Deadly Blessing (1981)


Directed by: Wes Craven

Written by:
Glenn M. Benest, Matthew Barr & Wes Craven


Maren Jensen .... Martha Schmidt
Sharon Stone .... Lana Marcus
Susan Buckner .... Vicky Anderson
Jeff East .... John Schmidt
Lisa Hartman .... Faith Stohler
Lois Nettleton .... Louisa Stohler
Ernest Borgnine .... Isaiah Schmidt
Colleen Riley .... Melissa
Michael Berryman .... William Gluntz
Douglas Barr .... Jim Schmidt

Release Date: Theatrical: August 14, 1981






A married couple named Martha (Maren Jensen) and Jim (Douglas Barr) celebrate their 1st anniversary by inheriting a farmland by their family. But something there isn't right. There is a religious cult named the Hittites led by Isiah Schmidt (Ernest Borgnine) who abuses his people.
There is also a retarded fellow named William Gluntz (Michael Berryman) who torments the people there.
John sees that the name Incubus is painted in his barn and he paints it over.

One late night John hears his own tractor go off in his barn and checks to see what's up. Then he is run over by it from a mysterious killer.
Martha is shocked by this and it seems that the cult seems to be watching her plus there are also deadly and frightening unknown forces occurring especially when Martha's friends Lana (Sharon Stone) and Martha (Susan Buckner) arrive to spend time with her during her mourning encountering nightmares, spiders, snakes and other nasty encounters.

Others are being killed as well and the Hittites are thinking that she is responsible calling her the Incubus.
Martha then finds out a deadly secret on her late husband and the Hittites.


Impressive brief narration into the story sounding good and serious as well as in the story we spot a mentally challenged man William Gluntz acting reckless towards Melissa when she's painting a picture and the intensity that is happening between the two of them and then we spot Isaiah Schmidt getting aggressive with him later on which grabs your attention greatly and a nice mysterious horror start to all of this.
An interesting romantic moment between both the married couple Martha and Jim enjoying their anniversary in which this scene was nicely written in and a key to the story as to what will happen next.
Nice dark moments with Jim behind a tractor that's backing towards him which keeps you in suspense as well as a neat slow motion red lighting on him as this gives the movie a perfect low budget horror feel to everything surrounding this.
Good close up camera shots on the funeral as well as still moments involving Martha there as well as a nice shot on some of the locals dressed in their relgious uniforms as this leaves a creepy feel to everything along with some mist floating around in which all of this was impressive to watch.
Good discussion between John Schmidt and Vicky Anderson as there's a near mysterious romantic situaion between the two of them as this makes you wonder as to what will become out of this.
Nice moment with William peeking in a window and then suddenly by surprise he's slayed as this was supposed to make you jump but seemed to fail. However the darkness and shots on this had a great horror feel to all of this.
Nice eerie moment when Lana Marcus is trapped in a barn and creepy moments start to happen such as a good camera shot on a spider and a web as well as a tarantula falling on her as along with her struggling to get away from everything that's happening there which is spooky for anyone who hates spiders.
Perfect setting with Lana discussing with her friends Martha and Vicky on the history of the farm as this for sure looked bone chilling to watch on what was said and nicely focused camera shots and reactions with everyone.
Perfect shot on someone sleeping and the tarantula walking on top of the ceiling which looked well done and impressive too.
Great nightmare scene and camera shots on Lana lying on the bed and a good side shot on hands grabbing her head as well as her mouth opening wide and then we spot a spider falling down as this looked incredibly freaky to watch and perfectly put into the story along with a mysterious killer popping up when you don't expect it.
Great timing with Isaiah speaking strangely towards Martha at the front of her home as well as her telling him off as this discussion looked powerful and perfectly mysterious wondering what will happen later on since it left you that type of impression.
Nice shots on Martha lying in her bathtub which looked nice and soothing as well as a mysterious figure coming in which was a nice touch as well as a serpeant slithering into the bathtub.
Perfect dark and intimidating moment with Isaiah preaching at his church as well as a good shot on a child kneeling down and him abusing this poor kid as this was a nice memorable moment used in the story.
Also a good intense moment with Melissa going crazy and upset about John talking to Vicky and he tells her he won't be talking to Vicky anymore which adds more good flavor to the horror story and making you wonder if he will do something nasty later on.
Great suspenseful moment when a trail of fire is heading towards a vehicle and Vicky trying to start the car while it's stuck in a ditch which keeps you watching and wondering if she will make it out in time.
Perfect intensity happening between Martha and Lana in the house as well as the crazy situations on Martha being terrorised by the locals and her struggling against everyone attacking her which was one of the best and most exciting scene's of them all offering perfect horrifying moments.
The best yet is at the very end of the film as it offers a paranormal moment involving Martha in her house when you think everyone lived happily ever after and a perfect moment as you'd wish a sequel would've arisen but sadly this film was never had a following.
Bottom line: It really makes you wonder the going on's at the farmland and it's very suspenseful indeed. The story is well paced and mysterious. Very original and clever too. If you haven't seen it I'd recommend you do as you'll enjoy it if you love these types of horror films that involves poltergeists, crazed religious cult fanatics and mysterious killers. Watch the ending as it is the most effective one throughout the whole story.

The acting is good for it's time but nowadays it may seem outdated. We have Battlestar Galactica TV co-star Maren Jensen (Martha Schmidt) as the lead actress who is very passable in her role as the now widowed wife experienceing her husband's death which was effective. Shed does well acting shocked and freaking out by what she experiences. Also does a nice job acting silent and grieving during the end of a funeral scene. She also shows a good sharp type of behavior in other parts of the story along with showing great aggressions whwnever she needed to be this way. Plus does well with her struggling energy when the terror strikes her and does well with her forceful blocking too.
There's also Sharon Stone (Lana Marcus) in her first co-starring role as one of Maren's friends before she moved to be a big time movie star. Does well acting unpredictable and showing a nice expressionless and serious with what she's talking about. Plus was great coiming across as someone whom is disturbed and almost losing it. Draws in her performance when she tells a tale on a histoical moment of the farm as she is powerful within this. Also does well acting emotional and intense too.
Susan Buckner
(Vicky Anderson) often plays a happy go lucky role and shows it off here greatly and adding a ton of spunk into all that she does here. Has energy with her outgoing behavior as well as knowiong on how to act charming along with doing well acting anxious and scared near the end of her performance. Delivers all of this perfectly.
Jeff East
(John Schmidt) seemed to portray an eccentric guy next door type of fellow in which he came across nicely as someone whom is mysterious. Does well with his innocent and nervous speaking which shines off well along with acting perfectly frightened in certain spots. Does nicely getting anxious as well without getting intimidating.
Lisa Hartman
(Faith Stohler) really came across as those wholesome southern type of middle aged family women but yet there's something not right about her in which she made these actions truly believeable while watching her do what she does here. Also shows off great intense energy when the terror starts to happen and brings things to a high pace.
Ernest Borgnine
(Isaiah Schmidt) does a great job as the intimidating and abusive preacher.
He shows a nice sterness without overdoing it and does well with his still attitude too. Plus does greatly whenever he is forceful towards somebody else. Plus gets into it greatly while preaching at his small church. He was a true character actor indeed.
Colleen Riley (Melissa) had the most effective supporting role in which she does well at blowing up or freaking out at someone just getting into this gratly. Plus was great by acting disturbed or upset during certain situations. Also does well with her blocking and struggling behavior too acting like a perfect madwoman.
Michael Berryman (William Gluntz) was another great one playing someone mentally challenged and knew his craft within this acting like a perfect menace when he doesn't like something as well as getting obnoxious and showing great timing within this too. Also does well with his frightened and stuttering behavior too. He was a ball of energy and did everything marvellously.

Maren Jensen takes off her clothes to put on a nightgown and her breasts and butt are revealed. She is full nude with her back turned while hopping in the bath. Her breasts are almost revealed after she throws on her bathrobe due to a terrifying incident.
A womans blouse is open while she is hurt on the ground.

Nothing gruesome. Just corpses and some blood.

The music composed by James Horner is similar to Craven's other films as well as having a Friday the 13th feel to it. There's alot of terrific intense high pitched violin and screeching noises along with prickly sounds as well as old toned out string playing too which suits alot in the storyline. Plus there's deep drum poundings along with other low sounding effects as this person really brought it out greatly as well as perfect hissing, rusty metal scracthing and thumping ehoey sounds too. Many different one's to choose from throughout the film for sure.

Rod Stewart's classic "Maggie May" is being played in a car when two people are driving around in it on a dirt road. This seemed to suit what was going on with two people having a great time.

[first lines]
Narrator: In the rolling hills of a sinful farm community, untouched by time, a gruesome secret has been protected for generations.

Fat Boy: Father Isaiah said this place was with the incubus! If he knew...

Sheriff: I'll be damned if these guys don't eat brimstones for breakfast!

Vicky Anderson: [Holding a gun] Oh well, it doesn't take an Einstein to pull the trigger!

[In reference to Martha's land]
Vicky Anderson: If I owned a piece of property like this and I kicked the bucket, my parents would start building condos on it on the way home from the funeral!

Martha Schmidt: You want me to run just because you can't find a killer?

Vicky Anderson: What's an incubus?
Martha Schmidt: It's some kind of demon that stalks the faithful in their sleep, or just comes and takes you like a beast!
Lana Marcus: Oh God!

William Gluntz: INCUBUS! INCUBUS!

Vicky Anderson: So who are these Hittites anyway, Amish, or what?
Lana Marcus: No connection. According to Martha, the Hittites make the Amish look like swingers!

John Schmidt: What is a time warp?
Vicky Anderson: That's when someone from the twentieth century wakes up, one morning, back in the eighteenth century!

Vicky Anderson: I feel like I've been in a time warp. There's no jets, planes, telephone polls, or power lines.
John Schmidt: What's a warp?
Vicky Anderson: That's when someone from the twentieth century wakes up one morning back in the eighteenth century.

Martha Schmidt: Touch me there again and I'll scream!

Louisa Stohler: I hope its a girl! Boys ain't nothin but trouble!

Lana Marcus: Hey, hows the champ?
Martha Schmidt: I'm fine! Vickys done everything but inject me with chicken soup!

Louisa Stohler: Men around here's hopeless!

Faith Stohler: I'm Faith. F-A-I-T-H, like in believe.

Louisa Stohler: I don't suppose the sheriff's been much good.
Lana Marcus: No, as a matter of fact all he does is tell us to get out.
Louisa Stohler: Well, I wouldn't be surprised if he was a Hittite himself.

[Trying to elicit the Incubus]
Melissa: Thou tell me thy name, the date, and thy hour of coming out! I command thee!

Jim Schmidt: Already we're history!

Martha Schmidt: His people? His people turned their backs on him! YOU ordered it!

[last lines]
Narrator: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder.