Thursday, 05 March 2015 10:18

God Told Me to See GOLD TOLD ME TO Midnights This Weekend at The Hi-Pointe

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“….God told me to!”

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GOD TOLD ME TO screens midnights this Friday and Saturday (March 6th and 7th) at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63117)

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In the Fall of 1976, my father dropped me off at the Hi-Pointe Theater after church one Sunday because I’d been bugging him about seeing the new horror film RABID by David Cronenberg, a director who would soon become a favorite. RABID was the first half of a double feature that afternoon, paired with something called DEMON, which I knew nothing about except that it was rated R and was called DEMON. While I loved the gory RABID (and still do), my 14-year old mind was mostly just bewildered by the deranged religious madness and paranormal confusion on display in the less-gruesome DEMON. About a dozen years later, I rented the VHS of Larry Cohen’s GOD TOLD ME TO, and was surprised to see that it and DEMON were actually one and the same. By that time, I was a fan of maverick, NY-based Cohen, one of the great independent exploitation directors of the 1970s and 80s. His quirky output includes BLACK CAESAR (1973), IT’S ALIVE (1974), Q THE WINGED SERPENT (1982), and THE STUFF (1985), but his most unusual film still has to be that 1976 mind-bender GOD TOLD ME TO. This weekend I’ll be heading back to the Hi-Pointe, 39 years later, to see DEMON there again (this time under its proper title GOD TOLD ME TO) when it plays as part of Destroy the Brain’s Late Night Grindhouse midnight series.

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Set in New York, GOD TOLD ME TO stars Tony LoBianco as Peter Nicholas, a Catholic police detective who feels a strong connection to a series of murders he’s investigating that are being committed by various random, seemingly normal, assailants who claim that God told them to kill. The first is a sniper who kills from the top of a water tower. Nicholas attempts to talk the sniper down and when he asks him why he did it, the sniper responds that “God told him to…” and then proceeds to jump to his death. Nicholas finds that killer and others, including a cop (played by Andy Kaufman!) who shoots up a St. Patrick’s Day parade, have been influenced by an androgynous religious cult leader played by Richard Lynch whose origins (and gender) are a mystery. Things start to get a little more complicated, but suffice it to say the Det. Nicholas isn’t what he seems to be and that his background is directly tied to the events that are taking place. I won’t give away too much more of the story, but metaphysics, spaceship footage from the TV show Space:1999, and Sylvia Sidney getting impregnated by an alien all figure into the story, as does the sight of a man with a vagina growing out of the side of his body (this of course is reminiscent of the vagina in Marilyn Chambers’ armpit in RABID, which I just seen the first time I saw GOD TOLD ME TO!!). Deborah Raffin (who played Charles Bronson’s girlfriend in DEATH WISH 3) plays Nicholas’ girlfriend while Sandy Dennis (who played Charles Bronson’s wife in her final film INDIAN RUNNER) plays his wife.

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Don’t miss Larry Cohen’s GOD TOLD ME TO this weekend (March 6th and 7th) midnights at The Hi-Pointe!

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Admission is $7 and the pre-show begins at 11:30

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The Hi-Pointe’s site can be found HERE

 http://hi-pointetheatre.com/

The Facebook invite for the Friday night show can be found HERE

 https://www.facebook.com/events/911367402218755

The Facebook invite for the Saturday night show can be found HERE

 https://www.facebook.com/events/840515639339809

The Destroy The Brain.com site can be found HERE

 http://www.destroythebrain.com/

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