on May 30, 2006
Probably the best thing about this DVD release of Evils of the Night (1985) is the wonderfully sleazy and ridiculously lurid cover art which, by the way, was also used to promote the film during its original, theatrical release. It's also interesting to note the artwork, at least on some of the posters, was slightly different than what you're seeing on the DVD case, specifically in terms of the woman portrayed and her overdeveloped flesh globes, the element missing here being a pair of oversized nubbins proudly pointing upward, straining to break free of the woman's flimsy top. Produced, directed and co-written by Mardi Rustam (Psychic Killer, The Bad Bunch, Eaten Alive), the movie features, in no particular order, Aldo Ray (The Violent Ones, The Green Berets), Julie Newmar ("Batman"), John Carradine (Hillbillys in a Haunted House, The Astro-Zombies), Tina Louise ("Gilligan's Island"), and Neville Brand (Stalag 17, Eaten Alive) in his very last role. Also appearing is Karrie Emerson (Chopping Mall), Bridget Holloman (Stoogemania), Tony O'Dell (The Karate Kid, "Head of the Class"), and adult film star Amber Lynn (Hot Tails, Poonies, In and Out in Beverly Hills).
The movie opens with a spaceship arriving on Earth, followed by some soft core action as various individuals get it on during the night in some woods by a river...some stuff happens, at least one person gets murdered (I think), and now we're in a hospital as two women dressed in truly ridiculous space outfits are wheeling a gurney with one of the kids from the woods. As the two alien orderlies start fondling each other (seriously), the kid decides this a good a time as any to escape. Passing an open doorway he sees three individuals, whom we later learn are named Dr. Kozmar (Carradine), Dr. Zarma (Newmar), and Cora (Louise), babbling on about something. The kid makes his way outside, but not much further than that as he finds himself on the wrong end of an alien power ring. Now it's daytime and we're back on the beach by the river. There are a whole lot of idiot teens running around engaging in all sorts of shenanigans (check out the topless girl rubbing lotion on the other topless girl...they sure seem to be enjoying themselves). Night comes and our focus shifts towards five teens...we're now twenty-five minutes into the movie and I still have no idea in hell what's going on...since I ended up sitting through the entire film, I'll just save us both a lot of time and cut to the chase...some vampire-type aliens have come to Earth in need of the blood from youthful individuals, and have enlisted the aid of a couple of trashy, sleazy, moronic mechanics played by Aldo Ray and Neville Brand. Now here's the funny part...the alien research indicated the spot they're at as ideal for their needs (a small college town) given the large amount of young people present, but said research neglected to relate the fact that it was summer break, and most of the students were gone, leaving behind relatively slim pickings.
First I'll tell you some of the things this movie has...there's nekkid female flesh, fondling, kidnappings, moronic teens, frisky codgers, John Carradine looking pathetic as can be in an incredibly lame silver space suit, Julie Newmar showing off her legs (even at fifty plus years of age Ms. Newmar still had it going on), a haunted house, and deaths by garrote, power drill, chopping axe, laser blast, and brake pad. Now for the things the movie doesn't have...a discernable plot, decent acting, a cohesive script, a sense of direction, a worthwhile budget, and a reason for being...the movie is broken up into three, basic parts...the first part of the film is all the teenage skin crapola, the second part Carradine, Newmar, and Tina Louise acting like aliens, relating their schemes, and then the third part has Aldo Ray and Neville Brand tormenting the kids along with the bits of gore. I don't know why the filmmakers didn't just eliminate all the useless alien garbage from the story and create regular characters for Carradine, Newmar, and Louise in a straight up horror tale about two, crazed, murderous auto mechanics terrorizing a bunch of teenagers in a small town. That would have gone down a lot better than this psuedo sci-fi horror nonsense, but whatever...I'm unsure who edited this thing, but whomever did sure managed to kill any sense of positive flow within the film, the overall effect being that similar to watching a television show and having someone changing the channel every ten minutes or so...looking back on the movie I can't help but wonder if perhaps a good deal of it was made bad on purpose in an attempt at humor, but given some of director Rustam's other projects I think I'd be giving out too much credit if I pushed that idea. I suppose one could have fun with this film, given two things...they know what they're getting themselves into and second, their expectations are extremely low. You know, I do appreciate companies (like Shriek Show) out there focusing their attention on independent features like Evils of the Night and making concerted efforts to bring them to DVD, but how about dredging up some decent and worthy ones, along with the slop? How about working on releases for Night of the Comet (1984), The Bermuda Depths (1978), From Beyond (1986), Crack in the World (1965), or Damnation Alley (1977), or Night of the Creeps (1986) to name a meager few? Certainly many of these have large enough and dedicated followings to warrant the attention.
This Media Blasters/Shriek Show DVD release features a fullscreen picture format (1.33:1) of the film. The picture quality is decent, but know there is some grain and a good deal of the film takes place at night and the lighting was less than spectacular during shooting. The audio, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, comes across okay, but again, it's nothing spectacular. Extras are limited to a small promotional photo gallery (four, count `em four shots), a short, original trailer, and previews for other Shriek Show DVD releases like Shadow: Dead Riot (2006), Death Trance (2005), The Being (1983), and Neighbour No. 13 (2005).