Messiah of Evil

Messiah of Evil ★★★½

#85 Hoop-Tober 3.2.1

A woman goes in search of her artist father who was living in a coastal town, ignoring his protestations int he last of his letters to her.

Not what I was expecting at all, knowing nothing about the film and just going by the title, for some reason I was expecting some sort of take on the Manson murders. I was very wrong.

Somewhat reminiscent of a cross between the Night of the Living Dead and Carnival of Souls, it is the story of a small town which 100 years ago, under a blood red moon, was visited by a man who claimed to have survived the Donner Party. He then walked into the sea, promising to return. And with the moon about to turn red, that is what the townspeople are waiting for as a change is coming over them.

The film has that odd off-kilter feel of a regional horror which gives it a great sense of atmosphere, although it's by no means perfect. The voice over, as is so often the case, is a clumsy tool although the film serves up a perfect opportunity to explain it away and promptly misses the open goal. And the way in which the town's back story is delivered is just as awkward.

But it's those kinds of odd missteps which make a film like this so endearing.

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