Deadly Blessing

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This 1981 entry into the Craven canon unfortunately suffers from extreme BOREDOM.

 Deadly Blessing is about Martha (Maren Jenson, who played Athena in the 70s Battlestar Galactica) a woman whose husband is an ex-Hittite, and who is being stalked by a mysterious figure in black who likes to murder people in various ways. It doesn’t take long before the figure offs her husband in a tractor “accident”, and Martha’s city friends arrive (Sharon Stone! What.) to help comfort her … but somehow just make things worse.

Craven’s script implies that the blame lies within the Hittite community, possibly with William (distinctive actor Michael Berryman), who also appears to be stalking her, and is obsessed with calling her, and well, everyone else who isn’t a Hittite, an Incubus. Yes, even if they’re female. (I do not think that word means what he thinks it means).

Ernest Borgnine also throws the term around liberally, making wild eyes at the three heathen women and angrily slapping his adult son around, just because. There’s also a clearly imbalanced mother & daughter who also live just outside the Hittite community and are harassed by them on a daily basis too.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD I know, I’m sorry. It’s so boring I can’t really describe it in an exciting way. But! There are a few interesting seeds planted here that made it into A Nightmare on Elm Street. Most notably, Stone’s description of her nightmarish tormentor, which is nice precursor to Nancy & Tina’s discussion about Freddy, and a bathtub scene where Martha is attacked by a snake that’s too similar to Nancy’s tub encounter with Krueger to be a coincidence—legs apart, danger coming straight up the middle, a wash cloth covering the face—it’s all there.

There’s just no suspense here. While providing a creepy presence  Berryman doesn’t last long enough in this film to make a strong impact (a shame, since he was so good in The Hills Have Eyes just a few years before), and when the actual villain is revealed, the plot veers from Boresville to Crazyland and just doesn’t make any goddamn sense. Even the last scenes is like, “Wait. WHAT THE” – and not in a good way.

Chalk this one up on the side of Craven’s errors … with very little splatter. Probably not worth a watch unless you feel like you have to be a completist and see EVERYTHING.

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