Astrid’s review published on Letterboxd:
An overlooked indie-horror gem that was directed, written and produced by husband/wife duo Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz (the duo that co-wrote American Graffiti with George Lucas in the same year).
It really surprises me that Messiah of Evil has become somewhat forgotten, as it brilliantly blends everything that was so exciting about horror in the early 70s: gore and style (aka slashers.)
The narrative is somewhat difficult to pin down (just one of it's many quirks) but the basic gist of the story lies somewhere between The Wicker Man and Night of the Living Dead with a sizable chunk of romance. Add to this already bizarre mix a very large dash of giallo charm (I haven't seen a 70s horror film so colourful outside of Europe) and a bit of Jean Rollin and you'll be somewhere close.
Unfortunately, the film is not quite as good as Night of the Living Dead, Suspiria or Wicker Man (not much is tbh), but it would be fair to argue that this film easily tops the best Jean Rollin has had to offer.
Messiah of Evil definitely deserves a blu-ray treatment too holy hell.