God Told Me To (a.k.a. Demon) opens with a sniper killing 14 people while perched atop a New York City water tower. Given the unpleasant timeliness of this sequence, I found myself more than a little intrigued. More of a stark police procedural with some otherworldly themes than an outright horror movie, God Told Me To succeeds thanks to some warped little twists and a few solid performances.Tony Lo Bianco (F.I.S.T.) plays Detective Nicholas, a sensible and efficient cop who watches as the sniper plummets to an ugly demise. Piecing together a handful of clues, (most of which involve murderers who respond “God told me to” when interrogated), the detective uncovers a creepy cult that will stop at nothing in an effort to spread their gospel.
What works best in this genre-twisting cult flick comes courtesy of longtime fanboy favorite Larry Cohen. B-movie demigod responsible for such beloved little movies as The Stuff, Q: The Winged Serpent, and the “killer baby” It’s Alive trilogy, Cohen has always managed to toss a little social commentary in among the flying monsters and man-eating infants. God Told Me To is no different, in that it offers a disturbing at a murderous cult in a disarmingly realistic fashion. In other words, the flick works because it seems gritty, low-rent, and real. (That's a compliment.)
Lo Bianco offers a great performance as a detective slowly losing touch with reality, while Deborah Raffin (Death Wish 3) and Sandy Dennis (The Out-of-Towners) fare just as well as gals vying for the detective’s affection. Horror fans will recognize Richard Lynch (Bad Dreams) as a glowing cult leader and eagle-eyed film freaks will recognize Andy Kaufman as a police officer who loses his mind and kills about 11 people.
Though not among Larry Cohen’s most wholly satisfying productions, God Told Me To should prove a worthwhile curiosity to fans of 70’s era horror movies told with a decidedly ‘cop flick’ feel.Doesn't represent Cohen's finest work, but fans of 'exploitation with a brain' should be suitably entertained.