You've witnessed the terror of
Clive Barker, Peter Straub and the Zuni Fetish Doll....now, meet the new face of horror!
Oops, wrong face.
But seriously, folks, before I actually saw Forever Evil,
I had heard some really bad things about it. There were some less-than-favorable comments
on the IMDB, a scathing review by the always nutty
fellas at Night of the Creeps, and last, but
surely not least, I was even warned by the guy who friggin' wrote it!!
Needless to say, when I sat down to actually watch the movie, I
expected the worst; but surprisingly, upon the film's conclusion, I found myself somewhat pleasantly surprised. Don't get me
wrong, Forever Evil is not good -- but on the other hand, it doesn't
deserve the overly bad rap it's been associated with. 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 miniscule 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.
Our story opens with a tarot card reading between Mrs. Weinberger, a
woman wanting to know her future ( Love! Money! Success!), Ben Magnus, the gentleman
performing the service, and Dionne Warwick, who is moderating the event for a future
infomercial. Actually, Dionne's not really in this, but it might've helped Forever
Evil if they had cast a big star -- or if one wasn't available, Dionne Warwick.
As everyone knows, when it comes to tarot card readings in horror films, the outcome is
never good. (see: The People Under the Stairs and Dead-Alive.)
Suddenly, Magnus becomes terrified by what he sees, and quickly escorts Mrs. Weinberger
out of the house -- where she is immediately killed by a POV camera.
Back inside, we find Magnus packing his belongings in a state of panic. But unfortunately, his efforts prove all for
naught as the door to his house bursts open, and the evil presence he detected from his
cards walks in. So, what does one do when the epitome of evil bursts through your door?
That's right, you try to shoot the bastard! But as we all know, shooting the monster
almost never works -- but in Magnus' defense, at least he didn't throw the empty gun at it
once he dispensed of the bullets. I always love that in movies. "My high-velocity
projectiles won't kill him, but perhaps if I throw my gun...."
Moving along -- he tries to shoot the creature, it doesn't work, and the
demon (after a hearty demonic chuckle) proceeds to blast Magnus with a bolt of lightning
from his finger. (Must....resist...pull...my...finger...joke..) We then cut to
the front yard, wild lights flickering inside the house -- making us assume that either
the monster is electrocuting Magnus, or a spontaneous disco party has erupted within. And
then, unfortunately, we come to the title sequence. Ouch. Highly reminiscent of DOOM, if
it were designed for, say, Atari. A black screen with white credits would've sufficed, why
embarrass yourself like this?!
Now we're at a cabin, in the woods, with an Evil Dead
sense of deja vu in the air. Mark and his girlfriend are having a party with Mark's
brother, his wife and another couple. A night of booze, wise-crackin', hanky-panky and
CARDS!! (Cards! Just like in the beginning! Coincidence?! Well..yeah, probably.) But the
festivities are soon cut short after Mark's girlfriend heads off to the shower -- and is
soon found gutted in the bathtub! But before the shock of this grisly deed has any time to
really sink in, the demon begins to pick off the rest of the gang in rapid succession.
One of the women is even dragged outside by a tree limb.
Anyway, as it turns out, the only one to escape the massacre is our
hero, Mark, who darts through the woods and makes it all the way to the highway in
presumed safety -- only to be immediately hit by a car. Talk about being born under a bad
Mark wakes up in a hospital, banged up both emotionally and physically.
It's there he meets Reggie, fellow demon massacre survivor (And I thought I was
the only one!), and requisite love interest. Together, with the help of a wily detective,
they learn about their mutual nemesis, the demon Yog Kothag (Lord of all that's heinous -- plague, murder, disease and that Guinness World Records TV show)
-- and they also learn a little something about love. The scene where Reggie proclaims her
deep feelings for Mark (though highly implausible due to a lack of exposition regarding
the love angle) brought a solitary tear to my eye. No, really!
So, clad in camouflage (though they're fighting inside a house), and
armed to the teeth with a variety of weapons (including an arm rocket/grappling hook which
is explained as a tool invented for mountain climbing. I'm sorry, that thing looks like it
might pick up a writing utensil or one of those gum erasers if it dropped from my
desk -- but as far as supporting a two hundred pound individual, I'm afraid I'm going to
have to throw a BS flag on the play. Ok, I'm deviating from the subject and rambling. I'll
just keep repeating, "Suspension of disbelief, suspension of disbelief...."),
they return to the cabin of their plight (I can't recall if it was same one for the both
of them) and prepare to face Yog Kothag in a final showdown (or is it?!). And how do they
know when and where Kothag is about to strike?! Through the only thing more evil than a
demon straight from Hell -- MATH! And I hate math, so don't ask me to explain.
As I said before: This movie isn't all that bad! Granted, I
went in with low expectations, but I found the writing to be fairly good (like I'm a judge
of good writing), and the acting (for the most part) to be on par with similar
independent, low-budget features (i.e. Shatter Dead, The Dead
Next Door and Bram Stoker's Dracula). Well, heck! I'll go as far
as saying I liked Forever Evil more than The Dead Next
Door, and it's coming out with a sequel!
But on the other hand, though the acting was acceptable from some, it
was atrocious with others. And while the writing seemed adequate, there were way too many
one-liners for my taste.
It wasn't really the quantity of the jokes, but from the numerous sources in the film. It
seemed like every character was a little wiseacre. Now, I may be somewhat of a jerk, but I
find that most people are not that spontaneously witty (some say the same about me--go
figure). In other words, to make it more realistic (ha!), Forever Evil
would need more everyday idiots. And finally, the demon-baby featured in the film
should've been treated with a more subtle hand. This was a blatant case of: This is a
lousy effect, but here's a really good look at it anyway.
Overall, I found Forever Evil to be entertaining,
evenly-paced, and, perhaps most importantly, interesting (except the ending, which is
really dumb). But if you don't have a chance (or the inclination) to see the actual
film, be sure to at least check out the excellent Making of Forever Evil
-- which is only a minute section of the consistently awesome Bad Movie Report.
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-- Copyright © 2000 by J. Bannerman