Prime Evil (1988)

JANUARY 30, 2010


Some folks on Twitter tried warning me away from watching Prime Evil, and I should have listened to them. It’s got a few fun scenes here and there, but it’s overall a mindless bore of a film, and for the life of me I cannot understand why director Roberta Findlay or the screenwriters thought anyone would be interested in this particular non-story.

I know there are more to see, and I’m sure I’m wrong, but I’ll say it anyway - this has to be the boringest Devil movie ever made. It’s about this cult looking to please Satan, but Satan isn’t really in the movie. We see this little puppet at the very end that I guess is supposed to be the Dark Lord, but he just sits there doing nothing until he gets stabbed. And he’s never in a shot with anyone or anything else, so I can’t tell how big he’s supposed to do. It’s no End of Days is what I’m saying.

Don't sell your soul to this... thing.

And the cult is half-assed too, their leader needs a virgin sacrifice, but all the guy will get is 13 years of immortality. Only 13 years? He doesn’t look that old (he DOES look like a hybrid of Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham though), so why he’d go through all this trouble just to get 13 years of immortality is a bit puzzling. Unless he’s like a skydiver or something, where he is often in life-threatening situations. Then I can see him wanting a little insurance.

There’s also a plot thread (the closest the film has to an interesting one) about a nun renouncing her vows (woo, she can fuck!) in order to infiltrate the cult so she can help the cops bring it down. She even has a backstory about being abused by Satanists or something. But after all of this is set up, she more or less disappears for the entire movie, as we focus on the next intended virginal sacrifice, who is the estranged granddaughter of the cult guy. She too has a backstory - her father made money by letting guys take nude photos of her when she was a child. And thus now she is understandably frigid (hence the still-virgin status), but all this serves is to pad the movie out to feature length by including a bunch of scenes where her boyfriend gets blue balls and her whorish, junk food obsessed best friend mocks her for not giving it up.

And there’s also a few (not very good) cops on the trail, and a guy who looks like Fink from Meatballs who runs around the city killing women, though, as is often the case with this movie, I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish. I thought maybe he was looking for virgins, but since one of his victims is a crackhead hooker, either I’m way off or he is. But either way, the movie has way too many characters (none of whom are particularly interesting or likable) and not enough action, which is even more of an issue when you consider that Findlay comes from the porn world. A healthy dose of sleaze would have improved matters greatly, but whether Findlay was trying to show she could do serious work, or they couldn’t afford to film anything interesting, either way it’s a shockingly dull movie.

But a grown man does refer to another as “Fart breath”, so there’s something. And I think Brian Yuzna and co. took a page from the film when they made Silent Night Deadly Night 4, as they feel very similar at times (yes, I finally get to use the phrase “Not as good as Silent Night Deadly Night 4”!). I also liked the balls on the writers to set up a sequel - Cravengham gets away, shouting “You win, this time!” and then sets up shop in another big city (the movie is supposed to be set in Boston I think, due to the “New England” title at the beginning, but it’s clearly New York). But it’s been 22 years, so I think we can all stop holding our breath for Prime Evil II. Shit, Millennium Films wouldn’t even want to remake this fucking thing.

What say you?

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1 comment:

  1. "Don't you wanna get poked?!" My FAVORITE line of the entire movie. (In case you don't remember, it's what her whore, food junkie friend said to her at the gym. I agree with you the movie is the epitome of "Suckfullness", but it was at least good for a laugh or two, and enabled me to make snarky comments, as is my want to do for films like these. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is one of my fav series, and would LOVE to see them view this one. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!!! <3


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