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  Evils of the Night Closer Encounters
Year: 1985
Director: Mohammed Rustam
Stars: Neville Brand, Aldo Ray, Tina Louise, John Carradine, Julie Newmar, Karrie Emerson, Bridget Holloman, David Hawk, G.T. Taylor, Keith Fisher, Tony O’Dell, Kelly Parsons, Scott Hunter, Laura Lee, Dawn Wildsmith, Amber Lynn
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Sex, Trash, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: From across space comes an alien craft that settles on Planet Earth to land upon, to be specific in a forest in North America where a group of young Americans are fooling around by a lake. Two of them get into a sexual situation by a tree, while another couple do the same in the water, and they are having too much fun to notice the masked madman lurking in the bushes until it is too late. The first couple sees the male half strangled with a cord as his girlfriend doesn't notice he isn't responding anymore, but what could these mystery men want with the young folks anyway? And what connection are the abductions and murders to the spacecraft that has set down nearby?

The answer to that is insultingly simple in this ultra-low budget nothing of a movie that somehow managed to snare some big names to appear - big names for 1966, that was, and unfortunately this was released in 1985. It was a mark of those rather impoverished, supposedly amusing but actually desperate B-movies from this period that they would feature at least one celebrity who the audience might have heard of, even if it was just someone they knew from television reruns or the late movie on the same channels, and while you could reason it was nice they could still get work, for many the cheaper end of the business was where they had spent most of their latter day careers.

Those stars were certainly no stranger to this kind of exploitation, no matter that they had more prestigious productions on their resumes in the dim and distant past. Neville Brand and Aldo Ray were top-billed, playing mechanics who were the real danger behind those ski masks, hamming it up in a somewhat embarrassing manner in the twilight of their filmography. These lowlifes (the characters, that is) are in the employ of other past it stars, namely John Carradine, an actor who would have loved to be playing Shakespeare but was stuck as a geriatric villain in rubbish like this, and he was the alien leader who desires the blood of (young) humans to save his race.

Then there were two icons of sixties television, and fantasy fodder for a generation, Julie Newmar (a long way from Catwoman on Batman) and Tina Louise (an equal distance from Gilligan's Island), who were Carradine's seconds-in-command and mostly marched around grim-faced looking for the junior cast members to terrorise, occasionally with the use of not-so-special special effects (Tina utilised a ring that shot green lasers, for instance). But don't go thinking that lot had the lion's share of screen time, because they didn't, they were relegated to bits and pieces indicating that while they may be down the dumper career-wise, they still wanted paying, and the unknowns who were mostly concentrated on were not going to ask for as many wages. Well, they were almost all unknowns, depending on your choice of viewing.

If you watched eighties porn, you might recognise Amber Lynn, for instance, and the first half of Evils of the Night cynically featured the more willing ladies in the cast taking their clothes off, pretty much entirely superfluously. Hey, it was exploitation from the video age - of course they were going to take their clothes off, but when there was the merest wisp of a plot to encourage them to do so it was difficult to regard this as anything but bottom of the barrel material. A couple of nubile lovelies over-enjoying applying suntan lotion to each other was not going to be there for artistic reasons, and sure enough wasn't, though curiously at the halfway point non-famous director Mohammed Rustam ditched the nudity and decided he was manufacturing a horror movie instead of soft porn. This meant chases through the woods, a sinister hospital, death by power drill and kidnappings galore, yet still was not enough to make this interesting. It was clear nobody was in this for the art: this was strictly for the money, and couldn't have made a fortune anyway. Music by Robert O. Ragland.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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