Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...
... to 'Day Twenty' of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" and to the third instalment of "Macabre Movie Monday" in which I aim to recommend a succession of horror movies that'll send shivers down your spine & can all be streamed to your TV via the magic of Roku player !!
So... if you're planning to while away the hours, during these dark autumnal evenings, by watching a succession of Hallowe'en / Horror-themed movies to get into the "spirit" of things, you should make a point of visiting this blog EVERY MONDAY between now and October 31st for even more creepy cinema classics to "get your fright on" in readiness for your own Hallowe'en celebrations !!
For "Scream Three" in this series, what better than a film with taglines such as... "Terror you won't want to remember - in a film you won't be able to forget" or "In order to live, they will take you one by one... and no-one will hear you scream"?!! Should you recognise either of those, then you will already know that I'm talking about a 1973 movie from the same husband & wife partnership that wrote the screenplay for "American Graffiti" amongst their more notable offerings. Anyway, to whet your appetite further, here's a quick look at the poster for the film:-
Directed by Willard Huyck with Gloria Katz (uncredited), and starring Marianna Hill, Michael Greer, Joy Bang, Anitra Ford, Royal Dano and Elisha Cook Jr. plus Bennie Robinson (amongst others), it tells the story of a young woman who goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town which is governed by a mysterious undead cult. One of several films from the "American Nightmare" period of 1968 to 1978, that took it's inspiration from George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead", the eerie & evocative "Messiah Of Evil" (1973) is the kind of movie that is likely to be enjoyed by fans of "Carnival Of Souls" (1962), or "Let's Scare Jessica To Death" (1971), as well as (perhaps) "The Wicker Man" (1973). Containing elements that will (no doubt) appeal to devotees of film director David Lynch plus an overall "feel" for the setting of the movie which lovers of H. P. Lovecraft are sure to appreciate. Other 'Lovecraft' trademarks include the "wraparound" sequences, in which the film's main protagonist recounts the events that form the basis of the movie from the confines of an insane asylum! Essentially... this could be described as a bit of an "arthouse" flick, with a darkly comic edge to it, that is (for the most part) a very "surreal" film. There is very little in the way of "gore" so, if that's more your thing, you may want to give it a miss. However, there are some genuinely creepy (dare I say, "disturbing"?!) moments to be had which will (most likely) sear themselves into your memory & remain there for some time to come! Overall, my guess is, it will prove to be a bit of a "marmite" movie... in so much as you will either love it, or hate it, and I doubt there'll be many of you sitting on the fence when it comes to giving your opinion of the film. So, for those of you that have yet to see this dark & moody piece of low-budget (or, should that be "no budget"?!) horror cinema... here's a brief taster courtesy of this short trailer for the movie:-
PLEASE NOTE:- The above trailer was about the best I could find for "Messiah Of Evil" since most of the 'YouTube' videos purporting to be trailers offered little more than the first two minutes of the introduction to the movie (itself) upto where the opening credits begin. Since, if you watch the film, you are going to see that entire sequence for yourself anyway, there seemed little point in including them as part of this post. The remainder either contained too many "spoilers" or else contained entire segments of the movie which I consider to be the absolute highlights - specifically, the scene shot in a grocery store where the "locals" are gathered at the meat counter PLUS the scene shot in the local movie theatre... but, so as not to ruin your enjoyment of the film, I'll say no more than that !!
If you'd like to know more about the film, there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Messiah Of Evil" (1973), FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there is even more information on the Wikipedia Page for "Messiah Of Evil", VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for another screening. Although, as with the other horror films that I've featured recently, if you're already a big fan, you may not take much persuading to watch it again !!
Anyway (once again) the best recommendation I can make, as to which of the available Roku channels you could use to watch this movie, is to suggest "YouTube" as your first port-of-call on account of the vast number of horror movies which, thanks to this channel and it's associated apps, are now readily available to stream via your Roku player(s) whenever you choose.
If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you'll find "YouTube" listed among the "Internet TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store and you can easily add it to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' from the home screen and scrolling through the options until you see the (above) channel icon. It's completely FREE-TO-ADD as well as being FREE-TO-VIEW so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigating the on-screen menu to play "Messiah Of Evil" on your Roku which, for the record, runs to 1h 30mins and can be found via the following link:-
PLEASE NOTE:- That the link to "Messiah Of Evil" on 'YouTube' mentions one of many alternative titles that were used to market the movie. The use of "Dead People" came later on, when the film was reissued, and was not in use when the film was first released in 1973. Now that I mention it... there is another "tagline" worth quoting, created specifically for the reissue, which includes that particular title:-
Albert likes good music, motor trips by moonlight, and... eating human flesh!
Albert is one of the... DEAD PEOPLE !!
A quick FYI, for anyone interested... there's a dedicated page on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing all of the 'Release Info' for "Messiah Of Evil" (1973), including the "Also Known As" (AKA) details, VIA THIS LINK. In the meantime, here are a few more posters that movie-goers and home cinema viewers may have encountered over the years, dependent on their precise location:-
GERMAN DVD POSTER................IMAGE SOURCE: FlickFacts.com
35th ANNIVERSARY POSTER................IMAGE SOURCE: FlickFacts.com
To round-off this third "Macabre Movie Monday" on 'Day Twenty' of the 'Countdown To Halloween' for 2014, are a few more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS for you... for example, did you know that many of the extras in the film were unemployed NASA workers?! Maybe that explains the "spaced-out" & dreamlike nature in evidence for much of the movie! Or, how about the fact that co-writer & director (uncredited) of the film, Gloria Katz, who also happened to be married to director, writer & producer for "Messiah Of Evil", Willard Huyck, played a cameo role as the woman in the box office at the movie theater - marking the start of one of the movie's truly standout moments?! On a lighter note... actor Bennie Robinson, first seen driving the pick-up truck (which, incidentally, was owned by the movie's art director - Jack Fisk) that pulls into the gas station near the start of the movie for $2.00 worth of fuel, was completely unaware that he had mis-pronounced the name "Wagner" during a later scene from the movie, but... film director Willard Huyck happened to find it funny and so he never corrected Robinson regarding the error !!
Anyway, that's all for today... but do visit us again in 24-hours for 'Day Twenty-One' and more Hallowe'en / Horror-themed content, in "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", when I will reveal the next selection of Hallowe'en / Horror-related music to feature as my batch of "Teriffying Tuesday Tunes", and then to come back (again) the same time next week for yet another "Macabre Movie Monday" as we continue our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" 2014...
Fangs (as always) for reading !!