Evils of the Night (1985)

One from the to watch pile…
Evils of the Night (1985)

Film: Don’t you just love it when a friend suggests a movie you’ve never heard of to you? Then when you get your hands on it you see the awesome cover shown above, replete with amazing Tales of the Crypt styled artwork featuring a subtle rip-off of Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon (by subtle I mean ‘glaring’) and find on the back it’s directed by Mardi Rustam, the producer of Eaten Alive, AND it stars Batman’s Julie Newmar, Gillian’s Island’s Tina Louise, Eaten Alive’s Neville Brand and b-movie legends Aldo Ray and Jon Carradine. (I have to also point out that that awesome cover was done by Tom Tierney who was America’s foremost Paper Doll artist!)

This sounds like it’s going to be a treat! That is, a terrible, awful tainted treat, like a rotted finger found by a cannibal behind the lounge.

Our story in this film is of a bunch of aliens (played by Carradine, Louise and Newmar) who have travelled to earth and quickly… very quickly… established a process where a couple of local crooks (Neville Brand and Aldo Ray) kidnap nubile young women and beefcake-ish young men and deliver them for processing as the aliens require human blood to survive!

Amazing! How did their species survive before they discovered interplanetary travel… maybe some concepts don’t open themselves up to critical scientific evaluation.

Of course, amongst their latest group of victims there are a few tenacious teens who may actually be able to survive the slaughter! 

Now as you may be able to tell from the synopsis, it’s a pretty daft story that has its roots in, well, every 50s American scifi film. In this film they have at least used the plot device of an older alien showing new ones how to perform their roles as leaders of expeditions as a way to convey the story to we, the viewer.

Mostly, the acting is deplorable, but thankfully the cast are good looking enough to keep your interest for a bit longer than a film this bad would probably deserve. The film is edited such that there are several nude/ sex scenes where the main cast aren’t involved so their demises don’t effect the outcome of the plot, but dropped 80s porn legend Amber Lynn in their is a bonus. The acting highlights would have to be Aldo Ray and Neville Brand as quite possibly the best hillbilly killers this side of the hills from The Hills Have Eyes.

This film has one real problem though above how bad the acting is and how generic the storyline is: the pacing. There are some scenes that just go on for far too long. The key to a movie that has tension is knowing when to tighten and release it, and this film doesn’t, so for the most part is becomes an unsatisfactory freakshow of hasbeens and neverwases.

It’s a strange film that’s as dumb as a box of hammers with a bizarre identity crisis: 80s soft core comedy porn a la Porky’s but with 50s or 60s scifi plot and ‘spaceman’ outfits. It’s ‘Plan 10 from Outer Space’ made real! I’m sure Ed Wood would have loved it!

Oh, by the way, the Milennium Falcon DOESN’T make an appearance in this film, even though the cover may suggest it! 

Score: **1/2


Format: This movie was reviewed in the Gorgon Video DVD which runs for approximately 85 minutes, and is presented in a clear but unspectacular 1.78:1 image with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio which is fine, but nothing special. There is an occasional artefact on the screen but it’s not detrimental to the viewing.

Score: ***

Extras: There are three extras on this disc: 

The first one is the ‘television’ cut of the film which lasts a whole 8 minutes longer than the regular version, but unfortunately isn’t very clear as it was taken from a video tape master. This version removes all the sex scenes and Amber Lynn isn’t even here at all! Criminal!

There are a bunch of outtakes here but unfortunately there is no audio. The look of embarrassment on the old greats is clear and present though.

We also have a trailer for the film.

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: I probably won’t watch this again, but I am glad to have seen it and loved the surprise appearance of Amber Lynn!

Respectable: The Mary Millington Story (2016) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Respectable: The Mary Millington Story (2016)

The cover to the UK release of Respectable: The Mary Millington Story

Film: I sometimes think, since the advent of DVD, that I love extras, and documentaries about films, more than the films themselves. That is, I’ve always loved documentaries, Helevtica is one of my favourite films, documentary or otherwise, but seeing informative video about the films I love is like a dream come true.

I think the first actual film documentary I saw that wasn’t an extra, was Mark Hartley’s Not Quite Hollywood, and I lapped it up, and I have actively pursued as many as I can and have amassed a collection of about 20 films, ranging from Roger Corman’s history, to the legend of Britain’s Video Nasty period.

If anything, this documentary is almost complimentary for the Jake West Video Nasty docos, as it tells not of the banned videos from the early 80s, but instead tells of UK porno star Mary Millington’s life, and her rise from glamour photo club model, to lad’s magazines to the illegal market of porn films in the 70s.

The Queen of Blue herself, Mary Millington.

The doco is written and directed by Simon Sheridan, Millington’s biographer and writer of Come Play With Me: The Mary Millington Story and has is narrated by Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrel’s Dexter Fletcher. There are recent interviews with several family members and Millington’s film contemporaries of the time, not to mention archive interviews with porn producers and anti-porn activists (like Mary Whitehouse), and an audio interview with Millington herself.

Hers was a life of drugs and sex and money, and as most documentaries of people with these lifestyles, it doesn’t end well, as the tragedy of their lifestyle can sometimes catch up with those involved. 

The odd dance sequence from Come Play With Me.

 My interest in this period of cinema comes as an extension of my love of the so-called saucy cinema of the UK, whether it’s the less risqué Carry on Films, or some of the slightly more-so borderline soft-core porn films of the period, and I’ve always been a fan of Millington. This doco is surprising as it is rated a U.K. (18) but has quite a lot of full frontal nudity, both male and female, and some actual sex… not a great deal, but enough to raise my eyebrows at the idea I grabbed this from Amazon!

It’s a tragic and fascinating story, told well with heaps of supplementary material and when you have a story about someone who was filmed and photographed as often as Millington, you know there is gonna be lots of nudity and a decent slog of sex. 

Score: ****

The DVD menu screen for Respectable: The Mary Millington Story

Format: This UK release, region 2 DVD runs for approximately 110 minutes and is presented is a 1.75:1 image of varying quality due to the amount of archival material, but essentially the picture is ok. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 and is clear.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: Amazing amount of extras on this disc:

The Audio Commentary is done by Sam Dunn from the British film institute and Simon Sheridan, the writer and director of the film. It is a really interesting, in-depth commentary, almost as interesting as the film.

Confession from the Dave Sullivan focuses primarily on Sullivan’s career in the adult entertainment industry, as far as publishing and filmmaking is concerned. An interesting albeit brief look at his career.

Keep it up, Sue! In conversation with Sue Longhurst is similar to the Sullivan short insomuch as it briefly looks at the career of one of Millington’s contemporaries, and her appearance in the Keep It Up films.

Sex Talk with Ed Tudor-Pole is a similar interview with punk musician Ed Tudor-Pole, from Tenpole Tudor.

Party Pieces 1974 silent film is an 11 minute long stag film with no sound which is quite tame compared to today’s pornography.

Come Play With Me original 1977 trailer is obviously a trailer for ‘Come Play With Me’.

Respectable teaser trailer is, obviously a teaser for this film.

Score: *****

WISIA: This sort of doco is right up my alley, so I’ll definitely watch it again.

A newspaper add for Linda Lovelace’s Deep Throat