HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Leatherface
Grimsby
Caniba
Bedroom, The
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Evil That Men Do, The the world's most brutal dictator must answer to BronsonBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Theresa Saldana, Joseph Maher, José Ferrer, John Glover, Raymond St. Jacques, Antoinette Bower, Enrique Lucero
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Hardboiled assassin, Holland (Charles Bronson) is coaxed out of retirement on his paradise island when a journalist friend is brutally tortured to death. Word reaches Holland courtesy of Dr. Hector Lomelin (José Ferrer), who hires him to eliminate the culprit: Dr. Clement Molloch (Joseph Maher), an infamous torturer employed by right-wing regimes around the world and responsible for hundreds of deaths. Holland goes undercover in South America, with his late friend’s wife, Rhianna (Theresa Saldana) and daughter posing as his own wife and child. He fishes out Molloch’s acolyte, Randolph (Raymond St. Jacques) and sister, Claire (Antoinette Bower), but his killings draw the attention of American consulate, Paul Briggs (John Glover - Lionel Luthor in TV’s Smallville). Since the U.S. government have been employing Molloch for decades, Briggs sets out to foil Holland by any means possible.

By the 1980s, the partnership between stone-faced tough guy, Charles Bronson and director J. Lee Thompson lapsed into a series of increasingly lazy, misogynistic action-thrillers. Most of these were made for those quick-buck merchants Cannon Films, but The Evil That Men Do was produced by Sir Lew Grade’s ITC. Cheap and shoddy looking, the film musters meagre thrills on a purely pulp level, but Bronson is on autopilot and Thompson’s direction is strictly by numbers. You’d scarcely believe this comes from the man behind Ice Cold in Alex (1958) and The Guns of Navarone (1961), nor does it feature the zany flair Thompson brought to more off-kilter projects like The White Buffalo (1977).

We open with Molloch lecturing a group of South American generals on the finer points of torture. He attaches electrodes to a naked victim’s genitals and gives them a good roasting. Ouch. The faintly camp sadism is underlined by Joseph Maher’s effete, yet appropriately dead-eyed manner occasionally evokes those Nazi exploitation movies churned out during the seventies. “Human rights violations? There is no such thing. There is only the state and the security of that state!” sneers Molloch, like a villain from a pantomime written by George Orwell. Less easy to laugh off are the litany of his crimes recounted by victims: breaking children’s bones, forcing people to eat their own excrement, raping a woman with a broken bottle. Truly disgusting, but present only in words. Most of the onscreen violence comes courtesy of Bronson.

Supposedly inspired by the CIA’s covert support of right-wing regimes in South America (which reached an all-time high under Ronald Reagan when this film was made), The Evil That Men Do suffers from severe, narrative inconsistencies. Holland initially rebuffs Dr. Lomelin request, then inexplicably changes his mind and works for no charge. For a hard-bitten assassin, he’s rather a softie, kind to children and animals. Symptomatic of the film’s muddled morality is poorly written Rhianna. She calls on Holland to take action, then chastises him as a cold-blooded killer when he does. Bronson’s earlier Borderline (1980), successfully merged action with social commentary, but this film fails to explore the complexities behind sending one hired killer to despatch another.

Like so many Bronson vehicles of the period, this just lines up bad guys for him to gun down, with shootouts and car chases executed in a perfunctory manner. What we’re left with are a handful of almost endearingly camp moments: including Bronson luring one villain into a trap by suggesting a threesome (“Three’s alright with me!”), and a scene where he hides under the bed while Molloch’s sister has sex with her lesbian lover. Bronson fared better in his next collaboration with J. Lee Thompson, Murphy’s Law (1986).
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2561 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

J. Lee Thompson  (1914 - 2002)

Veteran British director frequently in Hollywood, usually with stories featuring an adventure or thriller slant. Among his many films, including a number of Charles Bronson movies, are Yield to the Night, Ice Cold in Alex, North West Frontier, the original Cape Fear, Tiger Bay, The Guns of Navarone, What a Way To Go!, Eye of the Devil, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes and Happy Birthday to Me.

 
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
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: