Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rare Flix: Deadly Blessing

Thanks for splurging on the High-Def Version, Netflix!  Today's film is Deadly Blessing, a film that is not remembered all that well.  Maybe it's the lack of a major DVD/Blu-Ray Release that hurts it.  After all, why would Netflix's Streaming Version be a pretty blatant VHS Rip?  It's not like there was a Blu-Ray Release from let's just say January of this very year.  Getting past my annoyance about the version carried by my provider of Movies, let's talk about the actual film, shall we?  Deadly Blessing is an early film by Mr. Craven and it's about evil Amish.  It's okay to trash talk them- they'll never read this!  A young woman's life is turned upside down by the sudden death of her husband and she calls her friends in to help.  What is the secret of the nearby not-actually-Amish group?  Are they really evil or is something more going on?  More importantly, who would trust Ernest Borgnine to lead a Religion after The Devil's Rain?  To find out the answer to SOME of those questions, read on...
*Before I begin properly, I just want to note that some of my Screen Caps were found online.  Others you'll see later were taken by me.  See if you notice the difference in quality.*

A group called the Hittites (which features Michael Berryman!) is 'all up in the grill' of a guy who left the group.  Him and his wife aren't exactly living in peace.
Their Leader- Ernest Borgnine- is especially animated about it.  He looks like a Muppet!

The husband dies in a freak 'accident' so our heroine calls her friends for help.  When in doubt, endanger friends AND loved ones!
One of her two friends is played by Sharon Stone.  She spends the whole movie pretty much reacting and being scared.  Who said that there were no great roles for women?
Three years before he would do the famous Tub Scene in Nightmare on Elm Street, Craven would do a prototype version with a snake here.  It's just one of two moments like this, actually.
Eventually, the brother of the dead husband leaves the Hittites because he has the hots for one of our heroine's friends.  It all works out, though, when they are both burned to death.  Ha ha ha- death pun!
The climax of the film comes when a couple crazier members of the Hittites attack the house.  It's all very stock, but it's not exactly the end.
After everything seems to have calmed down, everyone leaves the house, save for our heroine.  Suddenly, the lights go out, a zombie version of the husband shows up and the oft-mentioned Succubus pops out of the floor (echoing Freddy's ending attack from Nightmare) and pulls her to Hell.

So yeah, that happened.  The End.
It's interesting from an historical standpoint, but that's about it.  Blessing suffers from low-production values, odd pacing and just a general sense of malaise.  There are a few really good, tense scenes in the film, but they are way too spread out.  It reminds me a bit of A Blade in the Dark in a lot of ways.  That film was Made-For-TV (in Italy) and featured kill scenes every 15 minutes on the dot.  If the film was paced a bit better, I'd really not have a whole lot to complain about.  It's a neat story about sectioned-off societies trying to co-exist with a World that's different and determining who is wrong.  I think that a really good movie could be made with this premise.  Oh right- there was one and it was called Witness.  All kidding aside, I would have liked to see a lot more from here.  That crazy Ending almost makes the whole thing worth it- almost.  It's a flawed film that shows what Craven could and would do as a Director.  Oh and, seriously, spring for the High-Definition Version.  It's the least that you could do.  Take us away, Not-So-Revealing Mistake...
Next up, a crazy Bollywood film that comes from...Canada.  I'm mostly reviewing it for one special *fake* Guest Star.  Stay tuned...

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