May 8th, 2014: God Told Me To

God Told Me To

Cast and Crew: Sandy Dennis, Richard Lynch, Andy Kaufman

What It’s About: Detective Peter J. Nicholas (Tony Lo Bianco) is on the scene for a series of murders.  In each case the killer’s last words are “God told me to” and the killers have no apparent motive for their crimes.  Can Detective Nicholas figure out the connection between the murders…and his own past?

Why Watch it Today?:  David Berkowitz confessed to the “Son of Sam” murders on this date in 1978.  Although Berkowitz first killing was in July 1976, after today’s movie was filmed, there’s an interesting parallel to be made between this film’s killers inspired by external voices and Berkowitz’s delusions of his neighbor’s dog telling him to kill.  While God Told Me To‘s resolution isn’t quite as compelling as its set up, it’s well worth a watch, thanks to Larry Cohen’s wonderful use of New York locations and guerrilla film making (including shooting a scene during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade without a permit).

5 comments on “May 8th, 2014: God Told Me To

  1. geelw says:

    Man, you’re on a roll! This is something like the 4th or 5th fill you’ve done recently that I’ve been meaning to get to reviewing again. It’s a pretty fun film in that crazy Cohen style for sure. I was trying to decide between this or Q: The Winged Serpent, so you helped make up my mind…

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      I liked this one more than Q, probably because I don’t really dig Michael Moriarty’s improvisational stuff that much, and because I think this one is even weirder than Q

      • geelw says:

        Oh, I’ll totally agree on the weirdness factor of this flick and Moriarty’s acting in Q (although his singing in that chase scene still cracks me up). I like both, but Q worked for me as a giant monster movie homage (and that back flip the stuntman on the scaffolding does made me snort maybe a pint of soda through my nose when I saw this in a theater way back when). Demon (the alternate title to God Told Me To) is more bizarre and I believe Richard Lynch shows off his actual burn scars to good effect there (eww)…

  2. T.A. Gerolami says:

    Some of Moriarty’s stuff really worked, I agree, I just found the contrast between him and Carradine’s incredibly stiff style and the inherently uneven nature of just letting an actor go wild distracted from some of the resat of the movie. I can’t imagine how much fun that would have been to see first run!

    • geelw says:

      Oddly enough, the very mixed audience I saw “Q” with was kind of polarized. I recall some people loved it, a handful walked out during the brief, bloody sacrifice scene and some hated it when the credits rolled because they thought the acting was too weird, the effects looked cheap or they were expecting a different sort of giant monster flick than what Cohen delivered. I thought (and still think) it was hilarious, a great NYC movie and yep, fun as hell to watch.

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