a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
A gruesome secret, protected for generations, rises to give its...
This film is set in Amish Country, at a local farm, where a woman's husband is mysteriously killed by his own tractor!
A Stench In The Nostrils of God
'Deadly Blessing' is almost like a Wyeth painting with some detail or surface feature or embroidered aspect of such glaring off-keyness that it creates a surpassing sense of a horror so deep and vast that an entire culture was woven around and by it, or like if a Malick film tripped and hit its head on a rock in a field, blood streaming in its eyes having gone blind and mad with damage. The more I think about and watch 'Deadly Blessing' the more it becomes clear that this is maybe the key movie in Wes Craven's filmography, tying together thematically, narratively, and visually 'Last House on the Left', 'The Hills Have Eyes',…
Deadly Blessing is a head-scratching oddity from Wes Craven. It's a bit shit, but I kind of liked it. It plays out, for the most part, as a bleak thriller-drama centring on a pack of aggressive Hittites (basically Amish people on steroids) and a widow (Maren Jensen) who has just lost her husband, an ex-Hittite, in a suspicious accident. Cue mysterious murders, snakes in bathtubs, and lots of shouts of "INCUBUS!"
Deadly Blessing chugs along at an enjoyable and leisurely pace. There's little in the way of death and violence, but there's the occasional intense moment of terror, usually involving a thoroughly traumatised and very young Sharon Stone. The film features a nightmare sequence that is among the most upsetting…
An early offering from good old Wes Craven. He directed this sometime between The Hills Have Eyes and Swamp Thing, so that might be the reason it fell into obscurity or maybe it's because it also received horrid reviews. No matter, I thought this was GREAT.
The lead in the film is none other then Athena from Battlestar Galactica, Maren Jensen. I know that has no barring on anything but I loved her on that series and she's only been in a couple of TV series and one or two films before retiring from acting. In fact this is her last film and she's actually quite good in it.
She plays Martha Schmidt alongside her husband…
"Deadly Blessing" proves that, even before "A Nightmare on Elm Street," Wes Craven was not interested in making typical slasher films. Though "Deadly Blessing" borrows tropes from the slasher subgenre, Craven deftly mixes them into an original story that earns it thrills from more than just a villain with a knife.
The story follows the tension between the pious Hitites and a woman who was married to man who left the sect. Bad things then begin to happen to both sides. The narrrative progresses from straightforward to twisty and is appealingly compelling. There is enough mid-western American atmosphere to flavor things, and the film is measured in its pacing. Interestingly, some dream imagery and a recognizable bathtub sequence show Craven building the foundation for Elm Street.
"Deadly Blessing" is far from perfect: a hammy Ernest Borgnine and some questionable effects shots mar the film to some degree. It is, however, an effective, sometimes unsettling horror film.
Viewed on DVD
Hopp-Tober 2.0 #15
What a strange film this ended up being. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew what was going to happen and if it turned out the way I thought it would, Deadly Blessings would have been a much better film than it was.
So much was crammed into the last 20 minutes of the film, I still don't know what happened.
There is good reason why Deadly Blessings has slipped by the way side over the years considering it's a Wes Craven film starring legendary actor Ernest Borgnine and a fresh faced Sharon Stone. It's an interesting and intriguing film about an Amish family, a young couple, their neighbours and INCUBUS!
It's just disappointing.
"You find (that shoe). And remember the wages of sin!"
Such a great movie. From a young, eager Wes Craven (before Elm Street), a young, eager Sharon Stone (before Basic Instinct), it's got everything you could want; people hating on the band Incubus (or something to that effect), crazy Hittities that "make the Amish look like swingers", spiders and snakes, an absolutely batshit crazy Ernest Borgnine, and Michael Berryman running around like a loon.
Seriously though, it's really good. Just a classic pitch perfect horror film, set in the mysterious countryside full of religious zealots. What could possibly be scarier? I love that Wes always casts women, and they play a crucial role in this one as well. Other than…
James Horner slumming it and ripping off The score from The Omen.
A recently widowed farm wife tangles with the members of a sinister Amish-style religious sect in one of Wes Craven's lesser-known mid-career flicks. "Deadly Blessing" builds up a decent amount of suspense for most of its length but totally falls apart in the last fifteen minutes, thanks to a WTF plot twist and a cop-out "supernatural" ending that feels like it was tacked on as an afterthought.
Also of note: the high eye candy quotient, provided by the lovely Maren Jensen (of TV's "Battlestar Galactica") and a young-and-unknown Sharon Stone (in a supporting role that mainly demands she wear a nightie and pout). Sadly, Maren Jensen retired from acting after finishing this flick due to health issues.
"Deadly Blessing" isn't one of Wes' best, but it's not his worst either.
When I sat down to watch an early Wes Craven film I wasn't expecting Murder She Wrote with beards.
Some truly unforgettable nightmare/kill sequences and a stunningly weird ending. Beyond that, its TV movie level budget doesn't allow it to be all that interesting.
For the most part its patchy but not a complete waste of time.
Decent effort with some proper creepy moments, especially in its final third. Not super strong, but fair.
For the media-saturated 80s, there was something fascinating about the spectacle of technophobic communities. Although Peter Weir may have captured the spirit of Old Weird America more canonically in Witness, Wes Craven not only anticipated the trend a half-decade earlier, but outdid Weir’s Amish exoticism with a horror film set in a remote Hittite community in the Midwest. For those, like me, who aren’t up on their American cults, a quick Google search reveals that the Hittites are a fictional community, whereas part of what made Witness so compelling was the sense of documental veracity, the frisson of a camera intruding – often for the first time – into this virginal community. However, Craven is less interested in documentary affectation…
Deadly Blessing follows Martha Schmidt (Maren Jensen), a city girl who has recently moved into a farmhouse in the country with her husband Jim before his untimely death. Jim was raised a Hittite (a religion which one of the characters describes as making the Amish "look like swingers") before deciding to get an education in the city and leave his strict religious background behind. After their marriage, the two moved to the plot of farmland Jim's father Isaiah (Ernest Borgnine!) had gifted to him before disowning him following his decision to leave the community for the big city. Now, tensions run high between the recently widowed Martha and the local Hittite community which would just as soon buy her land…
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…
We're about half way through the Underrated Series and have finally reached one of the big genres. I'm expecting lots…