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Messiah of Evil

USA 1973
produced by
Gloria Katz, Alan Riche (executive) for V/M Productions, International Cine Film Corp.
directed by William Huyck
starring Michael Greer, Marianna Hill, Joy Bang, Anitra Ford, Royal Dano, Elisha Cook jr, Charles Dierkop, Bennie Robinson, Morgan Fisher, Dyanne Asimow, Herb Margolis, Alex Michaels, Walter Hill, Laurie Charlap-Hyman, Bill L. Norton
written by William Huyck, Gloria Katz, music by Phillan Bishop

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After receiving very warped correspondence from her father, then no correspondence at all anymore, Arletty (Marianna Hill) decides to pay him a visit in the coastal village he has moved to - but she doesn't find him at his house, just eccentric Thom (Michael Greer) and his two girlfriends, sisters Laura (Anitra Ford) and Toni (Joy Bang) ... and a hobo (Elisha Cook jr) who tells a horror story about the region involving what you'd today refer to as zombies. All of this sounds like illusions of a harmless drunk of course, but the next day, he's found dead with weird bitemarks.

Thom soon shows an interest in Arletty, which makes Laura want to leave him for good - but at the local mall, she's torn to pieces and eaten alive by the zombies.

The next day, Toni feels like the third wheel, and ignorant to what has happened to Laura, she goes to the movies ... where she's torn apart and eaten alive (or at least almost alive). In the meantime, Thom and Arletty have found out what's wrong with the place, that there's a zombie virus at work, but while Thom goes to town to save Toni (he doesn't succeed and almost is eaten alive himself), Arletty gets a visit from her father, now more zombie than man, who warns her and urges her to destroy him and get away from here, but she is able to kill him after he physically attacks her - and then she notices she is turning into one of them, too - and so is Thom she notices after his return. Still they try to make a getaway over the sea, but Thom drowns doing so, Arletty though is saved by the zombies who need her to sacrifice her to their leader, the "dark man", but eventually, she lands in an asylume, and maybe all of what has happened has happened only in her head ... but maybe not.

 

Messiah of Evil is a weird little film: On one hand, it's most certainly one of the earliest flesh-eating zombie movies (following Night of the Living Dead of course), and despite not being all that graphic, it gets pretty gruesome at times. On the other hand though, the film has a weirdly lyrical approach to it that's at times more Jean Rollin than George A. Romero, and that not always helps the film. Plus, all the characters feel a bit too empty to really carry the movie, so the result is ... well, it's in a way a film that is ahead of its time (and despite similarities with Night of the Living Dead, it's in no way derivative), just, well, not a very good one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD