Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Schlesinger|
|Produced by||John Schlesinger
Beverly J. Camhe
|Written by||Mark Frost|
|Music by||J. Peter Robinson|
|Editing by||Peter Honess|
|Release date(s)||June 10, 1987|
|Running time||1h 50 min.|
The Believers is a horror/neo-noir film directed by John Schlesinger, released in 1987 and starring Martin Sheen, Robert Loggia and Helen Shaver. It is based on the 1982 novel The Religion by Nicholas Conde.
After the accidental death of his wife by electrocution, Cal Jamison (Martin Sheen) moves to New York City, where a rash of brutal, ritualistic child murders, supposedly committed by members of a Hispanic cult practicing a malevolent version of brujería have been confounding the NYPD. Things take a turn for the worse when the cult targets Jamison's son Chris (Harley Cross).
- Martin Sheen as Cal Jamison
- Helen Shaver as Jessica Halliday
- Harley Cross as Chris Jamison
- Robert Loggia as Lieutenant Sean McTaggert
- Jimmy Smits as Tom Lopez
- Malick Bowens as Palo
- Elizabeth Wilson as Kate Maslow
- Harris Yulin as Robert Calder
- Lee Richardson as Dennis Maslow
- Richard Masur as Marty Wertheimer
- Carla Pinza as Carmen Ruiz
- Janet-Laine Green as Lisa Jamison
- Raúl Dávila as Oscar Sezine
- Geoffrey Kellett as Paramedic
The film was in large part an influence on the Santería-based cult established by serial killers Adolfo Constanzo and Sara Aldrete. The film led a few members of the cult to say that what was shown in the film was a misrepresentation of the real peaceful intentions of the religion and its meaning.
The Believers made money, but critics dismissed it as another cult film. It opened to negative reviews: Many thought it the weakest of John Schlesinger's later films and too violent and predictable to be scary. Many felt it a poor attempt at Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist.
Early Appearances 
This film featured early appearances from Jimmy Smits and Helen Shaver: making a cameo in the film first ten minutes, Smits later appeared in other films and TV shows. He appeared as David Caruso's replacement on the TV Show NYPD Blue. Helen Shaver moved on to other roles on TV and film: she is best remembered as Dr. Rachael Corrigan on the TV show Poltergeist: The Legacy.
The film score by J. Peter Robinson was released on Varèse Sarabande Records on lp and cassette in 1987. A expanded score was released on cd in a limited number of 1,000 units from Perseverance Records on September 3, 2009.
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