Friday, 30 January 2009

Evil Come Evil Go (1972)

When it comes to oddball films combining sleaze, horror and just plain strangeness Something Weird Video rarely fail to deliver the goods. Evil Come Evil Go adds religious fanaticism to the mix, and an extra dose of kinky kookiness.

Sister Sarah Jane is the founder and, at this stage, the only member of the Sisters of Complete subjugation. She’s a traveling evangelist on a mission to rid the world of pleasurable sex, and of the evil men who indulge in this most heinous of sins. She picks up men in bars, and as soon as they try to engage her in pleasurable sex she kills them in fairly gory fashion. Arriving in LA she recruits her first disciple. Penny is a young lesbian whose and wealthy family on the East Coast pays her lots of money to stay as far away from them as possible. She’s thrilled to have finally found a cause to which she an devote herself, and is eager for Sister Sarah to initiate her into the order. The initiation involves her being stripped naked and tied to a bed. Sister Sarah’s belief in the wickedness of sex for pleasure is clearly just one of the sexual issues she has!

Pretty soon Penny is luring men back to her apartment so that Sister Sarah can punish them for their sinfulness. Considering her deeply held beliefs about sex Sister Sarah seems to spend a surprising amount of time listening to the bedroom activities of Penny and her victims before intervening, and listening in a state of some excitement and in a state of partial undress. When Penny’s ex-girlfriend turns up it transpires that women are also guilty of the sin of desiring pleasurable sex, much to Sister Sarah’s disapproval.

Cleo O’Hara as Sister Sarah really makes this film. It’s a mind-bogglingly over-the-top performance, and her bizarre wardrobe makes it even more fun. You’d think her male victims would figure out there was something amiss with her when she started singing hymns during sex, not to mention her air of total hysteria. Sarah Henderson as Penny is awful, but she’s awful in a very entertaining way. Her line readings are just totally and jaw-droppingly wrong, but in this movie that kind of performance is a plus.

There’s a great deal of fairly explicit nudity and sex, and quite a bit of gore for a 1972 American movie. The ending is unexpected, and although it’s probably more due to sheer amateurishness on the part of writer-director Walt Davis than any actual intention it kind of works, and adds to the twistedness of the movie.

The picture quality is quite grainy at times, but it’s perfectly watchable, and if you like your movie weirdness with extra added weirdness you won’t want to miss Evil Come Evil Go.

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