God Told Me To (1976)

Produced, Written & Directed by: Larry Cohen


Tony Lo Bianco .... Det. Lt. Peter J. Nicholas
Sandy Dennis .... Martha Nicholas
Sam Levene .... Everett Lukas
Robert Drivas .... David Mortan
Mike Kellin .... Deputy Police Commissioner
Deborah Raffin .... Casey Forster
William Roerick .... Richards
Robert Nichols .... Fletcher

Special Appearances:

Richard Lynch .... Bernard Phillips
Sylvia Sidney .... Elizabeth Mullin
Andy Kauffman .... Police Officer

Release Date:
Theatrical: November, 1976

*Images courtesy at: www.cryptofthedead.com






An aggressive New York catholic police detective named Peter J. Nicholas (Tony Lo Bianco) discovers that a bunch of people are being shot and killed by a disturbed man named Harold Gorman (Sammy Williams) who is shooting people with a shotgun on top of a water tower and tries to stop him and asked him why he is doing this. He tells him that God told him to and then jumps off the watertower building.
Later on he discovers other killings by people before they die or take their lives telling him the same thing at a St Patricks Day Parade which was started by a police officer and a father murdering his entire family which adds up to a Christ-like figure named Bernard Phillips (Richard Lynch) who appeared to each of the killers and can't seem to shake the feeling that his own fate is somewhat linked to this mysterious being. As he comes closer to the truth, his worst fears are confirmed as the people around him behave strangely as well as himself.


We have great shots on the local townies being shot brutally in the city and them running away.
There's a real tense discussion sequence between
Det. Lt. Peter J. Nicholas and Harold Gorman at a water tower with suspenseful shots on both of them way high up on the building which looks a little creepy for anyone who's afraid of heights.
A nice shot on Harold pointing his shotgun as well as him doing his speech to why he did this stuff and a good look at him jumping off.
We have a good shot on Peter falling down some stairs while being attacked which looked good as well as him screaming in rage to demand why he was attacked.
We have a great black & white flashback sequence that involves Miss Mullin running into a car naked and Bramwell driving the vehicle being sarcastic at times by what she's telling him which looked nicely done and very old fashioned like.
There's a good setting with Casey Forster in a room with
Deputy Police Commissioner trying to talk to her along with some other people which looked quite decent.
There are many effective moments that people start to suffocate when something deadly happens to them as well.
A great setting on Peter in a room with some bizarre lighting effects as well as being caught in a fire.
We spot perfect shots with Peter and a pimp when he tries to threaten him with a knife in a Harlem pool hall and a great close up shot on Peter by with having cold expressionless looks at him looking very demonic like. This pimp is suffering and cutting his own throat which looked very possessive.
We spot a strange setting between Bernard Phillips as a demonic type and Peter looked good by attacking him and burning down the building he was inside of.
Bottom line: A very strange tale in the same likes as the Exorcist and the Omen but yet the story really doesn't make sense as to why this was all happening towards the end as well as a flashback sequence of a UFO and a naked woman which makes it even more confusing and not the least bit scary during most of this storyline. It is an interesting story showing people being evil and killing thinking that God is controlling them to do all of this macabre even if this film wasn't exactly a mainstream film.

The acting is is nicely performed I must say as lead actor Tony Lo Bianco (Det. Lt. Peter J. Nicholas) was perfect for his role as an aggressive tough as nails detective bringing everything he's got to his part. Well done Tony.
Deborah Raffin
(Casey Forster) came across well with her part and looked great too. She does well getting ticked by what an onscreen detective asking her.
Sandy Dennis
(Martha Nicholas) brings part to her role as someone a little disturbed as a housewife in which she portrayed nicely.
Mike Kellin (Deputy Police Commissioner) seems to breeze through nicely as a serious cop and pulls it off well but like many of his performances he seems to be the same but he was never terrible in any of them.
Supporting actress Sylvia Sydney (Elizabeth Mullin) brought alot to her part even if it was only about 5 minutes long knowing how to act like a disturbed elderly woman as she really knew how to act upset about discussing her past with him to what happened with her and then she really was great by being paranoid.
We even have a first time bit part by Andy Kauffman (Police Officer) whom was well remembered for his line saying GOD TOLD ME TO before he dies in a parade bringing it across very well.

Vida Taylor is full nude in a flashback scene running towards a car to get in and there's another scene with her entering some sort of a space ship.

Some bloody gunshots and slit throats but thats about it folks

Lots of great classical composing and good violin playing with some good fast pacing all composed by Frank Cordell as he makes the music fitting for the story.