Drive-In Review: DEADLY BLESSINGS (1981)

We take a look at Wes Craven’s little known “religion gone wrong” flick Deadly Blessings. Check out the review below.

Deadly-Blessing-CoverDeadly Blessings (1981)

Directed by: Wes Craven

Stars: Ernest Bornine, Sharon Stone, and Michael Berryman

Format: Blu-Ray

MPAA Rating: R

Distributed By: Scream Factory

Remember the Amish? Yes, those people who believe in NO electricity and spend all their lives living off the land. Well imagine them hiding a dangerous secret. Now imagine they live in the farm next to your house. That is what Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessings throws at you.

The film tells the story of a strange figure committing murder in a contemporary community that is not far from the religious community known as “The Hittites” that believe in ancient evil and curses.

One such ancient evil is  a Incubus. What the hell is a Incubus? It’s not some band that tries to play rock music and fails, it is a spirit creature who seduces the faithful and takes them in their sleep…sounds like my ex. Anyway, this term is used through the whole film and sort of gets annoying but it DOES matter to the plot greatly. Also what I noticed right away was Craven’s use of first person shots (think John Carpenter’s Halloween) where we see the killer’s perspective of things.

Besides Ernest Borgnine and Sharon Stone, the acting is as dry as a desert. The film is basically three girls versus a crazed (supposed) religious cult. The twist ending is a plus and very Craven. Now for those DRIVE-IN TOTALS!

220px-DeadlyblessingDRIVE-IN TOTALS:

Breasts: 1

Bodies: 7

Scare Crow Fu

Gun Fu

Spider Fu

Shower Fu

Snake Fu

Tractor Fu

Dog Fu

Ghost Fu

Pepper Spray Fu

Chicken Frenzies

Dog Attack


Child Abuse

And a ending that even has me scratching my head.

The collector’s edition features which include a brand new (very interesting) audio commentary from Craven as well as interviews with some of the cast and TV Spots are good but there COULD be much more. The visuals of this new transfer are pretty decent but you can still tell that their could have been better improvements to the blacks in the film. The film is mono actually also so there is no need to blow your speakers playing it…it wouldn’t help much.

The film has some eccentric bits and is ultimately a bit disappointing. If you enjoy classic “slow burn” type films, Deadly Blessings is a good start but it burns far to slow for this reviewer.

On January 22, 2013, Shout! Factory will release a Collector’s Edition of the film on Blu-ray and DVD

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