HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Evil, The Who's In The House?Buy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Gus Trikonis
Stars: Richard Crenna, Joanna Pettet, Andrew Prine, Cassie Yates, George O'Hanlon Jr, Lynne Moody, Mary Louise Weller, Robert Viharo, Victor Buono, Milton Selzer, Ed Bakey, Galen Thompson, Emory Souza
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: This old mansion house in the middle of nowhere has been abandoned for some time, but now a psychologist by the name of Doctor C.J. Arnold (Richard Crenna) has asked for its doors to be opened to him and his team, all for the benefit of his research into fear, so he may invite patients and professionals alike to stay over there with him and his wife Caroline, also a doctor. What they don’t know is that the place is very haunted indeed, as the caretaker (Ed Bakey) discovers to his cost when he is preparing it for visitors. Once inside, he thinks he can hear someone else there as he sweeps up, and when he investigates he ends up in the basement furnace room – he wasn’t to know that if he opened the door he would be attacked with a ball of flame.

Like The Birds and ecological horror, it took until the following decade for nineteen-sixties classic chiller The Haunting to really spawn a bunch of similar efforts in the haunted house genre, and The Evil was one of those, neither the worst nor the best of them, but somewhere in the middle as far as entertainment went. Taking a cue from The Exorcist into the bargain, this actually trapped its characters inside the house in question once the blundering C.J. managed to unleash the demons of Hell, or as much of that as the budget would allow, which evidently stretched to a wind machine judging by how many of the more intense sequences were shot in what appeared to be a Force 9 gale.

It was a cheap and effective method of indicating some unseen presence was wreaking havoc, and since they could not afford any breathing doors this was the best they could do as the cast were assembled, then picked off in slasher movie fashion over the course of the next ninety minutes or so. They were mostly familiar faces from television filling up the roles, with Crenna and Pettet probably the biggest stars and even then not exactly the most famous A-listers you would ever see in seventies cinema, but professionals all considering much of what they were invited to do was look suitably panicked then expire in mysterious and violent circumstances – you could tell the eighties heyday of gore makeup was on its way.

That said, there was a reliance on those scenes of bloody death to keep the interest alive when as far as personality went they were each landed with the barest minimum of sustaining our intrigue. For example, Pete (George O’Hanlon Jr) has the characteristic of being a practical joker, and if Friday the 13th Part III taught us anything it’s that the last thing anyone wants to see in a horror flick is one of those, which might explain why the screenwriters were setting him up for a fall – literally. Any hopes this might be a Scooby-Doo for adults were scuppered when the film’s dog, an Alsatian pet of Mary (Cassie Yates), is immediately sent into a tizzy the moment it enters the house and wanders off to turn feral. Ruh-roh!

When C.J., having never seen a horror movie before, removes a metal cross from the handles of a trapdoor in the basement, it stops the investigators from leaving what with the doors being suddenly locked, as are the windows – they cannot even break their way out. With no phones to assist them, they are stuck in a succession of humiliating paranormal chills, as when Lynne Moody is stripped to her underwear by the demons, or Andrew Prine nearly saws through his hand with a powertool when trying to cut open a door. What this was leading up to proved controversial at the time, not because it was too scary or even blasphemous, but because audience found it silly: the film drew to a climax when (spoilers!) C.J. and Caroline burst into the cellar and found the Devil himself! Or rather, rotund character actor and comedy poet Victor Buono who calls C.J. an “insignificant speck of vomit” and threatens to claim his soul (or something), which was certainly wacky, but not exactly chilling. And yet, it was offbeat touches like that which made The Evil diverting. Music by Johnny Harris.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1090 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: