Monday, September 9, 2013

Deadly Blessing - review

Deadly Blessing

Beware all ye heathens for the Incubus walks amongst men.  We must be steadfast in our conviction of God as the Holy Savior of all humanity least the Incubus will tear our mortal souls asunder and feed it to the dark one called Satan.  Any man who follows the Incubus to her den of sin also follows the ways of evil; our hearts and ears will be stones to them, for they have become instruments of Lucifer.

Deadly Blessing is the world’s foremost leader in old school Amish Hittite terror; a kaleidoscope of religious and sexual symbolism playing along the back drop of a murder mystery story with strong leanings to the Giallo genre.  The realm of the supernatural is heavily alluded to, but only truly seen through dreams and visions, keeping the story mostly grounded in the real world, making all the Hittite talk about a living demon-like Incubus very suspicious.  There are the trappings of the classical slasher story with red herrings in heavy supply and a black gloved murder suspect on the loose, plus a heavy dose of girls sitting around doing nothing in their underwear.   Sinners.

The symbolism comes fast and heavy handed; there are snakes and spiders getting tossed around, roosters flying out of coffins, blood milk, and several scenes that make it a point to show women sharing eggs.  I’m not sure what they all mean yet, but it’s got to all add up to something.  All those faithful in the good Lord will get their just reward.   If anything Deadly Blessing feels like a lot of heady ideas thrown in to the batter, but the cake isn’t quite ready to come out of the oven.   He who doth not bake the cake to completion…bewares the Incubus.  Also beware the snake in the soapy bathtub and the spider in the mouth.  The Incubus will defy the temple of God and Sharon Stone with the wretched vermin of the Earth. 

There seems to be a heavy focus on the sins of the flesh; of giving into the desires of the body, and how restraining and subjugating sexuality causes psychological trauma.  The son of Hittite clan leader Isaiah is constantly at odds with his father’s strict puritan rule, relenting against an arranged marriage and refusing to accept his father’s lashing punishment.  For his brief rebellious streak he is banished from the clan; he belongs to the Incubus now, and for his infidelity he is stabbed to death.  Another member of the clan, a mentally handicapped Hittite who sneaks a peak at the next door beauty gets a knife in the spine and hung from the rafters for his insolence.  Whenever a parent or guardian is disobeyed the punishment is severe and often deadly.  The first victim of the tale, the reformed Hittite farmer, has had a long standing disagreement with his father as well, and is run over by a tractor in slow motion. Manure happens.  So the movie itself seems to get behind some puritan slasher code; ye who disobey your elder will be struck down by God’s wraith.

Much like some of the themes extrapolated from The Hills Have Eyes, this film seems to draw comparisons between the modern family of close friends, to the more traditional familial arrangement, presented by the Hittites.  These Amish folk are more strict and unforgiving, but at least they seem to stick together.  By the end of the film the group of close knit friends is all but kaput and saved by Isaiah and company to boot, so again the movie seems to favor the Hittites, but all the proceeding scenes of child abuse and turmoil within the Hittites makes me think that maybe the movie couldn’t settle on either family.  Maybe if we are to wean some meaning from this it is that families are fucked up no matter what.