Messiah of Evil (William Huyck, 1973)

A cabal of ghouls lurks bloodily in the meat section in the neon-lit supermarket. A shadow perches in the front seat of the dark Buick in the garage. A vermin-eating giant waits in anticipation behind the unbuilt facades of the beachfront properties. Swarming clawing bodies clot the skylight and the picture window. The haze at the end of the hallway coalesces into the shape of a screaming madwoman. The painted image of the bespectacled man walks out of his mural and into your bedroom. Less a muddled zompire picture than an atmospheric immersion in spaces and suspense, this film reminds us that what makes a deserted location skin-crawlingly eerie is not the fact that it’s empty, but that it might not be.

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