Articles from the Boston Compass, Psychotronic Flicks and more

GOD TOLD ME TO (1976) dir. Larry Cohen

PMIOZ March 2015



GOD TOLD ME TO (1976) dir. Larry Cohen

3/13 & 3/14, 11:59PM, @COOLIDGE

I love writer/director Larry Cohen. He’s one of the great independent psychotronic film makers of the 70s and 80s, well known for his gritty, socio-political movies full of police procedural elements that often stray into fantastical territory. The Stuff (1985) is what got me into Cohen’s world (after consuming it of course), but it’s God Told Me To (1976) that’s screening this month in Brookline.

It’s not a lot to go on, but when (more) killers (than normal) are giving “God told me to” as the excuse for their actions, someone should look into it. Tony Lo Bianco does the honors in this one, playing a Catholic cop with “some problems of his own” who begins to put the pieces together. His hunt for the source of the senseless & bloody madness that is plaguing NYC (more than 1970s normal) is the meat and potatoes of this thing. The film goes off the rails at times, getting a little lost in its march toward its finale, but I assure you: things get weird!!

And who’s that going on one of the killing sprees? Ahh yes, Andy Kaufman in his first film role! I’ve never seen this one in the theater so I will definitely be in attendance, as should you if X-Files, Larry Cohen, or just plain weird movies are your thing. Can someone please make me a shirt that reads: “Watch Larry Cohen Movies”? Just send it to the Compass. I’ll get it.

– Dan Shea

this article originally appeared in issue Boston Compass issue #62, March 2015.

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