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MAREN JENSEN & SHARON STONE CRAVEN A 'DEADLY BLESSING'

Sharon Stone in DEADLY BLESSING Year: 1981 Rating: ***

It's nice to see Maren Jensen, who didn't get enough screen-time and then was pretty much written off BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, starring in a horror movie by that genre's soon-to-be iconic Wes Craven, who would, following A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, turn out a fun yet ultra violent science-fiction flick titled DEADLY FRIEND, but this is his first deadly, as in DEADLY BLESSING, and it's not the kind of blessing you'd hope or think by the cast and what kind of seemingly intriguing atrocities happen to them...

For example, a subdued Sharon Stone, a year after being introduced to cinemas as a window-smooching beauty in Woody Allen's STARDUST MEMORIES, lies in bed, eyes-widened in fear, panic, when a spider drops into her mouth. Turns out being merely a dream sequence, but it's the kind of thing that memorable cult flicks are made of... the problem here is the setting...

Sharon Stone in DEADLY BLESSING with Meren Jensen

Taking place in an Amish-like farmland community of Hittites, there's very little suspense or irony since the surrounding rural location is so uptight and overly religious to begin with: all the while, a taut, screeching violin sound, like from THE EXORCIST, plays throughout...

As anything is possible with an overbearing, over-acting Ernest Borgnine as a damnation-spouting patriarch of a nervously progressive Jeff East, bearing the only resemblance to a romantic leading man. But it's not Stone or Jensen that his eyes... or rather, at first... her eyes are set on: and GREASE starlet Susan Buckner (the popularity-seeking, scene-stealing Patty Simcox) is a kind of buried lead here...

Sharon Stone in DEADLY BLESSING

To get three spooked young ladies in a farmhouse together, the plot has Jensen's former Hittite farmer husband getting killed in an accident (Doug Barr from FALL GUY), and her friends visit to make her feel at home albeit all being and feeling far from it...

There are good body count sequences, and the initial clunky pace opens up into a throwback example of the horror sub-genre Rural Devil Worshippers, despite the community supposedly rooting for the "good" side...

Sharon Stone in DEADLY BLESSING

Sharon Stone falls victim to the spookiest scenes of a mysterious faceless entity while Buckner and East's flirtation turned affair is rather snoozy (given a random spark by his jealous and uptight Hittite fiance Coleen Riley): Leaving Jensen to, like on GALACTICA, be somewhat neglected until a "surprise twist ending," one of the worst in horror history...

Her previous snake-in-the-bathtub scene is paramount, making DEADLY BLESSING one of those horror flicks where the parts exceed the sum — although the sum is pretty semi-decent overall.

Susan Buckner and Maren Jensen IN DEADLY BLESSING
Susan Buckner and Sharon Stone in DEADLY BLESSING
Mousy cute Colleen Riley in DEADLY BLESSING
Deadly Blessing Ernest Borgnine returning to Amish/Hittite since 1955's Violent Saturday
A sort of Film Noir look for Sharon Stone in DEADLY BLESSING
Colleen Riley killing TABITHA star Lisa Hartman in DEADLY BLESSING
Sharon Stone Deadly Blessing Maren Jensen Deadly Blessing Sharon Stone Maren Jenson
Deadly Blessing features Wes Craven regular/good luck charm Michael Berryman
Susan Buckner recognizes young Clark Kent Jeff East but in DEADLY BLESSING
Susan Buckner faces Maren Jensen's armed ingenue in Deadly Blessing reviewed by James M. Tate
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