Deadly Blessing

Overview

Deadly Blessing, a disappointing effort from famed horror-film director Wes Craven, tells the story of a woman's fight against a religious cult which will not stop at murder. Martha Maren Jensen lives alone near a conservative, repressive religious cult led by Isaiah Ernest Borgnine. Martha's husband was murdered under mysterious circumstances after he left the cult. Martha and her two visiting friends Vicky Susan Buckner and Lana Sharon Stone find themselves being pressured to live in the area and they begin ...
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Overview

Deadly Blessing, a disappointing effort from famed horror-film director Wes Craven, tells the story of a woman's fight against a religious cult which will not stop at murder. Martha Maren Jensen lives alone near a conservative, repressive religious cult led by Isaiah Ernest Borgnine. Martha's husband was murdered under mysterious circumstances after he left the cult. Martha and her two visiting friends Vicky Susan Buckner and Lana Sharon Stone find themselves being pressured to live in the area and they begin having nightmares and accidents. Soon more murders begin, and the woman fear for their lives. Craven gets good performances from his cast and bases his plot on the interesting premise of persecution and retribution, but the unsatisfying and implausible ending ruins what suspense he has built. While on the whole, the film is a failure, it has outstanding cinematography by Robert Jessup and a beautiful score composed by James Horner.
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Special Features

Audio Commentary by Director Wes Craven; Interview with Actress Susan Buckner and Writers Glen M. Benest and Matthew Barr; TV Spots; Theatrical Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This film finds director Wes Craven in a transitional phase between his hard-hitting early work and his later commercial successes. As such, Deadly Blessing is an "all over the map" experience for viewers. The script veers back and forth between shock setpieces and an earnest exploration of religious repression, never truly committing to its genre until the last thirty minutes. At that point, it goes haywire with more than a few bizarre plot twists and a shock coda that feels tacked on. That said, Deadly Blessing is quite watchable for Craven fans despite these problems. The schizoid nature of the story ensures that it never becomes dull and the film distinguishes itself from the pack by offering a storyline that focuses on female characters and allows them to drive the plot. In terms of acting, Maren Jensen's lead performance is a bit flat at times but she gets nice support from Susan Buckner as a resourceful friend and Jeff East as a young sect member who finds his burgeoning adulthood bringing him into conflict with his religion. There are also scene-stealing turns by Ernest Borgnine as a brimstone-minded religious leader and Lois Nettleson as an eccentric neighbor (trainspotters will also notice a young Sharon Stone in there as Jensen's other gal-pal). Best of all, Wes Craven directs his unusual narrative with confidence, giving it a distinctive "American gothic" atmosphere and handling a number of creepy setpiecies with great skill: highlights include a skin-crawling nightmare involving a spider and a tense sequence where a snake slips into Jensen's bathtub while she isn't looking. In short, Deadly Blessing might be a mixed bag but its got enough eccentricities and stylish flourishes to make it worthwhile for fans of vintage horror.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/22/2013
  • UPC: 826663137842
  • Original Release: 1981
  • Rating:

  • Source: Shout Factory
  • Region Code: A
  • Aspect Ratio: Alternate Wide Screen (1.78:1)
  • Presentation: Color
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 14,218

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maren Jensen Martha
Susan Buckner Vicky
Sharon Stone Lana
Jeff East John Schmidt
Lisa Hartman Faith
Lois Nettleton Louisa
Ernest Borgnine Isaiah
Colleen Riley Melissa
Douglas Barr Jim Schmidt
Kevin Cooney Sheriff
Neil Fletcher Gravedigger
Lawrence Montaigne Matthew
Lucky Mosley Sammy
Percy Rodrigues Voice Only
Annabelle Weenick Ruth
Michael Berryman William Gluntz
Technical Credits
Wes Craven Director, Screenwriter
Matthew Barr Associate Producer, Original Story, Screenwriter
Glenn M. Benest Associate Producer, Original Story, Screenwriter
Richard Bracken Editor
William S. Gilmore Executive Producer
Patricia Herskovic Producer
James Horner Score Composer
Robert Jessup Cinematographer
Micheline Keller Producer
Max Keller Producer
Jack Marty Production Designer
Patricia McKiernan Costumes/Costume Designer
Jerram A. Swartz Asst. Director
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