Monday, August 20, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Amishenanigans - Deadly Blessing Review
Stacie at Final Girl has chosen Wes Craven's 1981 shocker Deadly Blessing as her Film Club pick this month, so let's get to it.
This came out during the dawn of the slasher era, but I was still too young to gain access to R-rated movies, so I had to rely on my friends' older siblings' opinions to find out just how badly I was missing out. In this case, the verdict was pretty dire. "It sucked." said the jaded senior-high set. Shamefully, I trusted this assessment so implicitly, that I'd never bother to track the movie down and judge it for myself. The gospel of the roller-rinkers had been set down, and like an unquestioning buggy-riding bumpkin, I SHUNNED THIS MOVIE.
Too bad, because it's actually the shit. You've got Oscar-winners acting badly,bankable television stars acting like lunatics, and a young, cherubic Sharon Stone acting like, well, nowadays Sharon Stone. Add in a dash of gratuitous cheesecake and the stage should be set for a campy cult classic, right? Well, not at first. For the first hour, Deadly Blessing feeds us a few animal-icks, and one really good jump-scare, but overall, the buildup is awfully light on tension.
BUT!!! Then comes the final half hour and HOLY CRAP does the (S)hittite ever hit the fan.
Menacing Van Art!
Lamps! Bedposts! Shotguns!
Mace in the FACE!
What IN HELL. This movie should be famous for its last act. I won't spoil it, but imagine cramming Charlie's Angels, The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, Sleepaway Camp, and Little House on the Prairie into a Moulinex and leaving it on purée for ten minutes. That's the flavor you'll end up with. Maybe it's not to everyone's taste, but I frankly ate that shit up. Thanks, Final Girl. I have seen the deadly, blessed light.
Remembering Gail Russell
I watched an old gothic spooker called The Uninvited the other night, and was struck by Gail Russell's beauty and naturalistic performance style. Sadly, she struggled in life with alcohol addiction, and died alone at the terribly young age of 36. Imagine if Warner Bros. or MGM had done Wondy back in the earliest days of her comic appearances - who better than Miss Russell to play the Amazonian ingénue? Tell me what you think....("the skirt can be discarded if it proves cumbersome") Click for full-length view.