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Messiah of Evil (1973)

 -  Horror | Thriller  -  1973 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,334 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 51 critic

A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

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Title: Messiah of Evil (1973)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Greer ...
Thom
...
Arletty (as Mariana Hill)
Joy Bang ...
Toni
Anitra Ford ...
Laura
...
Joseph Long
...
Charlie
Charles Dierkop ...
Gas Attendant
Bennie Robinson ...
Albino trucker
Morgan Fisher ...
Unknown
Emma Truckman ...
Unknown
Dyanne Asimow ...
Unknown (as Dyanne Simon)
Herb Margolis ...
Unknown
Alex Michaels ...
Unknown
Laurie Charlap-Hyman ...
Unknown
Edit

Storyline

A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror reigns when he returns. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead People  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As posted on her blog in 2011, actress Anitra Ford writes: "Shot in 1971, this movie was originally titled The Second Coming. Toward the end of the filming, investors pulled their money out, and the film was never finished. A Frenchman bought the unedited footage, edited it and released the movie under the title of Messiah of Evil. In 2003, in the horror film genre, The British Film Institute hailed Messiah of Evil as 'a rare work of cinematic genius.'" See more »

Goofs

The sound towards the end somehow develops a three-second delay from when the characters open their mouths to when we actually hear their voices. See more »

Quotes

Charlie: Don't be afraid. I'm an ugly old man, but I'm harmless.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Remembering Messiah of Evil (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold On To Love
Music and Lyrics by Eliane Tortel
Sung by Raun MacKinnon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A red moon over Pointe Dune.
7 April 2009 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

A girl arrives in a strange town on the California coast to see her father and learns that he's vanished. When she meets up with a swinging drifter the two soon discover that the weird locals are hiding a horrific secret, they're also quite hungry...

Dead People (also known by the title Messiah of Evil) is an obscure gem among the numerous low-budget drive-in horror flicks of the 70's. It's a gritty film that brims with creative energy and remains intriguingly off-beat throughout. This isn't your standard horror tale at all. There's a great atmospheric dread that runs through the film, along with an amazingly nightmarish moodiness. The compelling plot sports a number of truly chilling scenes and escalates to an intense, if somewhat surreal, finale that's perfectly haunting. It also uses very little violence or gore to reach its effective creepiness.

Director Willard Huyck does a splendid job creating a dream-like vibe for this film and does well with crafting some suspenseful scenes. The cast is good as well. Star Marianna Hill is confident in her portrayal of mystified Arletty and Michael Greer brings something genuine to the character of wondering Thom. Veteran actors Elisha Cook Jr. and Royal Dano are both excellent and truly spooky in their brief but memorable roles in the film.

Is it a perfect film? Not quite, there's some rough editing and a wistful love song theme that seems out of place here, but these issues are dwarfed by the strong points. There's plenty to admire about this chilling, unique horror film. It's definitely worth tracking down for horror fans that enjoy their films a bit on the existential side.

*** 1/2 out of ****


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Anyone get the DVD yet? westing000
talk about a gem westing000
Where was this filmed? scarpred
is there a version that looks good? crunkyshines
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