Deadly Blessing (1981)
Directed By: Wes Craven (Scream)
Sure we’ve all heard of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Hills Have Eyes. But have you heard of Deadly Blessing?? A movie that sadly isn’t even on DVD here in the states (as far as I know). While it may be one of the lesser known films in Wes’ collection I think it’s a rather strong film that deals with a interesting subject matter..the Amish. As you see with this film there is more to it than waking up a 4 a.m. and milking cows.
The Amish don’t kill people right??..Or do they?? This film asks that question and you’ll have a ton more once it ends as you watch this film which takes place in an Amish community. After one of the Amish men’s shunned son die mysteriously on the farm his widow is joined at the country side by two of her friends (one being Sharon Stone in her second role). Clearly there however is more than meets the eye as more death follows.
From what I gather a lot of folks don’t care for this movie and perhaps that’s due to some things we’ll talk about later. The one fault I do have with it is that is seems to drag in parts, a common problem with a lot of films. The film picks up at times and even shows us some pretty cool scenes but then once again slacks off. I would like to mention however that I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, but the cool tub scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street was actually done in this movie first. Sure it didn’t use the glove, but what takes the gloves place is something a little more slithery that gave me the creeps.
The film does a fine job of building tension from almost the start. It’s makes you think more than once that you have a clear cut answer as to who is doing what and even if your right (like I was) you won’t be all the way right. I think Wes actually does a better job with this film than he does later on with Scream on keeping what is going on a mystery until the end.
One of our prime suspects is Isaiah Schmidt. The HAIC (Head Amish In Charge) is a pretty over bearing man. The actor who plays him is none other than Ernest Borgnine, who was nominated for a Razzie for whatever reason. I think he did a fine job myself and as a whole mostly everyone does OK from Sharon Stone to another man famous for being in a Wes Craven movie Michael Berryman. Berryman plays a Amish “man-child” in this one and it’s pretty funny to hear him running around chanting “Incubus!”..Which the evil the Amish warn everyone about.
And what an end this one has as! This baby packs two major WTF moments in the films third act. One was a bit out of left field in it’s own right but the other kinda makes you just scratch your head and say “what??”. However it still gets major props and cool points from me because when you think you have it all figured out the question is drastically changed. While it seems to be this film is one of Wes Craven’s lesser known films it is a really good one overall in my humble opinion even if it is at times slow.
Apparently you got to live in Australia to get this on DVD so if you have a free region player you’re all set! Maybe one day they’ll get this out in the states because I think it’ll have a pretty good crowd of people who become a fan of it once they see it. If you have seen it, without spoiling it, how about the ending huh??
The Rating (7/10)