Messiah of Evil and Darktown Strutters
Messiah of Evil. Dirs. Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz (uncredited). 1973, 85 mins. 35mm. With Michael Greer, Marianna Hill. One of the great unsung horror movies of the 1970s, this trancelike, visually stunning creep-out stars Medium Cool’s Marianna Hill as a young woman searching for her missing father, getting deeper and deeper into the world of the occult. According to cult film expert Tim Lucas, Messiah of Evil features “some of the most elegant cinematography and uncannily unnerving art direction ever afforded an American horror film.”
Darktown Strutters. Dir. William Witney. 1975, 90 mins. With Trina Parks, Edna Richardson. Written by George Armitage (Miami Blues), this 1970s blaxploitation-tinged oddity stars Parks as the leader of a motorcycle gang who uncovers a plot by a racist Colonel Sanders lookalike to clone America’s black leaders for nefarious ends. Gaudy, gritty, and fantastical, Darktown Strutters was one of the most eccentric productions designed by Jack Fisk during the wild first decade of his career.
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