Friday, July 8, 2016

God Told Me To - 1976

Shots ring out, bodies fall in the streets.  High above a lone shooter, an average man with a sniper rifle.   A man who never hurt a fly, and who had never fired a gun - less so one that wasn't even sighted correctly - and yet he kills 14 people.  His last words before he jumps to his death "God told me to".

Way back when I was initially adding movies to my lists based on nothing more that "oh it's directed by so-and-so" I watched and reviewed the movie Q directed by Larry Cohen.  That movie had been one I'd wanted to see a long time, and I added God Told Me To later because it was also directed by Larry Cohen, and sounded cool.  I just wanted to frame that in your mind, cause it's been over a year since I watched Q and yet this movie felt remarkably similar in setup.

I have to take a break here really quick because I just looked at the trivia for this movie on IMDb.  One thought that went through my head while I watched this one was, wow this movie could be an awesome vehicle for a remake if they did it right.  It's not something I tend to think of a lot, because I fuckin hate remakes usually, but this movie has all the right ingredients.  Anyways, turns out that it was going to maybe be remade at one point - by French director Gaspar Noe.  Holy fucking shit that would be the best goddamn movie ever.  Noe, who did Irreversible and Enter the Void, taking on a god themed horror mystery, would be a fucking godsend to me.

Okay, let's go to plot.  Police detective Peter is on the scene for the first part of the movie I described with the sniper.  He hears the man's words, and this is after he talked to the guy and confirmed he's just a normal dude like us who happened to kill a buncha people.  Then, Peter starts to encounter people all over who are committing murders and saying that god told them to do it.  Often, it is the last thing they'll say before they themselves die. Peter is the only one who seems to think this phrase of "God told me to" is a real connection, so he's left to investigate.

This movie actually, legitimately made me think for once while I was watching it.  It's got a twist in it, one that I sorta saw coming, but then it twists another way to make me think I was wrong.  Right about when I was thinking of the plot holes that would exist if I was wrong, it all made sense with the ending.  Without being too specific, I hope you know what I mean.  It made me think one thing, then another, then yet another.  In other words, it is well done.

Most of the twist happen, most of the movie happens, through dialogue, as you may know if you are familiar with how movies generally worked in the 70's.  It's not a dialogue heavy movie per-say, but there a lot of important pieces in there, and you generally should pay attention.  So this is not the cult type, smoky or drinky type of movie.

The acting by Tony Lo Bianco as the lead man was really good.  He is a tough, determined cop and yet very accessible and the things he does make sense.  It's also a great, realistic and yet still a movie worthy idea.  Real life and fiction cross over here as people DO say and do these types of things.  Killers swear they were told by god to do it, they claim the devil is inside of them, etc etc.  Why not make a movie wherein maybe, just maybe, someone actually followed that as a lead and took those types of 'clues' to the next level?

For intriguing me and having a cool original idea, I give this movie 4 stars.

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