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Messiah of Evil: The Second Coming [Import]

Michael Greer , Marianna Hill , Gloria Katz , Willard Huyck    R (Restricted)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.97
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uncanny, Poetic Masterpiece March 25 2004
Format:DVD
This review is of *Messiah of Evil*.
The five stars are for the film itself, and not for the DVD transfer. Though poor, it is still an enormous improvement over the third-rate VHS release. I agree, though, with those who feel that this film deserves a better release, although I won't be holding my breath awaiting it. I take issue, however, with those who criticize the acting and the pace of the film. Anyway, on to the review....
Who knew what darkness lay in the hearts of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, the screenwriting team that brought us *American Graffiti* and *Howard The Duck*? Huyck also directed this tale of atavistic resurgence run amok.
A young woman travels to a small seaside town to search for her missing father, a local artist. There, she meets a curious *ménage a trois*: An effete researcher into ancient legends and his two female traveling companions. The uncooperative townspeople from whom they seek information resemble somnambulists, especially at night, when they gather on the beach and gaze longingly out to sea under a reddening moon. Other weird and terrifying portents soon appear: An old drunkard warns the heroine that, here, the corpses must be burned, not buried; a man offers a hitchhiker a mouse--when she refuses it, he eats it alive; tears of blood drip from the townspeople's eyes; live insects and vermin spew forth from their mouths. As the heroine and her companions delve deeper into the mystery, they find themselves engulfed in cataclysmic violence, and the secret of the messiah of evil, as well as the fate of the girl's father, transpires at last.
What this bare synopsis omits completely is the true source of the film's power: Its overwhelming and consistent poetic atmosphere of doom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zombieville U.S.A. Jan. 9 2004
Format:DVD
MESSIAH OF EVIL begins with a young woman in a mental institution. She tells of her search for her missing father (played brilliantly by Royal Dano). Her quest takes her to a tiny beach-town called Point Dune. She is joined by a strange trio (Michael Greer and two beautiful women, one of whom was the queen of "The Bee Girls") who seem to be seeking answers of their own. Together, they encounter a town population gone mad! Increasingly, we see townfolk who have been slowly transformed into a horde of flesh-eating zombies! In one memorable scene (of which there are many), a girl goes to the movie theatre to see "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye", where she is slowly surrounded by eerie-looking zombie patrons. This flick is an excellent twist on the undead theme, with many genuinely scary moments and a building atmosphere of dread that is almost suffocating. The "Messiah" himself is a man in black who first appeared a century ago, killing people and turning them into zombies. He called this his "new religion". He left, vowing to return in a hundred years (now) when people would be ready for his rancid gospel. We never get a good look at his face. A macabre, apocalyptic tale of horror. I loved this movie! Highly recommended...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uncanny, Poetic Masterpiece March 25 2004
By Carnamagos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Who knew what darkness lay in the hearts of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, the screenwriting team that brought us *American Graffiti* and *Howard The Duck*? Huyck also directed this tale of atavistic resurgence run amok.

A young woman travels to a small seaside town to search for her missing father, a local artist. There, she meets a curious *ménage a trois*: An effete researcher into ancient legends and his two female traveling companions. The uncooperative townspeople from whom they seek information resemble somnambulists, especially at night, when they gather on the beach and gaze longingly out to sea under a reddening moon. Other weird and terrifying portents soon appear: An old drunkard warns the heroine that, here, the corpses must be burned, not buried; a man offers a hitchhiker a mouse--when she refuses it, he eats it alive; tears of blood drip from the townspeople's eyes; live insects and vermin spew from their mouths. As the heroine and her companions delve deeper into the mystery, they find themselves engulfed in cataclysmic violence, and the secret of the messiah of evil, as well as the fate of the girl's father, transpires at last.

What this bare synopsis omits completely is the true source of the film's power: Its overwhelming and consistent poetic atmosphere of doom. From the dismal organ and synthesizer music that underpins the heroine's first exploration of her father's empty studio and its strange *trompe l'oeil* murals, to the massed townspeople waiting expectantly on the beach like sleepwalkers in a Delvaux painting, *Messiah of Evil* creates a perfect microcosmic nightmare world. Once seen, it is never to be forgotten: A rare triumph of perfect atmosphere.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressed Jan. 11 2006
By wade wainio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
[Note: I have only seen "Messiah of Evil"].

I approached "Messiah of Evil" without expecting much, but the movie delivered a great deal more than expected. Considering the relatively unknown status of this film, it has many standout psychological horror scenes. The scene in the supermarket is genuinely disturbing. And the scene in the movie theater terrified me for reasons I don't fully understand (and few movies frighten me). And who can deny the wonder of the off-the-wall "beach-mouse" scene?

This is an unconventional zombie movie with genuine artistic value (as far-fetched as it sounds).
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zombieville U.S.A. Jan. 9 2004
By Bindy Sue Fr°nkŘnschtein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
MESSIAH OF EVIL begins with a young woman in a mental institution. She tells of her search for her missing father (played brilliantly by Royal Dano). Her quest takes her to a tiny beach-town called Point Dune. She is joined by a strange trio (Michael Greer and two beautiful women, one of whom was the queen of "The Bee Girls") who seem to be seeking answers of their own. Together, they encounter a town population gone mad! Increasingly, we see townfolk who have been slowly transformed into a horde of flesh-eating zombies! In one memorable scene (of which there are many), a girl goes to the movie theatre to see "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye", where she is slowly surrounded by eerie-looking zombie patrons. This flick is an excellent twist on the undead theme, with many genuinely scary moments and a building atmosphere of dread that is almost suffocating. The "Messiah" himself is a man in black who first appeared a century ago, killing people and turning them into zombies. He called this his "new religion". He left, vowing to return in a hundred years (now) when people would be ready for his rancid gospel. We never get a good look at his face. A macabre, apocalyptic tale of horror. I loved this movie! Highly recommended...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Combo March 10 2005
By Jay S. Bethke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Both these films are great (yet widely unknown) horror flicks that deserve more attention than a lot of trash that sells better. I've been a huge fan of The Devil's Nightmare for years, and Messiah of Evil was a very pleasant surpise as well. I'm biased, and so I only have good to say about both of these movies. BUT, I have to report one thing about the quality of The Devil's Nightmare on this DVD: I have collected several cuts of the film over the years and I find that the audio here is not nearly as good as even some video versions I've got (the widely available Redemption version, for example, has better). The picture is ok (really no better than Redemption's video), and as much of the scenes as I've ever found are also there, so if you weigh in the fact that you can have Messiah of Evil as a bonus, this DVD isn't too bad a deal.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost masterpiece for you to discover Jan. 12 2010
By Martin Montag - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Code Red DVD has at long last put out a true masterpiece of genre movie-making for fans of avant-garde horror. Messiah Of Evil ranks right up alongside other 1970's classics such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn Of The Dead, Shivers and Eraserhead with comparative inventive aplomb.

Beginning with the onscreen graphic murder of then aspiring young actor and soon to be renowned movie director Walter Hill this visually poetic tale of dark forces at play in a small fictitious Californian costal town known as Pointe Dune mesmerises the viewer like a moth to a night flame. Told from the perspective of a woman in search of her artist father in the titular town where she meets an effete, but intriguing man and his two female charges and their unfolding encounters which occur therein.

If you enjoy cinema which transports you to a world of visual originality where fantastic heightened reality becomes a doorway to impressions, ideas, emotional engagement, stimulating imagery and an abundance of atmospheric ambience, this film is one to savour and treasure. This art-house-horror film has made and left a lasting resonance upon this viewer.

If you are a fan of such film directors as David Cronenberg, David Lynch, George Romero, Dario Argento and other enigmatic examples of 1970's cinema then I urge you to order this lost treat unearthed and beautifully restored with many extra's including a commentary track, interviews and short film by the same director all wrapped up in an evocative sleeve from rising cult label new stars Code Red DVD
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