4.8/10
407
8 user 8 critic

Apprentice to Murder (1988)

PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 1989 (Norway)
Fire-and-brimstone preacher sees Satan everywhere, trains gullible young boy to "detect" evil, and the two of them commit several murders in the name of Jesus. Based on a true story.

Director:

Ralph L. Thomas
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A married man suffering from midlife crisis obsesses over a girl from his romantic fantasy. He meets her exact duplicate on vacation and helps her get rid of her abusive husband. They run off together but a caller starts blackmailing him.

Director: Terrell Tannen
Stars: Ned Beatty, Mia Sara, Michael Madsen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A veteran reporter is investigating the disappearance of a photo-journalist who was covering a civil war in Africa. The only clue is a roll of film he left behind. The reporter soon realizes he may have bitten more than he can chew.

Director: Tom Clegg
Stars: John Savage, William Hickey, Mia Sara
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American writer goes to a remote Welsh manor on a twenty thousand dollar bet: can he write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" in twenty-four hours? Upon his arrival, however, the ... See full summary »

Director: Pete Walker
Stars: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing
976-EVIL (1988)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

People who dial 976-EVIL receive supernatural powers and turn into satanic killers.

Director: Robert Englund
Stars: Stephen Geoffreys, Patrick O'Bryan, Sandy Dennis
Big Time (TV Movie 1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fran is a fashion model who regards modeling as an empty profession and yearns to become a serious actress, Michael is successful investment banker and the man who supports Fran, and Paul ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Egleson
Stars: Mia Sara, Dennis Boutsikaris, Adrian Pasdar
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After her daughter's death, wealthy American homemaker Julia Lofting moves to London to restart her life. All seems well until she is haunted by the ghosts of other children while mourning for her own.

Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Mia Farrow, Keir Dullea, Tom Conti
Biography | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch-hunter when the latter terrorizes his fiancée and kills her uncle.

Director: Michael Reeves
Stars: Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Shortly before a rodeo festival week in Yuma County a body is found in the desert. It seems that it's Ria Paris, who was assumed to be killed by her husband before he took his own life ... See full summary »

Director: J.S. Cardone
Stars: John Beck, Katharine Ross, Steven Bauer
The Unholy (1988)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A priest battles a demon that kills sinners in the act of sinning.

Director: Camilo Vila
Stars: Ben Cross, Hal Holbrook, Ruben Rabasa
The Godsend (1980)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An English family of six takes in a pregnant woman who disappears shortly after giving birth. They raise the baby girl as their own, but over the years the strange deaths of their children ... See full summary »

Director: Gabrielle Beaumont
Stars: Malcolm Stoddard, Cyd Hayman, Angela Pleasence
Dark August (1976)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A man accidentally runs down a young girl and has a curse placed on him by the girl's father, an occultist. He goes to a spiritualist for help in fighting the curse.

Director: Martin Goldman
Stars: Kim Hunter, J.J. Barry, Carolyne Barry
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The story of two sixteen year old girls living in Hollywood, Florida. We follow the girls from Florida to Tennessee, and watch as their lives become complicated by lies, jealousy and love.

Director: Laurel Nakadate
Stars: Dave Cloud, J. Fred Cloud, Christina Kolozsvary
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... John Reese
Chad Lowe ... Billy Kelly
Mia Sara ... Alice Spangler
Knut Husebø Knut Husebø ... Lars Hoeglin
Rutanya Alda ... Elma Kelly
Eddie Jones ... Tom Kelly
Mark Burton Mark Burton ... Clay Myers
Adrian Sparks ... Irwin Myers
Tiger Haynes Tiger Haynes ... Rufus
Minnie Gentry Minnie Gentry ... Mam Isobel
Blain Fairman Blain Fairman ... Foreman
Mert Hatfield Mert Hatfield ... Sheriff
Keith Edwards Keith Edwards ... Cop 1
Chris Langman Chris Langman ... Patterson
Lars Hiller Lars Hiller ... Prouty
Edit

Storyline

Fire-and-brimstone preacher sees Satan everywhere, trains gullible young boy to "detect" evil, and the two of them commit several murders in the name of Jesus. Based on a true story. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Was it Magic, Murder, or Madness? See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Canada | USA | Norway

Language:

English

Release Date:

1989 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Long Lost Friend See more »

Filming Locations:

Bergen, Hordaland, Norway See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$466,369
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Original Sin: Religion in Horror Cinema (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pow-Wow … Not Too "Wow-Awesome"
23 August 2010 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

This is quite weird… "Apprentice to Murder" combines three major elements that I always deliberately seek for in horror/cult movies, but rarely ever find together. And yet, in spite of featuring this rather unique potpourri, the film sadly left me Siberian cold. For starters (1) the film is obscure and incredibly hard to find. Usually there's a good reason for this, but personally I still hope to stumble upon some genuine undiscovered gems from time to time. Then (2) the story is based, or at least loosely inspired, by true events. More than often, facts are far more astounding than fiction could ever be. And finally but foremost (3), "Apprentice to Murder" takes place in the 1920's and I personally think this is the most suitable time to narrate a tale of the macabre. The ambiance that comes with this decade is like automatically melancholic and downbeat. The people were poor, vulnerable to all sort of illnesses and petrified of God. Why there aren't any more horror movies timed in the 1920's is completely beyond me.

"Apprentice to Murder" has all this, except that… well … the story, inspired by true events as they supposedly took place in Pennsylvania in 1927, honestly isn't worth telling. It's fairly dull and commonplace. Definitely not something to consider as thought-provoking or recognize as one of the darkest pages in recent history. Donald Sutherland, who couldn't look less interested in starring in this film, depicts a so- called Powwow Doctor practicing in a rural Pennsylvanian county, a few days of traveling away from Philadelphia. After his "cures" the father of a young illiterate adolescent with a drawing talent, he takes the boy under his wing as an apprentice. Dr. Reese teaches Billy to read and write and also gradually becomes convinced that he can also become a blessed healer, much against the will of Billy's girlfriend Alice. But Dr. Reese and especially his methods are unorthodox and often abased as witchery by the superstitious and deeply religious communion. When some of his cases don't end well, Billy is dragged along in a downwards spiral of accusations, curses and punishments.

Director R.L. Thomas obviously treasured the best of intentions, but sadly doesn't manage to make full use of the contemporary folklore mysticism and small-town paranoia. For way too long, the screenplay exclusively focuses on the bonding sessions between the Dr. and his young acolyte. I swear, the undertones even get homosexual at certain moments, whereas the really interesting aspects of the story remain untouched. The actually disturbing ordeal our Powwow has to face (a creepy local hermit who may or not be the Devil himself) is incomprehensibly pushed to the background, like it's some kind of insignificant sub plot. The filming locations and set pieces are terrific, but apparently R.L Thomas and his crew had to travel to the beautiful region of Hordaland in Norway in order to recreate the rural Pennsylvania of 1927. "Apprentice to Murder" definitely remains a curious 80's feature, well worth checking out if you cherish cheap but ambitious cult cinema, but overall it's a missed opportunity.


3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed