BUCHEON INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL: Evil Come, Evil Go (1974)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph Perry writes for the film websites Gruesome Magazine, The Scariest Things, Horror Fuel and Diabolique Magazine; for the film magazines Phantom of the Movies’ VideoScope and Drive-In Asylum; and for the pop culture websites When It Was Cool and Uphill Both Ways. He is also one of the hosts of When It Was Cool’s exclusive Uphill Both Ways podcast and can occasionally be heard as a cohost on Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast.

You know you’re in for a wild ride when the opening lines of dialogue in a horror film — heck, just about any genre of film — are, “Hey, what kind of a freak are you? Why are you singin’ hymns when I’m tryin’ to give you head?”

Depending on your politics, it’s a toss-up as to whether writer/director Walt Davis’ Evil Come, Evil Go was meant to be a horror film with softcore porn or a softcore horror porn with horror. The amount of deliberate humor vs. unintentional comedy is probably up for debate, as well.

Filled with adult film actors and crew including Davis himself, the movie is a real mind-bender. Sarah Jane Butler (Cleo O’Hara) travels the country living her very personal version of following the Bible, ridding the world of what she considers evil men and pleasurable sex by picking random dudes up at seedy bars and then having sex with them, slicing them up just as they are about to achieve orgasm. In Los Angeles — where you could get a hot dog and a soft drink for 53 cents in 1974, as captured for posterity here — she meets up with lesbian silver spooner disowned by her family Penny (Sandra Henderson) and indoctrinates her as the first member of Sarah’s “Sister Sarah’s Sacred Order of The Sisters of Complete Subjugation,” which basically means she now has a partner in crime. The two knock off men together in nasty ways, and Penny’s girlfriend Junie (Jane Louise AKA Jane Tsentas) isn’t off limits, either.

It’s hard to say which is the worst in this movie: the acting, the nominees for least sexiest sex scenes in the history of horror and possibly adult cinema (including multiple zoom-ins to vulvae that come across as more clinical than anything erotic), or the poor ADR. The wildly inappropriate score, which changes randomly from one style to another — I counted at least 3 times during a single sex scene that wasn’t long enough to warrant that — is also a head scratcher.

Everyone except O’Hara, is marvelously over the top, is acting like they’re merely reciting memorized lines — with a couple of instances of lines evidently forgotten and then immediately repeated correctly. With as many flubbed lines as there are, I wouldn’t be surprised that many scenes were single takes.

If you are easily offended by, well, just about anything, this movie should press at least a couple of your buttons. If you are not yet sold into experiencing Evil Come, Evil Go at least once, know that there is a cat that randomly jumps into and out of sex and bondage scenes, not to mention a recurring soft rock theme song that has a hilarious, if question-raising, payoff.                     

                     

The version shown at Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival is a restoration courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome and the American Genre Film Archive, which looks and sounds quite impressive.

Evil Come, Evil Go screens as part of South Korea’s hybrid Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, which takes place in Bucheon and online July 7–17, 2022. For more information, visit http://www.bifan.kr/eng/

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