Produced by the same Earl Ownsby that made the truly oddball Tales of the Third Dimension in 3D, this Wilmington, North Carolina curiosity makes the strange step of being one part slasher, one part Christian morality play. And man, what a strange tasting cocktail that is*.
Director C.D.H. Reynolds and writer Tom McIntyre put together this tale of a 1930s small town that is packed with lust, corruption and sin that has choked the God out of the last preacher, sending him running away into the night.
Now, a mysterious figure wielding a scythe arrives just as he leaves and everyone that has done anything has to pay — not only with their lives, but with their souls.
Everyone in town has something to be ashamed of. Mr. Sharpe, the banker, is out to take everything he can from everyone. Drunken Mrs. Fitch only cares about her flowers and will poison animals if they get too close. Ruby only married her husband to become rich, as everything about him is old, even his smell, but she doesn’t care for anyone, even the shop assistant that she’s been screwing behind her husband’s back. And then there’s George, who conspires with the banker to commit his parents and finally leave this town behind.
This feels like the lost Charles B. Pierce movie we never got or the slasher they’d allow you to watch in Sunday school or a junior high production of Our Town that the drama teacher rewrote to slam book the entire town that he knew would never accept him and that he’d never escape. All filtered through with nightmarish conjurings of a foggy and blue lit reaper just walking from victim to victim and man, I love blue fog.
It’s a slow moving movie — and you know how those work for me — in the best of ways, a deranged message film that makes me leap with glee when the end credits start with the Ten Commandments. Bravo, people. Bravo.
According to Stephen Thrower — who is on the Severin blu discussing this — Reynolds went back to teaching and was an atheist. He also worked on Carnival Magic, which makes a lot more sense.
*I can only think of one other movie that attempts this, The Redeemer: Son of Satan.
You can get this from Severin.