A confused but visually arresting thriller set in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Two free-thinking city girls visit their pal, a young widow, whose ultra- religious in-laws want her to sell her farm. As the bodies pile up, one of the gals is accused of being an incubus.
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Often overlooked, and extremely underrated scarefest from a pre-NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET Wes Craven. DEADLY BLESSING is the story of a woman (stunningly beautiful Maren Jensen) whose former Hitite (think STRICTER version of the Amish)husband is mysteriously killed in an 'accident' on their one year anniversary following their return to his old homestead. His religious fanatic kin try in vain to buy her home and scoot her out of town, proclaiming she is evil because she takes part in the sinful 'modern' world. Well, this os one feminist who's not taking any crap from a bunch of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRARIE rejects, so when she makes it clear she's not scared of them, someone tries to change her mind by hacking off Hitite's who stray towards modern sins -- like kissing your fiance before the wedding day... oh yeah, and who's also your COUSIN! eeewww.... Maren's CHARLIE'S ANGEL lookalike friends (including Sharon Stone in one of her first screen roles) visit for support and are soon woven into the terror. When they finally reveal who the killer is --- and you WON'T believe it when you see it --- all hell literally breaks loose!
As a horror film, this is excellent. The story is believeable (until the conclusion)and the scares are at non-stop. Craven fills his setting with all of your greatest fears -- spiders, decrepit barns, religious beliefs we can't understand, being alone in the middle of nowhere, snakes and much much more. The actors are basically fanatstic and sympathetic. And Sharon Stone gets best scream queen award for her battle after battle... scare upon scare during the 'maniac in the barn' sequence. Yes, the ending is incredibly stupid (so much so that it was cut from the European prints), but what proceeds it is definetly worth the rental.
So why the 'C' for the Queer rating? There really isn't any overt homosexuality in the film, though it is hinted at between two female characters. Also, the unveiling of the killer could also lend itself to the 'queer' rating, but not for your usual reasons. Giving away the exact reason would ruin the surprise... and it's a doosy! There is repression, which I guess could be 'associated' with homosexuality, and Lesbians will probably find the female cast quite delicious, but otherwise this is fairly 'straight'forward horror. Check it out anyway. Oh, and be sure to watch for all of the gimmicks originated here which later wound up to similar effect in the first ELM STREET film. -- Jason Paul Collum
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