Midnight Rec: God Told Me To (1976)

Director/Writer Larry Cohen has helped create some very strange films in his lifetime. While there is much to love and much to hate in his filmography, as far as I'm concerned, 1976 cult classic God Told Me To stands above the rest.

A random wave of mass murders has hit New York City. The only connective thread is the killer claiming "God told me to" before committing suicide. A Catholic NYPD detective is running the case, and all logical thoughts are pushed to the wayside as he begins to see signs of a Christ figure possibly influencing the erratic behavior of the killers. The result is a twisted journey into the power of faith and the danger of obsession.

I know I have my own interpretation of the final scenes of God Told Me To. I know others have a conflicting interpretation of those very scenes. The only thing certain about this film is its ability to leave the viewer with a strong sense of something, even if that sense is confusion or hatred. To call it a polarizing weird film would be a great disservice. Cohen crafted something special here. He allowed nothing to get in the way of memorable scenes, such as a cop (played by Andy Kaufman) losing it at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, actually shot at the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade without a permit.

God Told Me To is a public domain film. It is available for streaming on Netflix. If you want to hunt around for a copy to download or stream through a free web service, please try to find a good looking copy of the film. The subtlety of colors is beautifully handled and the detail is lost all too often in these quick uploads of the film.

The trailer is posted after the bump. Point of warning: the voice over makes it seem like the film is very cut and dry in its interpretation, but that's a gross oversimplification.