Friday, February 16, 2024


MESSIAH OF EVIL (1974) d. Willard Hyuck (USA)

Clearly inspired by Night of the Living Dead and possessing the dreamlike, doom-laden tone of Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, 1974’s Messiah of Evil is a thoughtful, introspective, original and regrettably neglected low-budget horror effort.

Directed by Willard Huyck and co-written with Gloria Katz (later the screenwriters for American Graffiti and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – as well as Howard the Duck), Messiah creates its own unique blend of horror and political commentary. When a young woman arrives in a small California coastal town looking for her father, she discovers little is as it seems. Despite his minimal budget, Huyck cultivates a sinister, dreamlike atmosphere that conveys a sense of moral and physical rot, clinging to the village’s residents like a malignant cancer.

While it may require patience and willingness to overlook some of the rougher technical aspects, there are many rewards in store for the adventurous.

Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Jason Coffman, Darren Callahan, Lucy Ba'al, Nile Arena) as they discuss this low-budget gem on its 50th anniversary of release.

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