Taglines: A gruesome secret, protected for generations, rises to give its…
Martha (Maren Jensen) and Jim Schmidt (Douglas Barr) live on an isolated farm named ‘Our Blessing’, where most of its population are “Hittites”, an austere religious community who, according to one of the characters, “make the Amish look like swingers”. Jim was a Hittite, but left the community when he got married. Jim tells a neighbor, Louisa Stohler (Lois Nettleton), who is the mother of Faith (Lisa Hartman), that his wife, Martha, is pregnant and that Louisa’s services as a mid-wife will soon be needed by them.
Louisa and Faith are not part of the Hittite community, either. In fact, they do not like them due in part to the constant harassment of Faith by William, who chases her and calls her, and all “outsides”, “Incubus.” That night, Jim searches in the barn after hearing strange noises from inside, but is murdered when a mysterious figure runs him over with his tractor. This is alleged to be a mechanical accident.
Friends Lana Marcus (Sharon Stone) and Vicky Anderson (Susan Buckner) visit Martha after Jim’s funeral. When William Gluntz (Michael Berryman) goes to the house at night to search for his shoe he accidentally left earlier when sneaking around, he is stabbed through the back by an unseen figure.
The following day, William’s father and Jim’s father and the leader of the Hittites, Isaiah Schmidt (Ernest Borgnine) come to the farm looking for William after he does not return home after being sent by his father to retrieve a “lost” shoe. Martha tells the men she has no idea where William is and they start to leave, Isaiah goes back to the door and offers to buy back the farm from Martha but Martha refuses, after Isaiah insults her and calls her the incubus, she asks him if he would like his answer immediately, and “answers” by slamming the door in his face.
Martha is now being accused of being the incubus. Lana enters the barn the next day to look for something in the barn, inside a toolbox for the tractor but all the doors and windows suddenly close, trapping her inside. In a panic, she searches for a way out but encounters a figure dressed in black. When escaping out the now open barn door, William’s corpse swoops down at her, hanging from a rope.
The police clean up the mess as the sheriff (Kevin Cooney) advises the three friends to leave town, as someone may be after them. However, Martha decides to stay where she is and buys a gun for protection. Multiple events follow, such as a snake being put into Martha’s bathroom while she’s taking a bath by an unseen figure who creeps in her house. She manages to get out of the bath tub and kill the snake with a fireplace poker.
Deadly Blessing is a 1981 American horror film directed by Wes Craven. The film tells the story of a strange figure committing murder in a contemporary community that is not far from another community that believes in ancient evil and curses. It stars Ernest Borgnine, Maren Jensen, Susan Buckner (both women making their last feature film screen appearances), and Sharon Stone in an early role. AllMovie comments that the film “finds director Wes Craven in a transitional phase between his hard-hitting early work and his later commercial successes.”
Deadly Blessing (1981)
Directed by: Wes Craven
Starring: Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner, Jeff East, Colleen Riley, Douglas Barr, Lisa Hartman, Lois Nettleton, Ernest Borgnine
Screenplay by: Glenn M. Benest, Matthew Barr, Wes Craven
Production Design by: Jack Marty
Cinematography by: Robert C. Jessup
Film Editing by: Richard Bracken
Costume Design by: Patricia McKiernan
Set Decoration by: Okowita
Music by: James Horner
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: August 14, 1981