Friday, March 20, 2009
Messiah of Evil
The difference between "Messiah of Evil" a.k.a. "Dead People" and other lowish budget horror movies from the 70's is that "Messiah of Evil" will scare the hell out of you.
This artistic film reminded me of very recent Goddard flicks, and it was utterly surprising how intense this zombie movie really is.
If you think that Danny Boyle invented quick zombies, forget that. These zombies run and sneak and are quite clever. When they're out of meat, they go to the super market. When there's no one in town to eat, they wait for tourists in movie theaters. If they run out of bodies, they go to the next town, slit people's throats and bring them home for their friends to eat.
Missing is a clumsy attempt to explain the zombie outbreak. There's a legend and a dark messenger that has something to do with the Donner party, but there's nothing foolishly scientific that wastes the audience's time or insults their intelligence. In fact, part of what's awesome about "Messiah of Evil" is that so little is explained. The film leaves many dots unconnected and doesn't bother asking you to connect them but expects you, rather, to just accept that some things won't make sense. . . like being frightened by a zombie movie.
Some websites call this a vampire movie, even though there is no mention of vamps and no long teeth or bats. The zombies are pretty quiet (occasionally they howl off camera), and their eyes bleed. The filmmakers also made "Howard the Duck," a slightly different type of movie.
Anyway, as far as zombie movies go, "Messiah of Evil" is a winner. Plus, it's in public domain, so you can find it for free or on the cheap very easily.
I think it might be the scariest zombie movie I've seen so far.