Messiah of Evil Reviews
Good stuff, well worth tracking down.
WILLARD HUYCK & GLORIA KATZ'S MESSIAH OF EVIL /THE SECOND COMING : Long before husband and wife Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz where behind script of George Lucas' AMERICAN GRAFFITI  and the infamous HOWARD THE DUCK  ; the pair behind these films had made a now cult classic horror film. Starting life in 1971 under the title THE SECOND COMING the investors who were involved with the project pulled out towards the end of the film's production. The film was then left unfinished until another investor brought the footage, had it edited together and realised the film 1973 under a new title, MESSIAH OF EVIL.
Of course the film ended up in near obscurity not long after it's realise. Upon most likely a few TV screenings, Home media and the fact the films copyright has since lapsed making it a Public Domain Film under US law. MESSIAH OF EVIL has now since become a sleeper cult classic. While not a widely known Cult film, I like other people hold this film in high regard. Instead of going for all out graphic violence that other low budget contemporaries productions where making. This film relies mainly upon an atmospheric sense of dread, mood, hypnotic imagery, an ambiguous plot, and building of tension to make the viewer seem uneasy.
THE PLOT: Sees a young woman in an asylum reflect upon how she got there. The flashback shows the young woman searching for her missing father in a small costal Californian town. The woman soon finds the town is bizarrely cold and hostile to her enquires. The woman soon meets with a posh paranormal investigator and his female entourage who are interviewing a wino (played by Elisha Cook Jr) about a local legend of the blood moon.
The group join the woman at her abandon fathers house where the join in the search for him (and mooch of the offer of free accommodation). However when it becomes clear that the town's residents are becoming horrifying zombies; the group are placed in a dire situation.
THOUGHTS: Despite a slow start, this film really becomes atmospheric with the help of a sense of mystery and the lack of an explanation of what is going on. With the use of vivid colours, creepy set designs including the realistic painting figures on the walls of the artist home, the deliberate slow building of tension and an artistic vibe really works in this films favour. For a low budget picture from a bygone era it really gets under your skin much like another forgotten cult horror films. My rating is a much deserved 80% for such a ghoulish gem.
Elisha Cook Jr. is faar out in the hotel-scene.
WHERE'S THE WIDESCREEN DVDRIP?
Where's the Beef?