GOD TOLD ME TO (1976) movie review

God Told Me To (1976) d. Cohen, Larry (USA)

Less manic and tongue in cheek than his other horror efforts, writer/director Larry Cohen’s gritty modern fable focuses on NYC cop Tony LoBianco investigating a spree of murders – each one committed by an individual who confides “God told me to” as justification for their acts. A deeply spiritual man, LoBianco finds his faith buffeted by these irrational yet undeniably linked incidents, and as he digs deeper, he discovers that he himself could very well be an integral piece of the mystery.

Cohen’s story ultimately raises more questions than it answers – not always a bad thing – and when extraterrestrial abductions are introduced along with a cult of religious zealots, things start to come off the rails a bit. But if you’re looking for a challenging piece of low-budget horror, you could do a lot worse.

Comedian/performance artist Andy Kaufman has a small role as a police officer, and fans will also recognize genre regular Richard Lynch beneath his glowing robes.

While widely available on many “public domain” box sets, Blue Underground’s release provides the most complete version of the film, along with an engaging Cohen commentary.


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