“Messiah of Evil” is a 1973 American film written and directed by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, the husband and wife team that also wrote the screenplay for “American Graffiti.” This is a criminally unknown horror film and one I recommend to all horror fans. Imagine “Night of the Living Dead” meets “Eraserhead” or a Mario Bava film and that will give you an idea of what this film is like.
A woman named Arletty goes to a beach town to search for her missing father. When she arrives at his house she find it vacant, however her father’s diary has been left behind. The diary states that a darkness is starting to take over the town. The residents are very strange and don’t provide Arletty with any answers, suggesting the beach town may be hiding something.
What makes this film interesting is that it’s somewhat of a zombie movie but it’s also very artsy, dreamy and atmospheric. The mysterious beach town creates the perfect horror movie atmosphere. It’s a slow burn but it builds the dread and tension throughout and as the film progresses it becomes more dream like. There is a fantastic ending that you will leave you thinking and interpreting its meaning.
Overall, this is a great and unique horror film. It’s a shame it isn’t more well known because it has the potential to be a cult classic. If you are a looking for a unique, artistic and well acted film then you should definitely check this one out.