Richard Lynch

God Told Me To
By Woofer McWooferson

God Told Me To movie poster

God Told Me To

Writer and Director: Larry Cohen; Stars: Tony Lo Bianco, Deborah Raffin, Sandy Dennis; Rating: R; Run Time: 91 min; Genre: Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1976

God Told Me To is one of those hidden gems that bring great joy to fans of the horror-science fiction crossover films. Writer/director Larry Cohen, best known for the It’s Alive franchise, Q: The Winged Serpent, the Maniac Cop franchise, and The Stuff, creates a film that manages to move from crime drama to science fiction to horror and back again and makes it seem easy in spite of an erratic and changing theme. Detective Peter Nicholas is a deeply religious man who finds himself faced with a series of seemingly unrelated killings by multiple killers whose only connection is that all say they are acting on instruction from God, e.g. “God told me to.” His investigation leads him to a group of people who were brought together by a message from God. From there he goes on to meet this “God” and finds a young man who resembles Jesus bathed in golden light. It is here where the story gets truly weird.

Tony Lo Bianco in God Told Me To

Sammy Williams and Tony Lo Bianco in God Told Me To

While the production value is low, particularly by today’s standards, it fits the feel of a gritty police procedural and adds a flavor of realism to the more fantastic science fiction and horror aspects of the story. Solid performances by Tony Lo Bianco (The Honeymoon Killers, Police Story), Sandy Dennis (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), and Deborah Raffin (The Sentinal) in the lead roles elevate the film from standard B fare into the realm of must-see cult classic. Lo Bianco really nails the complicated and conflicted detective in a nuanced performance that has never received the praise it should. Sandy Dennis as the detective’s estranged wife is almost zen in her perfect peace and acceptance of her husband’s desire to leave her for another woman. Deborah Raffin as the other woman manages to come off likeable in spite of – or perhaps because of – her curious mixture of innocence and experience. Horror genre regulars Richard Lynch (Werewolf) and Mike Kellin (Sleepaway Camp) appear in supporting roles – Lynch as the Jesus figure and Kellin as the Deputy Commissioner, and Mason Adams (F/X) has a cameo as an obstetrician. Thus, Cohen manages to create a movie with both depth and believability in the face of an incredible plot.

Richard Lynch in God Told Me To

Richard Lynch in God Told Me To

God Told Me To is definitely not for the casual fan and could even be considered blasphemous by the most rigid of Christians as it weaves in and out of the philosophy of religion. Thanks to a resurgence in popularity of older films, viewers no longer have to search for an old VHS as it is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Amazon video. Fans of the odd and obscure, however, will be glad they took the time to watch it.

Andy Kaufman in God Told Me To

Andy Kaufman in God Told Me To

8/10 claws – .5 just for Andy Kaufman in his first film role.

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): God Told Me To (1976)

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): God Told Me To (1976)

God Told Me To
By Woofer McWooferson

God Told Me To movie poster

God Told Me To

Writer and Director: Larry Cohen; Stars: Tony Lo Bianco, Deborah Raffin, Sandy Dennis; Rating: R; Run Time: 91 min; Genre: Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1976

God Told Me To is one of those hidden gems that bring great joy to fans of the horror-science fiction crossover films. Writer/director Larry Cohen, best known for the It's Alive franchise, Q: The Winged Serpent, the Maniac Cop franchise, and The Stuff, creates a film that manages to move from crime drama to science fiction to horror and back again and makes it seem easy in spite of an erratic and changing theme. Detective Peter Nicholas is a deeply religious man who finds himself faced with a series of seemingly unrelated killings by multiple killers whose only connection is that all say they are acting on instruction from God, e.g. “God told me to.” His investigation leads him to a group of people who were brought together by a message from God. From there he goes on to meet this “God” and finds a young man who resembles Jesus bathed in golden light. It is here where the story gets truly weird.

Tony Lo Bianco in God Told Me To

Sammy Williams and Tony Lo Bianco in God Told Me To

While the production value is low, particularly by today's standards, it fits the feel of a gritty police procedural and adds a flavor of realism to the more fantastic science fiction and horror aspects of the story. Solid performances by Tony Lo Bianco (The Honeymoon Killers, Police Story), Sandy Dennis (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), and Deborah Raffin (The Sentinal) in the lead roles elevate the film from standard B fare into the realm of must-see cult classic. Lo Bianco really nails the complicated and conflicted detective in a nuanced performance that has never received the praise it should. Sandy Dennis as the detective's estranged wife is almost zen in her perfect peace and acceptance of her husband's desire to leave her for another woman. Deborah Raffin as the other woman manages to come off likeable in spite of – or perhaps because of – her curious mixture of innocence and experience. Horror genre regulars Richard Lynch (Werewolf) and Mike Kellin (Sleepaway Camp) appear in supporting roles - Lynch as the Jesus figure and Kellin as the Deputy Commissioner, and Mason Adams (F/X) has a cameo as an obstetrician. Thus, Cohen manages to create a movie with both depth and believability in the face of an incredible plot.

Richard Lynch in God Told Me To

Richard Lynch in God Told Me To

God Told Me To is definitely not for the casual fan and could even be considered blasphemous by the most rigid of Christians as it weaves in and out of the philosophy of religion. Thanks to a resurgence in popularity of older films, viewers no longer have to search for an old VHS as it is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Amazon video. Fans of the odd and obscure, however, will be glad they took the time to watch it.

Andy Kaufman in God Told Me To

Andy Kaufman in God Told Me To

8/10 claws - .5 just for Andy Kaufman in his first film role.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments