Monday, June 2, 2014

Only now does it occur to me... DEADLY BLESSING

Only now does it occur to me... that I would ever see Ernest Borgnine play a crazy-eyed, terrifying Amish preacher in a Wes Craven religious-slasher flick.

Er, scratch that, he's not Amish– he's a "Hittite."  Now nobody can be offended, apparently.  As Sharon Stone's character says, "The Hittites make the Amish look like swingers."  What, WHUTTT?!– did I just say "Sharon Stone?"

Yup, here she is, in one of her very first film roles, pictured below as a real, defanged spider crawls up her neck.



This would seem to nullify Menahem Golan's claim that she was discovered entirely by Cannon Films.

We also have the distinctive Michael Berryman (THE HILLS HAVE EYES, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, WEIRD SCIENCE)
 
as a red herring, a role he would later fulfill again in the similarly-themed religious slasher episode of the X-FILES, "Revelations."

Anyway, DEADLY BLESSING is definitely second or third-tier Craven, though it contains much memorable and spooky imagery (including freaky use of snakes and spiders)
 
 and feels in many ways like a trial run for A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, with its distinguishing Craven camera-angles:

and its surreal forays into the dreamscape
 
 
which tell me that, conscious or not, the germ of the idea that was Freddy Krueger began to really flesh itself out for the first time on set of DEADLY BLESSING.

2 comments:

J.D. Lafrance said...

Good call on its influence on A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. DEADLY BLESSING is actually one of my fave Craven films and I was so stoked that Scream Factory gave it the deluxe Blu-Ray treatment. This would make a good evil Borgnine double bill with THE DEVIL'S RAIN!

Sean Gill said...

Unfortunately, I watched this in full frame/VHS-lookin' quality on Netflix instant before I realized there was a deluxe version to see.

And heh, I still need to see THE DEVIL'S RAIN- it has always looked like quite a ridiculous classic(k).