It’s Ghostbusters meets Dawn of the Dead as written by Rod Serling – When a small college town police station is besieged by “Evil” on a sleepy Halloween night, Pete, the sheriff, and Hancock, his loyal deputy, are thrown into the middle of holy chess-game that could destroy the town, and possibly the world.
Starring – Vladimir Kulich (Vikings, 13th Warrior) Charlene Amoia (Vacation) Vincent Ward (The Walking Dead) Tony Todd (Candyman); music by Shawn Lee (Bully, Break-up, The Sitter)
Life in a college town is never easy… especially on Halloween, and it only gets worse when Evil, with a capital ‘E,’ gets its hooks in the locals. Such is the case with Live-Evil, a comedic horror movie that joins the ranks of films like Slither as a darkly funny thrill ride that, fittingly, made its debut at Stan Lee’s Comikaze on Halloween afternoon.
Starting with the world weary and beleaguered Deputy Hancock, a woman who is all but ready to call it quits on a sleepy Halloween night in a college town, what starts as a pretty standard disturbance call spins itself into a supernatural event of biblical proportions. Encountering an unknown entity wearing the face of a dead woman, Hancock brings the alien presence in to the local jail, where the sheriff and fellow deputies see their own deepest fears in the face of this unknown creature. What follows is a battle not just for their town, but for the fate of the entire world as the dead return to life, cutting a bloody swath through the unwitting citizens in their wake.
For fans of the horror genre, this movie is definitely worth seeing… and if horror isn’t your thing? This movie is still sure to delight as a future classic in Halloween camp. Along with a liberal helping of dark, somewhat deadpan humor, the cinematography in this movie does a lot to keep it entertaining and engaging during its slower moments. With the first half shot in black and white, Live-Evil makes good use of color as an element to give the important or otherworldly moments emphasis, and provides the cue needed later on to show viewers just how much the game has changed when the movie’s events reach a serious tipping point.
The effects are also worth noting, as this movie doesn’t feature a heavy amount of special effects or make-up, but uses what it does have to full advantage. While many of the walking dead are almost deliberately done in a low budget style with a heavy use of masks and more cumbersome prosthetics, it never takes a turn into tacky, and the low budget feel enhances rather than mocks the spoof feel to this picture. The more realistic moments of violence and gore, however, are spot on enough to be unsettling, but it should be noted for sensitive viewers that the ‘blood and guts’ aspect of this movie is never gratuitous or truly traumatic. Those in for a simple holiday scare, or who may be newer to the horror genre will have a lot of fun with this picture.
While Live-Evil doesn’t have the quotability or more renegade sense of campy fun that subtle horror spoofs like Slither enjoy, it absolutely carves out its own niche as a film that genre fans must see, and newcomers will absolutely enjoy. It has its slower moments, but more than makes up for them with grade A cinematography, some fun laughs, and a handful of oddly powerful moments that showcase the acting chops of a first class set of actors not just having a good time killing zombies, but who are truly invested in a project they care about a great deal.
The ending also features a delightful twist revelation about the walking dead… and don’t forget to sit through the credits. There’s a final scene you really don’t want to miss.