02 July 2008

TTT: Beyond Evil (1980)

Beyond evil? Wow. That's gotta be something, right? I mean, I know Hitler and Stalin are evil. This movie's about something worse than those guys? Eh, not really. It tells the tale of a pissed-off witch-ghost who possesses a housewife and uses her magic powers to kill a handful of people in the middle of god-knows-where. And maybe that idea has some potential -- not to be beyond evil, but for just some regular evil -- but none of that is seen in Herb Freed's film. He's more interested in exploring how a marriage can survive when one of the partners is possessed by an evil spirit. This is efficiently accomplished by having John Saxon repeatedly ask his wife if she's feeling okay during the 15 minutes of the day when he's not at his construction site job.

As with most bad-bad movies, there are fleeting sequences of bad movie fun to be had here. A car slowly falls apart on the highway before teleporting into a quarry, flying off a cliff and exploding before it hits the ground. The ghost shoots lime green laser beams out of her eyes at a poor nurse. A "heavy" devil statue bounces like rubber when it almost falls on Saxon. Alas, it's not enough.

d. Herb Freed