Fear No Evil, the 1981 directorial debut of Frank LaLoggia (who would also helm Lady in White and Mother), is all about Andrew Williams, a high school student who turns out to be Lucifer. That sounds simple. But this movie is anything but.
First off, nearly every other student in this film is a complete miscreant. Andrew (Stefan Arngrim, Barry from Land of the Lost) is a weird kid that gets good grades and is well-liked. But again, you know, he’s the Antichrist.
Let’s go back to the beginning. Father Thomas arrives at a destroyed cathedral to fight Lucifer (producer Charles M. LaLoggia discovered the Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay, NY and told his director cousin that this would be an ideal location for a horror movie), whose defeat only puts him into the body of baby Andrew. His parents constantly battle over his origins and the fact that even his baptism didn’t go right. Yeah, the water all turned to blood. You know how that happens.
But that’s all well and good, because on his 18th birthday, Andrew’s powers create an accident that paralyzes his mother and leaves his father a drunken mess.
If someone can make the Antichrist’s life hell, it’s Tony Indavino and Mark Landers. Tony is near relentless in his abuse of Andrew, where he calls the young man gay and they have what I can only refer to as a kiss fight. Another shocking moment, as full frontal male nudity is still verboten today and this scene is full of it. It makes the shower abuse in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 seem tame by comparison. During his second attempt to kiss Andrew and repeat this action, he suddenly grows breasts!
Meanwhile, Father Thomas and two angels — who in their human form have rambling dialogue between one another at all times — are preparing to wipe out the Antichrist before he can assume control of the world. One of them teams up with Mark’s girlfriend, who gets holy powers after Andrew kills her lover.
At this point, Andrew has gone full on demon after drinking the blood of a dog. He starts looking like more of an 80’s glam rock icon than what we’d expect Lucifer to look like.
Meanwhile, the town has a Passion Play with Hollywood level production values. Andrew attacks it, killing the Jesus in the play and then sending his army of zombies (which is the only reason Avco Embassy distributed the film) after the rest of the town.
The soundtrack to this film features more recognizable songs than you’d think, given its low budget. Patti Smith, The Rezillos, Talking Heads, Ramones, Boomtown Rats, The B-52’s, Richard Hell and the Sex Pistols are all featured — I had no idea going in and was continually shocked by each new song.
There really hasn’t even been a movie like Fear No Evil. Sure, a lot of it is taken from The Omen and Carrie, but those films never went off the deep end like this one does. It’s definitely worth tracking down and watching for yourself!
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