Messiah of Evil

Introduction by Ben Rivers
Screening on Film
Directed by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz.
With Michael Greer, Marianna Hill, Joy Bang.
US, 1973, 35mm, color, 90 min.

Messiah of Evil introduction by Haden Guest and Ben RIvers. ©Harvard Film Archive

“They're coming here. They're waiting at the edge of the city. They're peering around buildings at night, and they're waiting. They’re waiting for you! And they'll take you one by one and no one will hear you scream. No one will hear you SCREEEAAM!”

Messiah of Evil marks the unsettling directorial debut by husband and wife team Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, who were later to become screenwriting collaborators on American Graffiti and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, among other films. When a woman arrives at a small seaside town to visit her artist father, all she finds is an empty house and his bizarre journal entries of warnings. As she searches for him in vain, she encounters an interesting trio researching an old legend about a “Blood Moon.” They soon learn the secret of the town, one that has turned the local dead into eye-bleeding, flesh-eating zombies who terrorize all in this slow-paced, peculiarly moody classic of low-budget American independent filmmaking.

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