Sunday, May 22, 2011

Be afraid, very afraid -- for 6 minutes

This is one of my favorite film clips from my past. Shot in 1971, this movie was originally titled, The Second Coming. Toward the end of the filming, investors pulled their money out, and the film was never finished. A Frenchman bought the unedited footage, edited it and released the movie under the title of Messiah of Evil. In 2003, in the horror film genre, The British Film Institute hailed Messiah of Evil as 'a rare work of cinematic genius.'

In the film Annie Hall, during the montage of LA and Beverly Hills, you can catch the title of this film on the marquee of the Pan Pacific drive-in theater.


  1. You like Wagner?

    Coincidentally I was stuck somewhere last week with only three DVDs. This was one of them. I watched it three times. Great movie.


  2. Hello Marshall,

    Wagner is great music, but not exectly best for relaxation.

    Amazing that you saw this film last week. Glad you like it.

    Thanks for sharing with us. Nice to hear from you, Marshall, ~ Anitra

  3. Holy cow, that zombie driving the truck would have been enough to convince me to stay in the woods that night.

    Having raised two daughters, this segment really pushed my rescue button. Zombies.... yack!

    I loved this although I would surely have written it differently as Aneet the Zombie Slayer! :)

    Steven Aanes in Oakwood

  4. Hi Steven,

    Loved your message! Yes, they surely created a creepy scene. I really like the eerie visual art of my character walking those deserted streets and the exterior shot of the Ralphs.

    "Aneet the Zombie Slayer," yes, I can get behind that.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Steven.

    My Regards, ~ Aneet

  5. Yelled "Run Anitra Run" while viewing the clip! Thanks for sharing and have a good week.


  6. Hi Bitsey!

    Your comment made me laugh out loud. It's so good to hear from you.

    Be Well, ~ Aneet

  7. Hi Anitra-

    Thanks for sharing this clip. It's nice to see another aspect of your work. I couldn't help but laugh to myself at the slight irony of the shot of you walking in front of that appliance store and the role washing machines and refrigerators would play in your career soon after this movie. ;-) Again thanks for sharing. I enjoyed watching.



  8. Anitra,

    I love this scene and have watched it a few times on You Tube. I think I even posted it on my Facebook page a few months ago!!

    If not mistaken, this is the Ralph's on Sunset. I used to live not too far from there and would stop on the way home. At that time, I had no idea that you were devoured by zombies there!! LOL!!

    The 35th anniversary edition was released on DVD in 2009, totally re-mastered and restored to it's original version. The two different titles were combined into "Messiah of Evil: The Second Coming". It's been on my DVD wish list.

    Thanks for posting this, Anitra!!


  9. Joseph,

    Always good to hear from you. Glad you got to see something different and through the eyes of my future. That makes me smile.

    Wishing You Well, ~ Aneet

  10. Jonathan ChesterMay 22, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Hi Aneet,

    Although I've always regarded you as the worlds most beautiful woman,I do believe these vampires had regarded you as the most delicious. My heart was pounding through my chest just wondering when you would kick off those shoes so you could run much faster! By the way, your facial expression was worth a million bucks when you were deciding whether or not to get into that ghoul's car! (just before you said "What The Hell?")

    I could have sworn that the vampire who grabbed you was Vince Lombardi, the football coach of the Green Bay Packers! I thought maybe they used him as an "extra" that day!

    Great work but I'm probably going to be facing some nightmares when I head for bed tonite!

  11. Mark, hello,

    I should have known that you had seen this film clip and more than once. That you used to live near the Ralphs where the zombies got me, is a kick.

    It's interesting for me to see my body language in a more natural and fluid setting, as oppose to the staged quality of Price. The lighting too was much better for my features. The art direction and the cinematography of Messiah, were exquisite!

    Thank you Mark, for all of the good information. I surely hope that someone gifts you with that DVD.

    Sending My Regards, ~ Aneet

  12. Well, I am stuck with these out of order replies, as this blog insists on posting them by date and time received

  13. And so, Jonathan, hi,

    Wow, those are some mighty nice complements -- thank you!

    Glad you got to see the footage. I would have thought you had seen it before. Also glad you liked my expression. Even though I've been in two of them, I'm not particularly a fan of horror films. But, I think this one has some very special qualities (beyond the Vince Lombardi look-alike.)

    I sure hope this didn't interfere with your sleep.

    Good to hear from you, Jonathan. Sending My Regards, ~ Aneet

  14. Aneet,

    Ah yes Messiah of Evil! You were probably expecting a comment from me on this one! This is an interesting horror film, with some genuinely creepy moments. Worth a look to all who enjoy 'imperfect' little horror gems from the past. You can see the 'imperfect'-related investment there is a scene towards the end which makes no sense relative to the rest of the movie. But definitely a gem...with very interesting direction, editing, and photography...and you are mesmerizing. Your final scene is so memorable...and note there is no real's a brilliant piece of film thanks for you and your film makers.

    Some interesting trivia...I was a teen in the Detroit area when this was re-released in the mid-70s as Return of the Living Dead. I saved the movie ad clipping from the paper when I saw your name! But I didn't see it until dvd several years ago (there was no way to convince my parents to take me to an R-rated horror movie back then!).

    UCLA screened this on campus in 2004. The screenwriters were also writers of American Graffiti and Howard the Duck. (and may have been UCLA students if I remember the story correctly) I hoped they would invite you to the screening. If they ever do it again, you can be sure I'll be sending you a note!

    I'm one of the many cult fans of the movie hoping for the discovery of a good 35mm print and a definitive dvd release...maybe someday!

    Best wishes always,

  15. My favorite scene in this movie!


  16. Tom,

    Good to hear from you. Wow! You are so well versed. I enjoyed hearing your backstory. Glad you got to see it -- finally.

    You really have a professional's eye to be able to see clearly what is lacking in this film. I think you'll be surprised to hear that I did attend the screening at UCLA. It was a last minute thing. I was thinking it was in 2003. But yes, I was there on a panel on stage. It was fun getting together with everyone and seeing them all again.

    Willard and Gloria were fresh from SC film school when they did this.

    So enjoyed your message, Tom, and the details about your younger years; quite charming. Thanks for all the information.

    My Regards, ~ Aneet

  17. Elijah,

    Delightful to hear from you! It figures that you would appreciate this scene; it's so rich and camp. And as I've said before, the visuals really are incredible. In fact, in watching it again, I see so many similarities to the artist, Ed Ruscha's work.

    And, oh, some great lighting, no?

    Sending My Good Wishes, ~ Aneet

  18. If only the LA Times article had mentioned you were coming to the UCLA screening! I vaguely remember having some type of conflict, but oh would I have changed my plans if I knew you were to be there.

    Sure hope to cross paths with you someday though! I hope maybe the Aero or Egyptian Theatres will screen the film someday as they play host to many great retro films.

    Thanks for the message!

  19. I find it amazing that you are so up on these things: being aware of that showing (my daughter saw the UCLA flyer and was responsible for my spur of the moment appearance there,) and the celebrity show in Van Nuys as well. Those have been my only two appearances over the years.

    We can only see what the future delivers. So nice to hear from you, Tom, ~ Anitra

  20. One last comment on the film: your blog got me to search Amazon...apparently there is a 35th anniversary dvd release (with some special features) from a company named Code Red. Perhaps this is a transfer from the print used by UCLA. I've just ordered mine! Now if only they had included the panel discussion from that night! I'm sure they didn't but it would have been nice.

    It's great that the film is now part of the UCLA archive. Perhaps I can check and see if that panel was indeed filmed for archive storage.

    At least with your blog I can now certainly hope that I won't miss a future 'something good'!

    Best wishes,

  21. Tom,

    What you say is so interesting. I'm really impressed with your knowledge and resourcefulness. I hope you've found a good copy of the film. I know there are others who are also looking for a quality print.

    One thing that fascinates me, is the way certain things become more valuable over time.

    Once again, Tom, sending good wishes your way, ~ Anitra

  22. WOW, Anitra!! What an awesome amount of responses to this post!! Proves that you have a lot of fans out there!!

    I had read a while back that you had attended a Hollywood Collector's Show. I hope that you will consider doing it again sometime soon!! I'll be first in line to meet you!!

    Geez...I hope you don't think I'm a stalker!! LOL!!

    Mark :-)

  23. Hello Mark,

    Yes, this post has definitely been well received and fun for people to see, though a couple of people told me that it made them too squeamish and they couldn't watch it all the way through.

    I think that your encouragement to put more of myself on the blog, tipped the scales on my decision to make this post.

    I did the collector's show in the mid-nineties. That's quite a long time ago. I am so far from the celebrity lifestyle, It's hard for me to imagine doing the show again.

    Through this blog, being in touch with people who know of me and have followed my career, has been a surprising and delightful experience. Perhaps when I finish with some of my pressing commitments...a new reason for an appearance will surface. I can't imagine it being any sooner than a year down the road.

    Meanwhile, my question is: How do I follow this clip of Messiah of Evil with a post about Huey the fence lizard?

    Thanks so much for your comment, Mark. I always enjoy hearing from you, ~ Anitra

  24. Anitra
    I loved the scene,had not seen it before.Great work!
    YOU look fabulous the best i had ever seen ive always
    wondered where you got your exotic features.on the very early
    episodes of the TPIR it really captured your beauty,but on every
    episode you looked diffrent,I remmember circa 1996 meeting janice
    Pennington,and I asked her what ever happened to Anitra? she Replied "Roger she lives in Santa Barbara i met her for lunch the other day,and she looks the same" I smiled.over all these years ive often wondered why
    you left Hollywood,but after reading this Blog I now know that You are a very deep,and gifted Artist! Your poetry,words,and photographs speaks volumes of the woman you really are.not just a model/Actress but a gifted sensitive writer.please keep up the good work,as in today's times there is so much pain in the world! But your blogs always brings a smile

  25. Dear Roger,

    It pleases me to know that you haven't seen this clip before. It's fun to share it; and especially with people who don't know of this aspect of my career.

    You say such kind and encouraging words. They truly reach me and mean a lot; and as I've said before, it reflects your depth and sensitivity. I'm delighted that you read this blog, Roger, be it a little or a lot.

    Again, wishing you peace and harmony, ~ Aneet

  26. Anitra
    I saw the clip again,and loved it! i do read your blog always
    and would love to Comment as often as the other followers
    but with so many commitments with my business,and Flying
    one trip a month or two(to hold on to my health benefits for my family)I'm so busy...... But my question to myself today was what happened to all
    my New years resolutions? it will be june and have still not gone back to the Gym etc
    one thing is for sure is that i can always count on you for a breath
    of fresh air
    Peace and harmony
    Roger Smith

  27. Hi Roger,

    You're not alone in this busy world that grabs our time at every turn. Sorry your exercize plans have fizzled. I'd like to say, it's never too late to take the first step.

    Again, I'm glad you like the clip. I'm really taken by the retro style of the surroundings. It's so artful. The sound effects (footsteps, music) are great too, and I've already said this, but I'll say it again, the lighting and photography are beautiful. these kinds of experiences taught me about lighting, how much my face changed depending on the different types of lighting it received.

    Another thing that strongly influences how I look in these scenes, is that I'm wearing my own clothes here--even down to the purse and shoes--rather than something from CBS wardrobe that didn't express my personal style.

    Once again Roger, thank you for your generous words.

    My Best Regards, ~ Anitra

  28. Hi Anitra,

    I find that the way we wear our hair has a lot to do with the way our faces look, as well as the lighting (you should see me in flourescent light...I glow like a nightlight...YIKES!!).

    The style in this clip is my favorite.

    I saw your appearance on "The Odd Couple" the other day, and you had bangs. Not my favorite look on you, to be truthful. I also remember you appearing on "Baretta" and your hair looked short, kind of like a 70's shag. I remember you wore it like that on TRiR a few times as well. I assumed you had it pinned up somehow.

    But again, your look here in MoE, and also in "Wonder Woman"...that's when you're at your most beautiful!! And the pic posted here shows that still holds true!!

    Oh...and in response to how to follow up this post...maybe if it's a GIANT Huey the Fence Lizard and he is threatening to devour a small town...just a thought!!

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend!!

    Mark :-)

  29. Mark, hello, hello,

    Yes, you're absolutely right, hair is very important. I think of it as the picture frame for the painting. I too viewed the "Felix is Missing" episode of The Odd Couple. It's really long, like 20 minutes for both parts. But I stayed with it and enjoyed seeing it again. Gary Marshall and Jerry Belson were a great comedy writing team. As far as bangs are concerned, I had them for most of my life and for the early part of my modeling career as well. It's such a different look.

    And yes, yikes is the word for florescent lights. In photographs, they turn everything green.

    I love your idea about Huey! I've been trying to make a post about him for weeks, but something else always presents itself first. I doubt I will go into any major production, or have the time to create a scene from Godzilla. I will more than likely return to the serenity of Laurel Lane. If I had my own production company, maybe I'd give them the assignment. Meanwhile, it's fun to visualize the scene in my mind.

    I have a small question. I'm wondering if you or anyone else has had trouble posting to this blog. One person mentioned it, and since then, I've had several of my comments disappear as I've been writing, and I've had to begin from scratch.

    Meanwhile Mark, I so enjoy your feedback. It's interesting and helpful. Hope you too are having a delightful holiday :)

    My Regards, ~ Aneet

  30. I actually did try and post to this thread a couple of days ago, twice in fact, and both times it disappeared when I tried to enter my name. It was from a different computer, so I figured I'd wait and try again when I got home.

    Hopefully it's just some glitch that has been corrected. That type of thing happens constantly on Facebook and it certainly can be annoying, especially of you've written something lengthy and have to start from scratch a couple of times.

    Mark :-)

  31. Mark, hello,

    Thanks for filling me in on the glitch. I had a sense that something was off. And yes, isn't it frustrating when all that time and deep thought disappears into the ether? As you say, let's hope it's just temporary.

    Good to hear from you. Wishing you well ~ Aneet

  32. Hello!
    Who knew that after stumbling upon SECOND COMING/MESSIAH OF EVIL online and enjoying it I would find your blog! I was watching and suddenly thought,"Hey- that's Anitra Ford from TV-the reason I and so many young and too young men watched the Price Is Right! What cat like elegence you had on screen here. But the crusher was the look of almost acceptance you gave the rat eating zombie truck driver before you bailed. As if,hey it's the west coast,whatever. I thought that was marvelous! And they let you go!! I didn't want you to go into that town...Here's to you and Marianna Hill whom I also miss. You are both lovely dreams and memories. Be well.

  33. Hello Dale,

    I'm delighted that you found your way to my blog. I enjoyed reading your insights and impressions. They're interesting and generous, and I'm glad you shared them here.

    Thank you for your kind words. Sending good wishes your way. Sincerely, ~ Anitra

  34. Hi Anitra;

    I really liked you in that film; thank you for sharing this info to all of us collectors of good horror films...And the gods bless that good frenchman for saving the film from obscurity!

    Greetings from a rainy day in Spain;
    Christie H.

  35. Hello Christie,

    How lovely to hear from you. And all the way from Spain, which is now just a finger flick away. Thanks for your kind words Christie. Yes, it is good that the Frenchman carried all those glimmering dark images into the light.

    From a cloudy and drizzling day in Santa Barbara, sending good wishes your way, ~ Anitra

  36. Hello Anitra, I had heard recently on the Messiah of Evil page that you had a blog website,but wasn't sure how accurate that was since is often inaccurate with information. Anyhow a few years back I first saw two of your films:Messiah Of Evil aka Dead People and Invasion Of The Bee Girls aka Graveyard Tramps. I loved both of them! Also found a Price Is Right clip of you on youtube where you did an Exorcist parody called the Eggs-O-Cist. Don't know if that clip is still up since youtube pulls videos often,but I was happy to see your blogsite is a reality. I had also read on that you have an art gallery in Santa Barbara,California? Haven't seen anything about that in your blog so far,but noticed one blog spot on Santa Barbara. I hope all's well with you since your days of being a regular on Price Is Right and being in drive-in movies!
    Tim in Northern California

  37. Hello Tim,

    So nice to hear from you. Glad that you found my blog. IMDB was correct. That I have an art gallery in SB is not true. It's good that you take this Internet info with a large grain of salt.

    If you look more closely at the subtitle of my blog, you will find "Sketches of Santa Barbara."
    Yes, it is part of my theme.

    I'm delighted that you have shared here, and to read that you've seen some of my films. I'm also glad that you posted your comment under this scene from "Messiah," which is one of my favorites.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm happy you've paid a visit. Welcome. And oh, by the way, Northern California is a wonderful place.

    Sincerely, ~ Anitra