A Day of Judgment

Film review by Thomas M. Sipos

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A Day of Judgment  (1981, dir: C.D.H. Reynolds; writer: Tom McIntyre; cast: William T. Hicks, Harris Bloodworth, Deborah Bloodworth, Susn Bloodworth)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day of Judgment was filmed by North Carolina based production company, E.O. Productions, named after is founder, Earl Owensby.

Esquire magazine interviewed Owensby in the early 1980s. Owensby was a successful local businessman (car dealerships, I think it was) who decided to make films, some of them starring, or at least featuring, himself. He was also a born-again Christian. He bragged that there were no curse words in any of his films, "Except for 'hell' and 'damn' -- and they're both in the Bible!"

A Day of Judgment is Owensby's most explicitly Christian film. (Another of his horror films is (House of Death [aka Death Screams]).

A Day of Judgment is a period piece, set in the Deep South around the 1920s or 1930s. This horror anthology follows five people who are sinners of various sorts. A greedy banker who forecloses on poor folk. A greedy son who murders his parents for his inheritance. A cranky old woman who poisons the neighbor kid's pet. Some others. All these sinners live in the same town, and their stories intertwine.

The film opens with a new minister coming to town, lamenting that his church pews are barely filled. Right about then, the Grim Reaper also comes to town. The sinners commit their sins, and the Grim Reaper punishes them.

The sinners end up in Hell. Then they all wake up. As in A Christmas Carol -- it was all a dream! So they rush off to church, having mended their sinful ways.

The production values are rough. The actors are mostly amateurs. Their performances are not awful, but also not very good. So-so makeup effects. Some creative use of colored lights.

 



I can see giving A Day of Judgment 2 stars on Amazon, but I gave it 3 because it's a curiosity. One reviewer (John Stanley, I think) called it perhaps the only Christian fundamentalist horror film.

I found it reasonably entertaining, but then, I love almost all horror. Others may find this film a little preachy.

 

 

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