Prelude to /slash #6: God Told Me To

Gold Told Me ToGold Told Me To
USA 1976
Written by Larry Cohen
Directed by Larry Cohen

It’s now been more than 24 hours since I’ve seen it, and I’m still not sure what to make of it – which makes writing a review rather difficult. It’s… just totally weird. Going in, I only knew that it was about a sniper that shot people because God told him to (hence the title), and I expected some sort of thriller, with the cop arresting the guy, trying to find out why he did it, and then kinda going insane too. But that’s so not what this is. Instead, right after Peter Nicholas confronts the sniper, he says “God told me to”, and jumps off the water tower. Shortly afterwards, more killing sprees occur, which follow the same pattern. For a while, I was worried that this might actually go the supernatural, or rather religious, route – with all those guys telling the police that they acted in the name of god, and actually a guy who I thought was a priest calling the police and warning them about another rampage that would occur shortly after at a parade, and who even knew how many people are going to get killed.

Thank god (no pun intended), the movie then took a totally different route. I definitely liked this angle, but boy oh boy, does the movie get weird. That strange blond-golden dude. His origins. His connection to Peter. And the ending. Oh my god that ending. I will never get the picture of that vagina out of my head. What the fuck, dude? I’m not saying it was bad, but it definitely was a little TOO fucked up for me. There are other things that are easier and more objectively to criticize. The whole movie is VERY low budget, so don’t expect any flashy visuals. That alone is not a problem, but when you have a sound track that wasn’t adjusted or revised in post in any way, you get scenes that are very sloppily cobbled together, and where the sound is constantly shifting with every cut, which really took me out of the movie. For example, in one shot you would hear cars in the background, and in the next one you wouldn’t. Things like that appear constantly, and I found it to be extremely distracting. Also, most of the movie was shot with handheld cameras, which might give some scenes an almost documentary feel, but also gets you some rather jarring camera moves. Ultimately, the way it is shot doesn’t really hold up to its story and ideas, bringing the whole movie down considerably. However, every fan of the weird owes it to himself to watch this at least once.


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