The Bad Movie Report

Making A Bad Movie:
My Personal Nightmare


In The Aftermath

I've known some actors and directors in my time who claim they don't read their reviews, or "notices" if you want to be upper-crust about it. In my humble opinion, these people are goddam liars; as an actor, you have exactly three ways to get objective opinions about your work - the director, the audience reaction, and the critics. Audience reaction truly is the most important of these - after all, these are the people you are actually working for - but the sad truth is, you can't put applause in a scrapbook, and the only enduring proof you may have of the quality of your work is four column inches by some guy who couldn't understand what you were working toward, so you must suck.

The best situation would involve the ability to read reviews and not have them matter, not to take them personally. This is hard in the acting trade, the only craft in the world where it's not your work, but you yourself that is judged. But in the realm of Forever Evil, though I still get a twinge whenever I run across a negative review, I more or less accept that these have absolutely no impact on my life as I live it now.

Remarkably, most of the reviews were far kinder than I had expected. So let's look at some of these, both good and bad, print and online. The excerpts from online sources are accompanied by links to the sites; if you run across an unfamiliar name, naturally I recommend you visit these fine folk after our quality time.

"For those who are not familiar with low-budget, independent horror films, it's easy to dismiss an entire picture based solely on trivial aspects such as picture quality reminiscent of a camcorder, or the actors not quite living up to the standards of, say, Keanu Reeves. (Whoops, bad example -- but you get my point.) When dealing with a minuscule budget, you can't afford the state-of-the-art equipment, the overpaid actors (see: Keanu Reeves), or anything remotely resembling CGI. You make do with what you have, and that's what the crew of Forever Evil (for the most part) did."

-Joe Bannerman, Opposable Thumb Films


"Painfully overlong, this starts out as a bad Evil Dead rip-off until it eventually turns into a bad H.P. Lovecraft rip-off. The acting stinks too, but some highly imaginative direction and squishy FX give this a passing grade."

-James O'Neill , Terror on Tape (Billboard Books, 1994)

Said it before, say it again: budget over five million, hommage; budget under five million, rip-off.

"At least it has great opening credits."

-Michael J. Weldon , The Psychotronic Guide to Video (St. Martin's, 1996)

Uh... thanks, Mike.

"There is some good makeup and a bit of enthusiastic gore, but not enough to offset the endless chat (presumably improvised since no writer is credited). Use the fast-forward and you could probably do worse than this one."

-L.A. Morse , Video Trash & Treasures, Vol. I (Harper & Collins,1989)

No writer was credited? Woo hoo! I have deniability!

"It's not every day that you stumble upon a horror flick that will simply take all preconceived definitions of sh*ttiness and jam them up up your ass at Mach 5. Unfortunately for all of us here at NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, the latest entry into our pantheon of horror, FOREVER EVIL, is just such a film. FOREVER EVIL will quite frankly make your jaw drop with its unbelievable sequences of what director Roger Evans calls "special effects". O.K., I say f*ck that. The effects in this film are SPECIAL in the same way that those kids that rode the short bus to school are. "

-Night of the Creeps

I hate it when critics won't come right out and say what they think, don't you?

"It was not knowing about the plot in advance that let me enjoy this one - I probably wouldn't have gotten nearly the kick out of it that I did if I'd, say, read the back of the box. "

-Brian J. Wright's Cavalcade of Schlock


"The acting is poor, the pace is nonexistent, the gore effects and makeup are crude, and the optical effects are bargain basement"

-Dan Krogh, The Official Splatter Movie Guide, Vol. I (St. Martin's, 1989)


"I'm not looking for an instant classic here. I'm looking for entertainment. As noted, despite its looped sound, despite its fuzzy picture quality, and most defiantly despite its stage like acting, I had some fun watching Forever Evil. Am I truly mad? Or do I have a good explanation? "

-Dr. Psy Chosis, And You Thought It Was Safe!


"While not the simplest of plotlines, you have to admire the sheer audacity of Freeman's writing. This is especially true when you consider the elements that were discarded: martial arts fights and their accompanying philosophy ("Focus your chi!"), actual development of the relationship between Marc and Reggie (in the final edit, they miraculously -- and ridiculously -- fall in love about ten minutes before the movie's end), and other such interesting bits that the film's producers were not at all concerned about keeping. "

-Stomp Tokyo


"When it comes down to it, a group of people tried to make a movie. Its no Oscar winner and the road to cheesy movies is paved with like individuals that tried to make a piece of entertainment and it went horribly, unspeakably wrong. But this movie didn't really go that wrong. Dr. Freex himself may not agree with me totally, but I think Forever Evil deserves a look-see by the B-Movie watching public. I, for one, kinda like it. "

-Dante's Inferno & All Night Video Store

And even beyond the kindness shown by Chris & Scott at Stomp Tokyo and Mike over at Dante, there is the following excerpt, which is probably the one I'll have read at my funeral:

"Fairly well-done little Evil Dead rip-off with more thought and characterization than one generally finds in such offerings... What works about this film is that its mythology is reasonably convincing (at least within the confines of the film), its effects are not cheesy (and a few are genuinely nasty), and both characters and players are refreshingly human and even a bit against type (lead Red Mitchell at first looks like he was picked up at Dorks 'R' Us, but grows on you as the film progresses)... any film with a realtor as its central villain has its heart in the right place."

-John McCarty , The Official Splatter Movie Guide, Vol. II (St. Martin's, 1992)

That's validation of a sort. I'll take it.


Life After Forever Evil: The Final Chapter