FEAR NO EVIL (1981) Reviews and overview

 

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Fear No Evil is a 1981 American supernatural horror film directed by Frank LaLoggia (Lady in White). The movie stars Stefan Arngrim, Elizabeth Hoffman and Kathleen Rowe McAllen.

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Plot:

Andrew Williams is a shy, awkward high school student with a straight ‘A’ average and a horrifying secret: He was born the Antichrist, the profane incarnation of Lucifer himself.

While senior year can be Hell for some teenagers, Andrew unleashes the real thing bringing demonic carnage and the horrors of Satan to gym class and beyond. Now that the legions of the undead have risen, some very unexpected archangels are gathered and on the eve of the Second Coming the final horrific battle for the unholy soul of mankind is about to begin…

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Fear No Evil was twenty-six-year-old writer/director/co-producer/composer LaLoggia’s debut and had a budget of $840,000. The films origin came about when producer Charles M. LaLoggia discovered the filming location of the Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay, New York. LaLoggia thought it was an ideal place to set a horror film and approached his cousin director Frank LaLoggia to write a film around the location.

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The film features a punk rock/new wave soundtrack with songs by Patti Smith, The Rezillos, Talking Heads, Ramones, Boomtown Rats, The B-52’s, Richard Hell and the Sex Pistols.

Avco Embassy Pictures apparently picked up the film for US release solely based on the fact that zombies were featured.

Blu-ray release:

Scream Factory released Fear No Evil on Blu-ray on September 24, 2019, with the following special features:

New interview with actor Stefan Arngrim
New interview with special effects artist John Eggett
Audio Commentary with writer/director Frank LaLoggia and cinematographer Frederic Goodich
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots
Still Gallery

Reviews:

“Overall, the film is a little too uneven to really recommend, but it has a few sequences which genuinely work up some grotesque dread and even more that are memorably crazy if not entirely successful. Like its central antagonist, it can be hard to tell what it’s really trying to do, and even when it seems to know it’s not always great at pulling it off.” We are Cursed to Live in Interesting Times

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“For all its impressive goals, the movie does seem amateurish in spots near the end, despite a game cast and some inventive staging. The climax seems hokey. The son of the Devil looks too glam rock to be truly scary—but who said the Dark Prince ever had any fashion sense?” DVD Verdict

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“Fear No Evil is the rare 80s horror movie that actually has a story. In fact, it has so much story that I found myself scratching my head at many points and yawning at others. I hate to say this is a bad thing — based on the number of mindless horror movies I’ve seen — but the pacing is so weak, by the time the zombies showed up I almost didn’t care.” Exploitation Retrospect

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“This film is sometimes really fun, but drags in other spots, and the old-school visual effects were a retro treat. I can’t say that Fear No Evil scared me one lick but it’s an interesting time warp of a flick.” Screen Anarchy

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Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Cast and characters:

Stefan Arngrim … Andrew Williams
Elizabeth Hoffman … Mikhail / Margaret Buchanan
Kathleen Rowe McAllen … Gabrielle / Julie
Frank Birney … Father Daly
Daniel Eden … Tony
John Holland … Rafael / Father Damon
Barry Cooper … Mr Williams
Alice Sachs … Mrs Williams
Paul Haber … Mark
Roslyn Gugino … Marie
Richard Jay Silverthorn … Lucifer
Marianne Simpson … Brenda (as Mari Anne Simpson)
Joyce Bumpus … Susan
Patricia Decillis … Bette
Chris DeVincentis … Richard

Filming locations:

Boldt Castle, Alexandria Bay, New York
Rochester, New York
Webster, New York (high school)

Technical details:

99 minutes
Audio: mono
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA comment and rating:

A bizarre mix of the bland and bonkers, Fear No Evil is a mess – especially the new wave/punk tracks seemingly dropped in at random inappropriately – but it’s still worth a watch for fans of early ’80s independent horror cinema. The school bullying shower scene featuring guys in the buff provides a neat counterpoint to Carrie (1976).

New and future releases