and son and a cop opens fire on a parade route each one before they die say *GOD TOLD ME TO* now a cop much investigate these crimes were all these people crazy? or did they really hear the voice of god? well acted movie good direction by Cohen just takes a dive towards the end still worth a watch for Cohen fans and fans of non bloody suspenseful horror
January 6, 2011
Larry Cohen's early film about random citizens suddenly turning violent, saying that God told them to do it when they are finally taken down. A detective becomes obsessed with the case, which moves the film from a horror/thriller into the realms of sci-fi by the time that the credits roll.

Truly a unique viewing experience, one that I think I will grow to like even more on repeated viewings, as I know what strange turns it will take.

Worth a look.
January 27, 2007
Larry Cohen's most innovative and creative film, one of the stand-outs of great B movie horror with A movie acting.
March 11, 2014
This is exactly what is missing in modern (particularly post-80s)horror films. Take note, young Sam Raimi wannabes... Gore and pointless nudity are not enough to make a true cult classic. This movie is a prime example as it contains no real gore and only a little nudity- and it's done for horror value more than cheap arousal. This movie epitomizes the weird plotting and over-the-top social commentary of the old B-flicks. I still can't say I fully understand what exactly the metaphysical reality is that was being portrayed... but I do know what it was in rebellion against- and that's what counts. The weirdness of the plot will keep you hooked in, much in the way of a Lovecraft story (the kind of horror story that usually doesn't do well on film). And you'll be asking questions at the end.
½ March 4, 2015
For as cheap and low budget as it is, it's a decent attempt. The problem is the first half of the movie is just the same basic stuff happening over and over again (someone kills someone and says "God told me to"). We don't really get the turn in the plot until about halfway through, and it kind of comes out of nowhere and makes the whole thing kind of difficult to understand because of it. The second half is far more interesting, but I was having trouble following it because my attention had faded at this point. It felt like a Larry Cohen movie at least, but it wasn't his best. I feel I may have to watch this one again because right now I'm not much of a fan and this is the second time in my life I've had trouble sitting through it because I was bored.

On another note, the blu-ray is a mediocre transfer. Nothing special in my opinion.
Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2014
Larry Cohen might not be the most sophisticated filmmaker but he is one of the most unbridled in terms of the inherent lunacy of New York. In the harrowingly scary 'God Told Me To', a sniper shoots bystanders from a water tower and Tony Lo Bianco is nonplused to unearth that the culprit committed the heinous in the name of God. Richard Lynch is photographed in a fluorescent halo that gives him both a messianic aura and an otherworldly glow. He is a genuinely galvanizing figure in a furnace room scene where Lo Bianco is unscathed during an uncontrollable fire. Somehow the vise grip wreathes the viewers with an enigmatic angle with Lo Bianco's inquiry over immaculate conception and the second coming of a Christ-like figure. The crisis-of-faith storyline overrides the brainwashing horror but 'God Told Me To' is a crazily ambitious gem in Cohen's forte.
½ March 25, 2014
Ah, Larry Cohen. So many brilliantly strange ideas, but so little money to bring them to life. This is one of his better films in my opinion, although the photography is amateurish and the editing seems to have been performed by a mediocre first-year film student. Tony Lo Bianco is a police detective investigating a series of apparently random homicides performed by seemingly ordinary people who tell the confused cop, 'God told me to.' From this basic set-up Cohen weaves a bizarre tale that is part cop thriller, part religious rumination, and part sci-fi headtrip. The cast (one of the best Cohen ever assembled) do a surprisingly good job, and take the material seriously. The main problem with the film is the aforementioned photography and cutting, which seem awfully rushed and ham-handed. I get the feeling that with a bigger budget the filmmakers could've ironed out all the creases and produced a more fully realized film. There are several memorable images to be found here, and the score does a good job of capturing the spirit of Bernard Herrmann's work (he was slated to score this film but died before he had the chance). Unfortunately the film is brimming with unintentional laughter including the lamentable casting of Andy Kaufman as a cop who goes on one of the god-sanctioned rampages (this was shot before Kaufman became a household name) and some black stereotypes that are hopefully too ridiculous to be all that offensive today (and which seem to have been imported from another film entirely). In spite of my complaints I find this movie immensely enjoyable, and fans of Cohen will definitely appreciate it. After all, it's certainly better than The Stuff.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2012
It's an interesting story that works for the most part. The mistery is nice at first, has some disturbing imaginary on a couple of scenes and one or two neat twists but are a bit forced and predictable. Technically, it's a horrible movie to look at with an atrocious camera work and unconvicing soundtrack. Passable.
February 27, 2012
An underrated horror film, it's pretty chilling stuff
½ January 12, 2012
Writer/director Larry Cohen has never been known for his conventional movies, and while "God Told Me To" is one of his earliest films it remains one of his most unconventional and unusual. Up until the halfway point I was with the movie, admiring the ambitiousness and originality.
The opening scenes really grab you, and the central mystery is intriguing to the point of it becoming an absolute necessity to know just where the film is headed. Then, when you find out how Cohen explains all of those strange events, the whole thing collapses under all of the silliness. I admired Tony Lo Bianco's strong lead performance, and I was with his character for the first half.
Everything that follows after that point is ludicrous, hard to follow and ultimately it leaves you with more unanswered questions than satisfaction. There's a lot of mumbo jumbo about God and religion, some kind of secret society that knows all of the secrets and a lot of weird, confusing doubts about Bianco's muddled past. To be honest, after all was said and done, I couldn't tell you with any amount of certainty what happened.
Cohen's innovative script goes desperately awry and never recovers, leaving the viewers in the dust. There are some good moments, and even when things fall apart, I still fund myself almost recommending it just for the sheer silliness of it all.
There's a lot going on in "God Told Me To", and some of it is actually worth watching. And on the plus side, there's never a dull moment, even when you have no idea what's going on.
August 28, 2011
To borrow a phrase from Robin Wood, whose Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan led me to this film, God Told Me To is an "incoherent" text." The incoherence is on two levels: one) it is narratively difficult to parse the logical flow of the story (why is this happening? how did we get to this scene?) and two) unclear about its thematic and ideological objectives. And yet there is still some very powerful elements in the film, especially those touching on religion and faith, especially how faith intersects with violence. Even though it's true that religion and violence aren't only a contemporary phenomenon still God Told Me To seems eerily prescient. And, if nothing else, it has one of the most startling and perversely inventive religious symbols I've seen in any medium. But you have to wait til the last reel for it.
June 7, 2011
I remember seeing this movie a long time ago. It had horrible acting, and in the end we see that God is a giant vagina? At least that's what I got out of it.
May 3, 2009
That's right. I watched and rated Legend of the Overfiend. It's actually semi-decent, stupid tentacle rape notwithstanding.
July 10, 2006
[b]God Told Me To[/b]

a review by Braden Adam

Many films over the years have tackled the concept of evil acts committed in the name of God. Some of them have even been quite convincing in their arguments that human beings are, in fact, inherently evil and murder, rape, corruption and illness are simply God?s way of punishing us for our sins. David Fincher?s [b]Se7en[/b] was arguably one of the most controversial movies of the 1990s, with a killer whose motive is to punish those whose sins are not punished in society. One of the most incredible things about that film was that it made us believe that there really is something wrong with us. We are not being the pure, wholesome and loving creatures that God meant us to be. Larry Cohen?s 1976 horror/thriller [b]God Told Me To[/b] captures some of these same themes of God punishing us for our sins, and doing it through acts that our society deems evil.

The story begins with a bang (quite literally) as a sniper on top of a water tower in New York city begins killing people at random with impossible accuracy. When Detective Peter Nicholas (played by Tony Lo Bianco) asks the man why he committed such a horrendous crime, he replies ?God told me to?. The next few days test Nicholas? courage and sanity as he is called in to murder scenes where the murderers make the exact same claim. This is just the tip of the iceberg in a suspenseful and out-right terrifying journey of self discovery for Detective Nicholas, that also makes us question our own views on religion, and the meaning of existence, which is a rare gift to find in a film.

Another rare gift that this film give its audience is genuine scares. Any film can have a jumpy part, usually consisting or someone or something popping out of a dark area with a loud BANG! or a musical cue. [b]God Told Me To[/b] chills to the bone, and takes advantage of one of the greatest fears that all human beings share: fear of the unknown.

The strengths of [b]God Told Me To[/b] do not lie in its presentation, however. The acting is quite bad in most scenes, and the production values make it more than apparent that the film had a shoe-string budget. The writing is what counts in this film, which almost borders on a David Lynch-like confusion. Cohen presents the ?facts? of the story, but manages to put such a twist on things as to make the ending completely ambiguous. This can be somewhat of an annoying trait in some films, since some stories call for closure. This instance, however, manages to create even more unease in the mind of the viewer, who is left wondering what the real answers are - if there are any at all.

Much like Fincher?s [b]Se7en[/b], [b]God Told Me To[/b] creates a disturbing atmosphere and effectively questions religious fanaticism without delving into a battle over whether or not God exists, and presents a series of events so unbelievable in their cruelty that the real-word setting makes it a terrifying story. Putting aside the technical shortcomings and budgetary restraints, Larry Cohen?s [b]God Told Me To[/b] is a thought-provoking and utterly disturbing film that fans of both serial killer crime dramas and supernatural horror films should enjoy.

8
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