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After receiving very warped correspondence from her father, then no
correspondence at all anymore, Arletty (Marianna Hill) decides to pay him
a visit in the coastal village he has moved to - but she doesn't find him
at his house, just eccentric Thom (Michael Greer) and his two girlfriends,
sisters Laura (Anitra Ford) and Toni (Joy Bang) ... and a hobo (Elisha
Cook jr) who tells a horror story about the region involving what you'd
today refer to as zombies. All of this sounds like illusions of a harmless
drunk of course, but the next day, he's found dead with weird bitemarks.
soon shows an interest in Arletty, which makes Laura want to leave him for
good - but at the local mall, she's torn to pieces and eaten alive by the
The next day, Toni feels like the third wheel, and ignorant to
what has happened to Laura, she goes to the movies ... where she's torn
apart and eaten alive (or at least almost alive). In the meantime, Thom
and Arletty have found out what's wrong with the place, that there's a
zombie virus at work, but while Thom goes to town to save Toni (he doesn't
succeed and almost is eaten alive himself), Arletty gets a visit from her
father, now more zombie than man, who warns her and urges her to destroy
him and get away from here, but she is able to kill him after he
physically attacks her - and then she notices she is turning into one of
them, too - and so is Thom she notices after his return. Still they try to
make a getaway over the sea, but Thom drowns doing so, Arletty though is
saved by the zombies who need her to sacrifice her to their leader, the
"dark man", but eventually, she lands in an asylume, and maybe
all of what has happened has happened only in her head ... but maybe not.
of Evil is a weird little film: On one hand, it's most certainly one
of the earliest flesh-eating zombie movies (following Night
of the Living Dead of course), and despite not being all that
graphic, it gets pretty gruesome at times. On the other hand though, the
film has a weirdly lyrical approach to it that's at times more Jean Rollin
than George A. Romero, and that not always helps the film. Plus, all the
characters feel a bit too empty to really carry the movie, so the result
is ... well, it's in a way a film that is ahead of its time (and despite
similarities with Night of
the Living Dead, it's in no way derivative), just, well, not a
very good one.