Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Forever Evil (1987)

...aka: Nemesis
...aka: Nightcrawler

Directed by:
Roger Evans

Marc Denning (Red Mitchell) is planning on selling a barely-used vacation home that he shares with his brother Jay (Jeffrey Lane) so they’ll have enough money to patent their grappling invention. Both men, along with their girlfriends and another couple, decide to throw one last weekend bash at the house, which will include drinking, poker, sensitive lakeside chats and a revelation that Marc’s girlfriend Holly (Diane Johnson) is knocked up. Well... at least for a short while as she’s soon found dead in the shower minus the fetus, which has been messily cut out. Before long, another of the girls is found hanging upside down in the living room with her throat cut. A red-eyed, off-screen demon attacks, people get yanked outside by possessed tree limbs and a rubbery zombie finally shows up to get its eyeballs poked out. Only Marc survives the night of horror, only to wander into the road and get struck down by a car. And no, the above synopsis gives nothing away. That’s just the first 20 minutes!

What starts as a subpar rehash of THE EVIL DEAD soon turns into something more OMEN-like, ambitious and apocalyptic. Not that they’re able to successfully pull it all off or anything... After police investigate the crime scene (“This would make Manson puke!”), Marc recovers at the hospital. When he’s finally released, he starts trying to find out what happened at the cabin, with some help from Detective Leo (Charles Trotter), Dr. Lisa (Marcy Bannor) and Reggie Osborne (Tracey Huffman), a young woman who survived an earlier forest massacre at the hands of a similar evil being. Through some books obtained from a murdered psychic, the tale of an astral demon named Yog Kothag unfolds and the crew must stop an upcoming apocalypse being shephered in by an evil, immortal real estate agent named Parker Nash (Howard Jacobsen), a black ghost dog and his zombie henchman (Kent Johnson).

The very low-budget film from the Houston, Texas area has some fun moments and good ideas if you can overlook some flagrantly bad acting. cheesy visual effects and a whopping 2 hour run time, at least a fourth of which could have ended up on the cutting room floor without anything really being lost. The opening credits (traveling through a animated maze that looks like it was shaded with crayons) are great and some of the makeup – especially the skeleton zombie and a nightmare sequence where Marc's former girlfriend rips out a mutant baby – are decent. I also liked the synth score.
.
Lead actor Mitchell also appeared in the killer djinn film THE OUTING (1987) and some non-genre films (including Oliver Stone's JFK) before getting killed in a car/train collision in 1994.

★★

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