Mystery Fest: God Told Me To

1976 movie

Rating: 14/20

Plot: A detective tries to solve the mystery of why God would be telling random people to start murdering people. As he investigates, he discovers some shocking truths about himself.

This is such an odd little movie. It's really not much like anything else you'll ever see, a mash-up of crime thriller, supernatural horror, and even science fiction. Oh, and of course, the religion with references to virgin births, the titular deity getting back to his Abraham days and telling people to kill, and all that Catholicism stuff. Tony Lo Bianco from The Honeymoon Killers is adequate as our main character, but you know who else is in this movie? Andy Kaufman! He doesn't have any lines, but I'm still a little surprised that his small role as a cop who goes nuts and kills people because God told him to didn't make it into that Man in the Moon movie. This is really more of a movie that has interesting ideas and a few really good moments than it is a good movie. Actually, it's difficult to make sense out of what's going on a lot of the time. The storytelling isn't always coherent, and it feels like the scenes--and it feels like there are a lot of individual scenes here--are pieced together in ways that just feel haphazard. I guess you could argue that it makes you feel exactly how Lo Bianco's character is feeling, but I really don't think that was the intent. Things start off with a sniper scene with a lot of ridiculous death scenes. I don't really care how I die, but I hope it doesn't involve the amount of flailing you see at the beginning of this movie. Actually, I hope there isn't any flailing at all. I do like a lot about this movie though. Director Larry Cohen intrigues, a career with some oddball horror things that make you wonder what could have been. There's not a lot of money poured into this thing, but there are ideas. I liked a weird action sequence with a screaming woman lunging at Lo Bianco with a butter knife on a staircase. There's a lingering scream and this jumpy editing that makes it confusing but somehow effective. There's also a creepiness to this thing that you might have trouble shaking afterward. One scene in particular, where a father casually describes offing his entire family (you know, because God told him to) was really shocking, and there's another creepy scene where a doctor describes a virgin birth to an apparently sexless baby. I also liked a sepia-toned flashback scene with some nudity and cool alien-abduction effects. It showed the budget limitations as the thing was created using "manipulated stock footage" and almost butted against the crime thriller or mystery part of this, but it was effective. There's also pretty good music in this. Bernard Herrmann was apparently supposed to score this thing, but he died before he could do it. Of course, if you've seen this movie, there's one thing you're more than likely never going to forget about it. It's a spoiler, so you probably don't want to read this if you have plans to see this movie. Near the end, you get to see a yellow-glowing "God" who you'd think would be able to find a better apartment. And there's a conversation between God and Lo Bianco and then, much to the surprise of both the character and the audience, you get a glimpse of the yellow-glowing guy's chest vagina. There's a shot that will haunt your dreams. Chest vagina. Any movie with a chest vagina has to be worth the time, right?

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