26 February 2008 | Michael_Elliott
Historic at least
Blood of Jesus, The (1941)
* (out of 4)
Spencer Williams, future star of TV's Amos and Andy, wrote, produced, directed and stars in this historically important, all-black feature film. This low budget feature suffers from various problems but, due to the historical importance, it was selected to the National Film Registry in 1991. A young woman (Cathryn Caviness) is baptized and later that evening accidentally shot by her husband (Williams). Before dying, an angel takes the woman to the Crossroads where she can select Heaven or Hell. However, before she can choose the Devil shows up with his assistant (named Judas) to try and steer her the wrong way. This film was made on a budget lower than $5,000 and you can really tell because the film features some of the worst acting I've ever seen. We're talking an Ed Wood level here as there are several moments where the actors flub their lines, struggle to remember them and then finally deliver them. The film tells an interesting story but the actual "story" only lasts for about ten minutes and the rest of the time we just watch people standing around the woman praying. The religious overtones will beat you nearly to death but the Gospel music is terrific and is the only highlight of the film.