The Night God Screamed (1971) – Leave Your Faith, Fear and Sanity at the Water’s Edge. Part II

“Scream – So they’ll know where to find your body!”

THE NIGHT GOD SCREAMED (1971) 

The-Night-God-Screamed

Directed by Lee Madden (Angel Unchained 1970, The Manhandlers 1975) he offers us another cult hippie psycho drama feeding off the unsettling vibe and turbulence of the Charles Manson hysteria.

Charles Manson
The notorious mass murderer Charles Manson

No matter how often I think I’ve uncovered the most obscure cult thriller there’s always another lurking under a rock somewhere for me to feast my wide eyed stare upon, mouth agape and mind working over time to integrate the confluence of cultural debris that emerges like the dregs when you roil the sediment secretly settled on the bottom of the cinematic barrel. This is one such obscure film.

jeanne-crain-the-night-god-screamed

Starring screen beauty Jeanne Crain (Leave Her To Heaven (1945), Pinky (1949) A Letter to Three Wives (1949). The Tattered Dress (1957)

Jeanne Crain
the beautiful Jeanne Crain

the-night-god-screamed-1971-jeanne-crain-

who probably would have rather been given a better role and script, plays the frail and persecuted Fanny Pierce. Alex Nicol  plays Fanny’s husband the man in search of his own prosperous church in a better neighborhood. Preacher Willis Pierce (How could we ever forget Nicol’s wonderfully grimy, pathetic and bizarre character Mickey in 1958s The Screaming Skull, or his dizzying performance as the drunken loser husband Jay Fowler in Look in Any Window 1961) No… he’s gotten to play a man’s man plenty , but he is sort of a victim magnet.

Alex Nicol Ruth Roman Look in Any Window
Alex Nicol and Ruth Roman in the provocative Look in Any Window 1961
Alex Nicol as Mickey in the-screaming-skull
Alex Nicol as soiled oddball Mickey in one of my favorite cult classics The Screaming Skull 1958

Dan Spelling plays the bourgeois Judge Coogan’s son, and irritatingly preppie Peter. Barbara Hancock plays sister Nancy Coogan, Dawn Cleary plays sister Sharon and very busy actor and stuntman Gary Morgan plays little brother Jimmy.

The judges son

judges daughters

The Night God Screamed opens with a foreboding shape floating as if gliding on top of water, through the eerie sylvan landscape wearing a monk’s robe, his large draped cowl like hood is obscuring the man’s face altogether. He grips an arcane cruciform staff. He approaches a small pond inhabited by the frolicking free love rejects, society’s much reviled flower children of 60s & 70s sub subculture. In other words, as South Park’s irreverent and outrageous Eric Cartman would say ‘dirty hippies’ having lots of random sex and getting high.

CapturFiles_55

The pervasive cut-off tone reveals that they belong to a Manson-esque cult,who is lead by the vitriolic Billy Joe Harlan, a fanatical cult leader who baptizes a few followers and then proceeds to spout a trippy fire and brimstone rant, his own distorted anti-socially virulent version of the Gospel. Much like Manson, his rhetoric engenders a lot of animosity toward the establishment, law enforcement or if you will ‘pigs’ , citizens squares, and anybody who doesn’t see the world through Billy Joe’s lens.

Billy Joe is a violent socio-path who commands his fledgling minions to destroy any phony preachers, combat pigs and try and bring his new version of the Gospel to the youth of America.

Hung up on how Christ was betrayed, he riles his flock of murderous flower children to manifest the power to punish those who do not follow his gospel. To make an example of the dangers of dissension and betrayal he chooses a young girl who has refused to be baptized. And so he gives the word to his faceless hooded angel of death named ‘The Atoner’ to drown her in front of the flock.

the man with the power 2

“They was all just a bunch of sinners, Lord, fighting and bothering each other…but I saved them, Lord! I showed them that using dope was the way to turn on to You!”

“We got trouble! The Heat won’t leave us alone! They want to bust us for being hooked on You! Them pigs is watching us, Lord…they don’t dig our kinda thing!”

As this soldier of God, known as THE ATONER executes the young girl in front of the mindless youth, the rest of the nasty flock watches without doing a single thing to help the poor girl as she is submerged under the baptismal waters, causing her to drown.

CapturFiles_71

CapturFiles_69

CapturFiles_76

The film cuts away, to a scene where wife and good christian Fanny Pierce (Jeanne Crain) is bringing groceries to the mission where her preacher husband (Alex Nicol) is feeding a hungry collection of bums and down and outers. Right before she can make it inside with her bag of groceries, a very unsavory bum with quite an unattractive tongue, mugs her for the brown paper bag of food, leaving her standing ironically empty handed and assaulted right outside the very soup kitchen where she and her husband have been trying to bring the good works of Jesus to these poor destitute men.

CapturFiles_10

CapturFiles_21

Fanny starts to have her own a crisis of faith, and becomes disillusioned with her husband and his mission. Preacher Willis Pierce appears more worried about the loss of the groceries than concern for his own wife’s safety. He possesses a resolute patriarchal hubris with his grandiose dreams of bringing the gospel to his people, much like Billy Joe, yet not imbued with the vengeful and malevolent fortitude.

Willis wants to build a sizable church in ‘better areas of town’,that would mean more money, more offerings and more notoriety to his name. This is the kind of man Billy Joe despises and is on a crusade to annihilate with his cult of venomous sycophants.

CapturFiles_54

Fanny tells Willis- “God isn’t going to make our house payment!”

In a ridiculous gesture, Willis’ scheme is to erect his new mammoth wooden cross at the revival meeting he plans on holding later on that night. He believes that this will help bring in enough cash of ‘offerings’ to start up his new church. So, without consulting Fanny, Willis spends an enormous amount of money on the large, ludicrously enormous artifact that symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice but smacks of Preacher Willis’ own egoism. He has used all their savings on this religious ‘manstrosity’, that he will erect in the revival hall which he has rented in a more affluent part of town.

As they haul the large wooden totem across the countryside on top of their old truck , the tension between Fanny and Willis grows. Fanny tells Willis that she’s sacrificed over twenty five years of her life in service to his cause. Willis tries to convince her that the giant cross will be their ‘meal ticket.’

CapturFiles_62

While stopping at a gas station, Billy Joe and one of his religious biker culties Izzy (Richard Smedley Brain of Blood, The Abductors 1972,The Naughty Stewardesses 1975 ) espy the Pierces and their truck with the cross tied on top and pull in along side them with their motorcycle. It’s here that sets forth the moment of confrontation with fate, and the narrative’s tragic and violent relinquishment of faith sparks.

Billy Joe begins to question Preacher Willis, fascinated with his sizable wooden cross and wants to know what he plans to do with it, asking about the plans for the revival meeting.

CapturFiles_77

It is a moment that points out the deliberate contrary notions of religion, while simultaneously forging an ironic relationship between the extreme zeal, the unfettered fanaticism of the two very self styled evangelists.

Willis prideful and avid enthusiastically offers his fund-raising motivations for his ‘mission’. Billy Joe begins to formulate his vexation, and sets out to dispense Willis with his wrath for his being a false and ‘plastic prophet’. And so as the Pierces continue on their road trip to the revival meeting, Billy Joe summons his nefarious apostles and unleashes his craving to destroy Preacher Willis.

CapturFiles_100

“We’re going to a revival meeting tonight… We’re going on a crusade! Just you, and me Izzy… And the Atoner!”

At the College Lecture Hall, Preacher Willis gives his sermon. Unfortunately it does not bestow upon him the funds needed for his plans to build up his church in a ‘good’ neighborhood. After the sermon, Fanny and Willis’ assistant Paul go outside, leaving Willis by himself in the revival hall.

CapturFiles_141

CapturFiles_142

In a scene that is quite disturbing as the events happen mostly in an utter bluish darkness or diverted to the realm off camera, the cult attacks Willis. They are draped in shadow. Billy Joe begins to persecute Willis, pronouncing him as a ‘ false prophet’ demanding that he be put to death. And so while Billy Joe’s followers restrain and torture poor Willis, the Atoner slowly and painfully nails Willis to his own mundanely magnificent cross.

Fanny is startled by the screams of her husbands who is crying out in agony. She comes back inside the hall, but shrouds herself in the darkness, afraid for her own life, As he cries “Fanny Help me For God’s sake Help me.’ She remains motionless, doing nothing to help him… he is left to die alone now himself a Christ-figure of the film.

The scene switches to a court room, where Billy Joe and his cult followers are all on trial for the murder of Willis Pierce. Judge Coogan pronounces a death sentence on the hippie messiah. Billy Joe explodes into a tirade.

Billie Joe in Court

“You son of a bitch! You DUMB son of a bitch! YOU’RE MAKING ME A MARTYR! AHAHAHAHAHA!”

Jesus Freakery

While Billy Joe is convicted and sentenced to death, the remaining cult members encircle and besiege Fanny vowing revenge for Billy Joe. Fanny who was already starting to devolve in her encumbered world, now anguished with guilt for not having helped her husband Willis in his moment of horrific need, wanders away in a somnolent haze.

She remains in this state of disassociation for the rest of the film. The judge hires Fanny as a sort of matron to help with his two sons and teenage daughters who need to be kept in line, shown morals and keep them from acting too wild while their parents go away on a weekend vacation. The Judge grounds the kids and makes them stay in the house with Fanny who is still wholly uptight and out of her mind with guilt over her husbands brutal death.

This breathes even more agitation into the film which is saturated with male hubris and female hysteria, the archetypal hysterical woman lives once again in the embodiment of Fanny Pierce.

On the way to bringing Fanny to his house for the weekend, the Judge dismisses her worries about the two hippies on motorcycles who seem to be following them, and then goes on to instill some social relevance in the bigger picture. “Those kids, like the ones who murdered your husband… they come from broken  homes… poor education… they’re just dropouts! Not like ‘my’ kids!”

Of course we are to understand that this is a cue of foreboding irony, reflexive and dilating, as Fanny is charged to take care of the Judges adult teens, who inadvertently become mixed up in the nightmare, as the Atoner and remaining worshipers take siege of the household and terrorize Fanny and the teenagers. Fanny becomes even more unhinged, amidst an ensemble of entitled youths who are the binary figures of the film’s contemporary youth culture. One set of outliers rebelling against a system that reviles them, and the other just as combative and anti-social, yet given the opportunities to reflex their personal freedoms because of affluence, and social capital. Dan Spelling as Peter Coogan, the judges eldest son, is a bit of a social superior, a quiet sociopathic teen who’s poison is brewing under the surface of his perfectly pressed pants and yuppie tennis sweater.

Continue reading “The Night God Screamed (1971) – Leave Your Faith, Fear and Sanity at the Water’s Edge. Part II”

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) & The Night God Screamed (1971)-Leave Your Faith, Fear and Sanity at the Water’s Edge. Part I

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” — Edgar Allan Poe

CapturFiles_1

CapturFiles_20 take me to the water's edge
‘Leave Your Faith, Fear and Sanity at the Water’s Edge’ – Jo Gabriel

As quoted in W. Scott Poole professor of history at Charleston South Carolina University’s remarkable book Monsters In America he opens his chapter MONSTROUS BEGINNINGS with “There are terrible creatures, ghosts, in the very air of America.” -D.H. Lawrence

Monsters in America

Taken from his chapter The Bloody Chords of Memory, which I think is very appropriate for this discussion, Poole states that, “it would be too simplistic to view monster tales as simple narratives in service of American violence. The monster is a many-headed creature, and narratives about it in American are highly complex.Richard Kearney describes the appearance of a monster in a narrative, in a dream, or in sensory experience ‘as a signal of borderline experiences and unattainable excess.’

The isoloation of madness

In 1971 two films were released with a sort of queasy verisimilitude, using a monochromatic color scheme and protracted themes of insanity, fanaticism and self-annihilation. One drawing more of it’s flicker from the time of cult murders by religious fanatics, and an anti establishment repudiation reflected in the cult fringe film. The Night God Screamed utilizes as it’s anti-hero the motorcycle gang who hates ‘citizenship’ and phony institutionalized prophets. These outliers are dirty, rebelliously dangerous hippies, who are hyped up and deluded into following a charismatic cult leader, a neanderthal named Billy Joe Harlan performed with a Shakespearean griminess by Michael Sugich.

CapturFiles
Michael Sugich as the maniacal Mansoneseque cult leader Billy Joe

He’s quite a Mansonesque figure with his malefic unibrow. This offering aptly called The Night God Screamed, even boasts a scene where the cult actually crucifies the clean cut minister Willis, man of the tradition gospel played by Alex Nicol. They essentially nail him to his own pridefully giant wooden phallic cross. Leaving his wife Fanny (Jeanne Crain) to scramble in the darkened halls, conflicted as to whether to try and help her husband or save herself from the cult’s ferocious blood lust, driving her into a numb moral and cognitive stasis of unresponsiveness, reason and human connection. I will talk about this film in Part II.

CapturFiles_1
the beautiful Jeanne Crain

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971) is a film that hints at a post- modern Americana Gothicism permeated by a rustic folksy style of vampirism, with it’s small town coteries, paranoia and the archetypal hysterical woman in a sustained level of distress and adrift on a sea of inner monologues and miasma of fear. I’ll begin in Part I with my much loved classic horror…

LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH 1971

“Leave your insanity at the door.”

CapturFiles_3

Unfriendly Locals

Lets Scare Jessica To Death 1971, is not only the far better film but probably unintentionally the more iconic 70s trope for what was so extraordinary about the special clutch of horror films that were birthed in the 70s epoch.

Directed by John D. Hancock (Bang The Drum Slowly 1973) and penned for the screen by Hancock, Lee Kalcheim and apparently using elements of Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, although uncredited, the film has a very captivating soundtrack by Orville Stoeber  accompanied by Walter E. Sear’s Electronic musical nuances that work as much to impact the atmosphere as Robert M. Baldwin’s (Basket Case 2, Frankenhooker 1990) cinematography.

CapturFiles_69 Blood and Roses comparison
‘The love that dare not speak it’s name’- The Lesbian Vampire archetype revealed
Vadim's Blood and Roses
A scene from Vadim’s marvelous adaptation of Le Fanu’s story Blood and Roses. Hancock’s film hints at the repressed lesbian theme underscored by Emily’s erotic taunting of Jessica

Carmilla was first published in a magazine called The Dark Blue, later in a collection of short stories by Sheridan Le Fanu entitled In A Glass Darkly in 1872. Supposed as accounts of  “true” stories offered from the casebooks of a certain “metaphysical doctor.” by the name of Dr. Hesselius.

Le Fanu's Carmilla

Emily:Abigail
Emily / Abigail ?

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death stars the perfect ensemble of ordinary players. By no means, do I imply bad actors, I simply mean authentically human subjects. Zohra Lampert is perfect as the paranoid and frightened Jessica (please no crack about her product endorsement ‘Goya, oh Boya’ commercial for canned beans. Not here, not now at least.)

Barton Heyman plays husband Duncan, an average looking new yorker guy, I mean…he looks real. You might actually recognize him as Dr. Klein in Friedkin’s The Exorcist. Alan Manson plays Sam Dorker the nice antique dealer in town. The very wooly Kevin O’Connor (He was Stanley Gusciora in William Friedkin’s  The Brinks Job 1978 starring my beloved Peter Falk, a film which I adore by the way.) plays the friendly yet hairy Woody.

MV5BMTU4NDAzOTI3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjczMjk5._V1_SX214_

And Mariclare Costello is otherworldly as the red headed wraith with the vitreous skin, the ghostly Emily or is she Abigail?

Mariclare costello as Emily

She performed in a few memorable made for tv chiller/dramas The Execution of Private Slovik (1974) starring Martin Sheen and a very interesting obscure horror thriller about a closed community hiding a terrible secret called Conspiracy of Terror (1975) directed by the great John Llewellyn Moxey.

I hesitate overusing the word atmospheric too often, as I don’t want it to become a complacent adjective to describe every film that has a sense of it’s own presence. The pervasive theme, the repeated motif of the film’s narrative is the question of Jessica’s madness? Is it true… or are we misdirected by the very real manifestation of a collective malevolence, synthesized by the ghostly predatory Emily. You can imagine the story either way. A straight forward unsung modern adaptation of Le Fanu’s bloodletting femme fatale Carmilla, or the piece can work as an exercise in paranoia and the isolation of insanity.

The Wraith

Water's Edge

The 70s is occupied by a collective conveyance of social fears, confusion and turmoil, that engendered a variety of sub-genres. Given the various categories that became cyclical such as the slasher film, the exploitation/cult or grind house , fear of devil worship/cult murderer film, the psycho-sexual trauma , the body horror film, science seeking hubris, nature takes revenge and so on and so on.

The one’s I find myself drawn to often remain obscure, with directors who seem to create just one piece that remains more entrenched in my consciousness as well as many other genre fan’s memories. And for reasons that might only be attributed to the beauty of an unselfconscious medium that lacks a healthy budget, box office notables or a self righteously possessed film maker trying too hard to make a statement, what happened at times, are these beautifully, ‘dreadful’ and I mean that in a very good way, nightmarish, allegorical, chaotic, yes I’ll say it again, atmospheric and unique little classic horror genre art house gems.

lemora
Lemora: A Child’s Tale of The Supernatural 1973

I think of Lemora: a child’s tale of the supernatural (1973) (Carnival of Souls (1962) which was from the 60s, but relevant to the point I’m trying to make being Herk Harvey’s only film. Michael Winner’s The Sentinel,(1977) the claustrophobic and disturbing Silent Night Bloody Night (1972), Narciso Ibanez Serrador’s beautifully Gothic The House That Screamed (1969) with Lilli Palmer, Don’t Look in The Basement (1973) and a few more which I’ll write about very very soon, down the winding bloggy road.

Don't Look In The Basement
Don’t Look in the Basement renamed The Forgotten 1973
silent-night-bloody-night
Sepia flashback of the lunatics taking over the asylum in Silent Night Bloody Night 1972

The looming question is-Was Jessica delusional? Was the horror that was unfolding for her part of her elaborate hallucinations, cerebral phantasmagorias, surreal nightmares, or was her rustic landscape truly haunted by rural vampiric phantoms?

Perhaps the film finds itself a bit on the art house shelf, fluttering in and out with the delicacy of butterfly wings, with a sort of post-modern, surreal narrative, for Jessica’s habitual torments are never quite cemented for us in the context of the film’s visual journey from any other point of view other than her own. From the outset we are taking that journey with her. This is a subjective passage into a realm where, it neither matters whether Jessica is a schizophrenic or the victim of a haunted nestle of rural chimera’s. We’re inside a snow globe of horror floating around our heads.

The Snake Pit Olivia de-Havilland
Olivia de Havilland in The Snake Pit- Is she truly crazy or being driven mad?

What strikes me as an interesting trajectory within the inter-textuality of John Hancock’s film, is that it isn’t trying to revive the perspective of madness from the milieu of The Snake Pit 1948 or Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor 1963 the film is set in a picturesque 70s style of modernity, albeit rural. It doesn’t possess corporeal monsters that inhabit the world in a Gothic framework where you can attack these fiends back, there is nothing concrete to protect against. There are no boundaries you can see, feel or touch. The parameters are contextual only in the sense that the film manages to manifest a sense of dread, possible insanity or corporeal fiends that inhabit this little niche of pastoral countryside, but they are as fleeting on the screen as rain drops on a windshield. It all trickles away without the ability to grab onto a solid cinematic fact.

The film renders you helpless, well, it definitely incapacitates Jessica, leaving her to float, to drift literally aimlessly on a seemingly tranquil lake. Alone, in a little boat. A refugee from a muddled ordeal that has taken away any sense of reality left in her life or in the minds of ‘us’, the spectator. Interesting that Sam the antique dealer, referred to Jessica and Duncan as refugees from the urban blight.

The story line:

CapturFiles_4

CapturFiles_5

CapturFiles_6

Jessica and her husband Duncan an upright Bassist with the Philharmonic Orchestra have decided to leave New York City life behind and move I believe it appears to be somewhere around upstate New York, where it’s more quaint and conducive for quiet living, antiquing and Jessica getting some much needed rest.

Once they arrive, the locals exude an odd impenetrable hostility. It makes me think of John Boorman’s Deliverance (1972) Newcomers, outsiders, are often the enemy bringing with them ideas and attitudes that are not welcomed in the isolated cadence of an insulated community.

CapturFiles_4

This particular little small-town is even more eerie and foreboding than most. The inhabitants seem to be plagued by a strange type of malady, mental illness or curse themselves. A few baring the marks of a strange ritualistic scarring or wound on their bodies. A frightening touch that adds to the macabre sense of dismay signaled by the presence of the locals and the cryptic malevolence that seems to reveal itself as an unspoken malignancy in the town. Or is this part of Jessica’s delusion?

Strange Scars

It’s the quietness, the involuntary externalized dissidence, the stillness of the underlying vexation and contagion what ever that is, that creates the ghastly ambiance that is most horrifying, and particularly alarming within the augmentation of the scenery and it’s unfolding plot.

Blue Americana Two

The couple have purchased a little slice of property, which is a potentially beautiful old farm house, that legend says, is haunted by the ghost of a girl, the oldest Bishop daughter who disappeared on her wedding day. They arrive at the house, to find a young hippie named Emily taking up residence there, squatting with her sleeping bag, hiding out in one of the upstairs rooms. At first they startle each other as she tries to run for it, but then they invite her to stay as their guest. She might make a nice companion for their hairy beast of a friend Woody, who has accompanied them on the foray into solitude and pesticide spraying in the orchid.

Emily becomes an enticing creature for all three characters. Jessica, her husband and their wooly friend, but her presence triggers anxiety and paranoia in Jessica, who struggles with a repressed psycho-sexual persecution complex. The film becomes a parallel journey as we gaze at the visual dream like events that straddle the natural moments in time, with Jessica’s inner monologues. The voices that patronize her head are frail utterances that prey and oppress her.

eleanor lance-Julie Harris The Hauntingjpg
Ah, the queen of the inner monologue Eleanor Lance as played by the great actress of stage and screen Julie Harris in Robert Wise’s The Haunting 1963

Emily acts like a succubus, a vampire, a phantasm, a monstrous feminine wraith who continues to slowly traumatize Jessica into a state of hysteria. Emily is also the very likeness of the Bishop’s daughter who vanished without a trace. Curiouser and curiouser still…

Jessica sees visions of a little mute girl played by the adorable Gretchen Corbett. She’s a somber, willowy young girl dressed in a bucolic white frock. Is she too a specter in Jessica’s nightmare world?, and has she come to warn Jessica of impending doom, or is she part of the elaborate framework of fantasy that Jessica is being devoured by little by little?

Girl in white

The Mute Girl in White Gretchen Corbett
Is Gretchen Corbett, the mute girl in the white dress a specter or angel of mercy?
Rosemarys-Baby-Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse- A tale of Motherhood, Hysteria, Satan Worship in an Urban Modern setting, and certainly, it’s about Paranoia.

Re-Occurring Themes – A Tableau of Paranoia. – We’ve seen it in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s ‘Diabolique’ (1955) Roman Polanski’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968) and ‘The Tenant'(1976). Curtis Harrington’s ‘What’s the Matter with Helen'(1971) and his taut thriller, ‘Games'(1967) Even the ultimate theatrics of paranoia played out to the max, in Aldrich’s two Grand Dame Guignol Masterpieces What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? and Hush Hush… Sweet Charlotte, both starring the queen of the ball, Bette Davis

Using the mechanism of voice over, Jessica opens the film by narrating her story, until the inner monologues, visual cues and nightmares become the diegesis. Her intonations lack buoyancy, she herself is trapped in a netherworld of reality, dream-life and inner machinations.

One of the motifs of the film I love is the usage of the grave stone etchings that Jessica uses like art therapy. She sits and engraves with charcoal creating paper rubbings, tracing over the images, icons and epitaphs on tombstones. It is the world of the dead that Jessica seems to be impelled toward.

Night of The Living Dead outside the farm house
Just an ordinary farmhouse and a few roaming ghouls from Romero’s classic Night of The Living Dead. The ordinary landscape becomes extraordinarily grotesque

The environment is so normal and everyday, just as in Romero’s Night of The Living Dead (1968), where an ordinary farm house becomes an unsavory nightmarish killing field for zombies, phantasms and the wretched oxygen of ruination, decay and the self destruction of the American Dream myth, Jessica’s house will soon become an ominous playground.

In Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, A large case for Duncan’s upright acoustic bass appears as if it were a mammoth coffin.

Upright Bass Coffin

A seemingly serene lake like a quiet untasted drink, becomes the whispers of a depth, a frightening, foreboding abyss that holds the suggestion of a watery graveyard.

The cluttered sinister attic room, filled with memorabilia, the oval pitted, stained and fading portrait of The Bishop girl who bares the striking resemblance to Emily.

The small country house bedroom becomes a menacing place. The tombstone engravings seem to puffle by an unseen gust of air, moving in an out with a rhythm that modulates Jessica’s inner whispers and fragmentation.

The use of sound is key, it utilizes the natural environment surrounding the characters, it is discordant and nuanced. The entire film is a beautifully painted nightmare.

The film opens with Jessica narrating her strange tale…

CapturFiles_1a

Continue reading “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) & The Night God Screamed (1971)-Leave Your Faith, Fear and Sanity at the Water’s Edge. Part I”

Coming next to The Last Drive-In: A Chilling Double Feature

I feel like it’s time to show some love to one of my most very treasured classic horror films of the 1970s, a film that I’ve placed within my top 25 best horror films of all time. I’m talking about the atmospheric and illusory!

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) Starring Zohra Lampert

Let's Scare Jessica To Death

at the water's edge

Let's Scare Jessica

Zohra Lampert Let's Scare Jessica

I’ll be covering this chilling gem in the next week and have decided to couple it with another rare oddity of the obscurely horrific 70s genre that is quite brutal and I feel works well as a companion piece. Starring Silver Screen beauty, Jeanne Crain in The Night God Screamed (1971).

Jeanne Crain The Night God Screamed

Alex Nicol Night God Screamed

Jesus Freakery

So keep your genre fan eye’s peeled for my upcoming-

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971) & The Night God Screamed (1971)- Leave Your Faith, Fear and Sanity at the Water’s Edge.

Jessica at the water's edge

See ya at the water’s edge-MG