Deadly Blessing

Friday, October 2 - Saturday, October 3, 2015

Studio archive 35mm print

“DEADLY BLESSING takes place among the Hittites, a fictitious religious sect described, in the screenplay, as people who ‘make the Amish look like swingers.’ If that doesn’t make them strange enough, consider the fact that their spiritual leader is played by Ernest Borgnine.

“Martha (Maren Jensen) has married one of the Hittite farmers and has gone to live in their midst, although she is shunned by one and all. She is also soon widowed, and spends the rest of the story surrounded by two pretty blond chums from Los Angeles, who have arrived for a weeklong visit carrying six months’ worth of lounging pajamas. The young women spend a fair amount of time sitting around Martha’s house, saying things like ‘Don’t worry, she’ll be home soon’ and ‘Stay out of trouble!’

“This is not, however, a movie about heroines who sit patiently waiting to be stalked, hacked up or otherwise made uncomfortable. It has too much else going on. The Hittites talk constantly about ‘the incubus’ in their midst, and the screenplay provides many strong candidates for that position. One of the film’s many female characters is secretly a transvestite. And the horror is visited upon everyone by relatively commonplace creatures, including a demon spider, a mysterious snake, and – no fooling -chickens from beyond the grave.

”DEADLY BLESSING was directed by Wes Craven, whose other credits include The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. Mr. Craven has a flair for scaring his audience and an even more useful talent for making his characters comfortable and believable, even under the weirdest circumstances. The performances here are restrained and plausible, even from Mr. Borgnine, who appears in a long beard and a black hat playing someone called Isaiah. Also notable in the cast are Lois Nettleton, playing one of Martha’s stranger neighbors, Miss Jensen, Susan Buckner, Sharon Stone, and Jeff East, playing a Hittite who takes one look at the blondes from California and is ready to stray.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Part of the midnight series Wes Craven’s Nightmares

  • Country USA
  • Year 1982
  • Director Wes Craven

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.