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When a former member of a religious cult dies in a mysterious accident, his wife Martha (Maren Jensen, Battlestar Galactica), who now lives alone and close to the cults church, begins to fear for her life and the lives of her visiting friends (Susan Buckner, Sharon Stone). Strange and deadly events begin to happen... Could she be the target of the evil cult and its fanatical leader Isaiah (Ernest Borgnine)?
Directed by Wes Craven (Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street) and starring Jeff East (Pumpkinhead), Lisa Hartman (The 17th Bride) and Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), this consistently terrifying film delivers unpredictable plot twists (Time Out) and visual shocks galore.
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"Deadly Blessing" begins with young couple Martha (Maren Jensen) and Tom Schmidt (Jonathon Gulla) living in an isolated farm named `Our Blessing', where most of it's population are of the Hittite religion. Jim used to be a Hittite himsef but left the community when he got married. Martha tells matron Louisa Stohler (Lois Nettleton), who is the mother of Faith (Lisa Hartman)that she is pregnant. That night, Tom searches in the barn after hearing strange noises from inside, but is murdered when a mysterious figure runs him over with his tractor. This is seen as a mechanical accident.
Friends Lana Marcus (Sharon Stone) and Vicky Anderson (Susan Buckner) visit Martha after Tom's funeral. Some time after Martha refuses to sell the farm to Isaiah Schmidt (Ernest Borgnine), the leader of the Hittites, and slams the door in his face. When William Gluntz (Michael Berryman) goes to the house at night to search for his shoe he accidentally left earlier when sneaking around, he is stabbed through the back by an unseen figure.
Martha is now being accused of being the incubas. Lana enters the barn the next day to look for something in the haystack but all the doors and windows suddenly close, trapping her inside. In a panic, she searches for a way out but encounters a figure dressed in black. When escaping out the now open barn door William's corpse swoops down at her, hanging from a rope. The police clears up the mess as the sheriff (Kevin Cooney) advises the three friends to move out of town, as someone may be after them. However, Martha descides to stay where she is and buy a gun for protection. Multiple events follow, such as a snake being put into Martha's bathroom while she's taking a bath by an unseen figure who creeps in her house. She manages to get out of the bath and kill it. Little do the friends know that the trouble has only began.
I cannot possibly oversell "Deadly Blessing". The cinematography is pitch perfect, the deaths are extremely suspenseful, and the ending, while a bit out there, stays completely true to the story. It is with this film that Craven showed the film world that he could make a horror movie that relied on actual intelligent filmmaking as opposed to cheap scares. While it is true that the film is a bit slow and meanders a bit in its middle act, it is still a fine horror movie that deserves a re-release. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out immediately. Sadly, however, it is only available in region 2 release so unless you have a VCR or a multiregion dvd plyer, you may be out of luck.
The Blu Ray release includes Theatrical trailer, tv spots, radio spots, as well as a few other short interview segments about different elements of the film...discussed with Michael Berryman and Susan Bruckner...amongst others. For those of you that don't own a Blu Ray player, this release is also available on DVD!
What's mindboggling is how many people DON'T KNOW ABOUT or HAVEN'T HEARD of this movie! Especially considering the MANY horrible horror movies that there have been! This film, released in 1981, was VERY out of the 'norm' from the other style of horror films that had previously been directed by Wes Craven. There was a very cheap and gritty appearance to 'The Hills Have Eyes' and 'Last House On The Left.' This movie was beautiful as far as the cinematography is concerned! It's also safe to mention that the acting is very good in the film. This was Sharon Stone's first major film and her acting is okay. However, the acting of Ernest Borgnine, Maren Jensen, Michael Berryman and the others more than made up for Sharon's not-so-good performance!
This is a strange movie...that may require more than one viewing for you to truly make sense of everything that this film wants us to believe and understand!
The film has a great creepy atmosphere, ideal locations for a horror film and enough twists and turns to keep even the average horror fan entertained for it's running time!
There are slasher elements...supernatural elements and all of these blend together to create a truly original and atmospheric horror masterpiece!
Having seen many of Wes Craven's films, this is by far my favorite...even though he brought us such classics as 'The People Under The Stairs,' 'NIghtmare On Elm Street,' 'Scream,' 'Deadly Friend,' The Hills Have Eyes,' 'Red Eye,' and 'Last House On The Left.'
This horror film has everything that a film of this kind should have...great setting...great cinematography...excellent acting...strange and eerie plot...fantastic music score...female nudity...and a few jump scares!
I highly recommend this to fans of classic slasher films and fans that enjoy obscure horror films!
Gorehounds beware...this IS NOT for you! This movie deals with the depravity that lies in human nature,
Even though this was a recently discovered horror film for me, it's now at the very top of my horror favorites list!
Do yourself a favor and discover this fantastic example of a brilliant horror director coming into his own and in the meantime, creating a 'unique' film that brilliantly blends different horror elements all into one fantastic movie!
Highly recommended! A +++++++
Highly underrated 1981 supernatural horror thriller from co-writer and director Wes Craven is one of his most overlooked movies. This movie is quite different as it's a horror flick set in Amish country which no one has ever thought of, a very well acted and creepy slasher film with thrills and chills and makes you guess who is this killer. Sharon Stone makes her second film debut before becoming a big star, Michael Barryman does a sympathic role as the mentally challenged deformed Hittite and Borgnine is terrific as the religious leader, however the ending is kind of a cop-out which nearly hurts the purpose of the film but despite that it's still enjoyable stuff. I rented this when i was 5 and thought it was creepy as hell, i had this on a blank tape with other stuff on it for years and wished for the day for a DVD release and now my dream has came true as it's one of those requested movies on DVD and blu.
Scream Factory has done it again! they did a beautiful and well done transfer on the picture here and terrific sound quality on the blu-ray which i am reviewing. The extras are good from interviews, trailer, TV spots, radio spots and still gallery.