Deadly Blessing (1981)

Article 3451 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-17-2010
Posting Date: 1-25-2011
Directed by Wes Craven
Featuring Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner
Country: USA
What it is: Odd Hittite horror film

A woman’s ex-Hittite husband is killed by a tractor. Two friends of the woman come and stay with her, but the local Hittites object to their presence… and there are killers about.

I saw this movie on TV many years ago, and I swear that the final scene was cut. I’m not sure why that would have been the case, as there doesn’t appear to be anything in the scene to make it objectionable, but it did leave me a little confused at the end. Not that I’m really less confused after having seen the ending, mind you. I’ve heard some claim that this is one of Wes Craven’s best movies, while I’ve heard others dismiss is as a misfire. I can actually understand both reactions; the Hittite milieu gives it a truly different flavor, and the movie, though made of some common elements, is fairly original. However, I’m not sure it holds together, especially after watching the whole thing; the revelations at the end still leave me wondering who exactly was responsible for what murder where, with the final revelation feeling almost tacked on. Ernest Borgnine gives a very focused performance as the Hittite elder, and the scary-looking Michael Berryman is also memorable as a Hittite man-child. There’s some good scenes here, some of which are hard to forget. If it’s a misfire, at least it’s not an uninteresting one.

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