Friday, September 16, 2016

EVILS OF THE NIGHT (1985) (Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray Review)

Label: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Code: Region-FREE
Duration: 85 Minutes
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English SDH Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Mardi Rustam
Cast: John Carradine, Tina Louise, Julie Newmar, Amber Lynn, Aldo Ray, Neville Brand, G.T. Taylor, David Hawk, Bridget Holloman, Keith Fisher, Karrie Emerson

Mardi Rustam's truly oddball Evils Of The Night (1985) begins with a UFO landing in the middle of Nowheresville USA. The blood-drinking space vampires arrive on Earth to siphon off some life extending blood from the local horny teens who inhabit this particular area. The movie starts off much like a standard 80s slasher movie wherein we some young couples fornicating in the woods at night. Mardi was an awful director but he knew damn well what the kids wanted to see at the drive-in, and that was cheap horror and A LOT of nude women and this low-rent sci-fi schlocker delivers both in ample amounts. 

As the horny couples get busy they are dispatched by the blood-drinking aliens, my favorite kill from the beginning was a young man backed-up against a tree while his horny girlfriend backs her sweet behind right up against her crotch, right in the middle of his young lust bliss the poor guy is strangled while his unaware lady finishes up just in time to notice something is not quite right, you get the impression that maybe he turned soft and she's not too happy about it. The scene is also funny because despite the softcore action the young man is still wearing his blue jeans which are clearly not unbuttoned or unzipped. 

Anyway, a trio of aging aliens set-up a cheeseball laboratory at a local hospital and have hired a couple of slow-minded auto-mechanics to abduct young kids for them so they can drain them of their blood in an effort to somehow prolong their own lives through some science-y mumbo jumbo. The aliens are Kozmar (John Carradine, House of Seven Corpses), Cora (Tina Louise, Ginger from TVs Gilligan's Island), and Zarma (Julie Newmar, Catwoman from the Adam West Batman TV Show), there is also a pair of women who look like 60s go-go dancers decked on is cheesy sci-fi outfits. The murderous auto-mechanics the aliens have hired are played by Aldo Ray (Psychic Killer) and Neville Brand (Eaten Alive). Ray and Brand come off as a pair of weirdos, who are not quite menacing but certainly are strange and none to bright, Brand manages to elicits a tiny bit of the crazy he channeled for Tobe Hooper on Eaten Alive, but this is a dopey movie and he acts accordingly, also playing well of Aldo Ray. 

After the initial opening which is stuffed with copious amounts of nude women we are more or less focused on a group of young folks on vacation at the nearby lake. We have the Heather (Bridget Holloman) and her fiancé Ron (Keith Fisher), Nancy (Karrie Emerson, Chopping Mall), Connie (G.T. Taylor) and Brian (David Hawk). Between them they have about six movie credits all told, aside from Emerson none went onto to much of any career in the movies and even she disappeared after appearing in the TV horror anthology Dead of Night (1989). The remainder of the movie is these five pretty much running around the woods attempting to escape from the clutches of both the aliens and the murderous grease monkeys until the aliens are scared off.

Evils of the Night is honestly a turd of a movie, one that makes sci-fi drive-in drivel like The Being (1983) and without warning (1980) look like science fiction masterpieces by comparison. 
The movie has some backwoods slasher elements but the sci-fi stuff comes across like something from Plan 9, really awful stuff. The odd mixture of aging Hollywood and TV has-beens, a couple of 80s b-movie actors and a handful  of 80s porno stars make for some interesting viewing though, including a big-haired 80s porn star Amber Lynn lights up the screen with her charms, but the plot such as it is makes no sense whatsoever and the pacing is slow and painfully uneven. 

Evils Of The Night is not a movie you watch for story, you watch this for the 80s cheese, the porn star nudity and to see Aldo Ray and Neville Brand threaten to hump a few girls in the process. Cheap, wonky and weird, if that's how you you love your schlock then Mardi Rustam made a movie you just might fall in love with. So get out the nachos and a cold beer, you're in for a shlocky treat tonight! 

Audio/Video: Evils Of The Night (1985) arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Combo from Vinegar Syndrome with a brand new 2K transfer straight from the original 35mm negative and the movie looks surprisingly good in HD! The film grain looks nice and healthy, while a few of the darker night scenes can be a bit grainy the colors are vibrant and the image is crisp with a wealth of fine detail. VinSyn have definitely brought this sci-fi clunker some new life with the new transfer. The English DTS-HD Mono 2.0 mix won't win any audio awards but it dialogue, score and sound effects comes through with decent depth and clarity, the synth score sounds wonderfully cheesy and dialogue is never hard to understand, though some of what they say will have you rolling your eyes into the back of your head. 

VinSyn have included some decent extras on the disc including a new video interview with director Mardi Rustam who talks about the production of the movie and how a few of the cast came to appear in it. A nicely shot interview, well-produced stuff with some good content. Vinegar Syndrome have also included the TV cut of the movie which also appeared on the MPI/Gorgon DVD from a few years back, presented in standard-def. This version actually runs longer than the theatrical cut and omits all of the Amber Lynn scenes, which is a drag. It also trims a lot of the violence and all of the sweet nudity. However, it also adds a few extra scenes including a few more with David Carradine. I'll stick with the original cut myself with all the violence and nudity, but this is a nifty bonus. 

Other extras on the disc include an isolated score track highlighting the synth-driven score of Robert O. Ragland (Grizzly, 10 To Midnight), about twenty-five minutes of outtake footage, a work-in-progress original theatrical trailer, and a TV spot. The sleeve art advertises a reversible sleeve but that is not the case, there is however an image of Karrie Emerson (Chopping Mall) holding an ax on the flipside. The release is a DVD/Combo Pack offering both the movie and supplemental material on Blu-ray and DVD. 

Special Features:
- Alien Blood Transfusion – Video Interview with director Mardi Rustam (9 Mins) HD
- Alternate Feature Length TV edit (93 Mins)
- Isolated score by Robert O. Ragland
- Extensive outtakes (24 Mins) HD
- Work-in-Progress Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD
- TV Spot (32 Seconds) 

Yet another glorious sci-fi horror craptacular straight from the drive-in and onto Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome. A silly slice of weirdness with strange cast of Hollywood has-beens and loads of nudity, a tiny bit of gore and a whole lot of what-the-fuckery, if you love bad movies this is one worth celebrating on Blu-ray, another bang-up job from the VinSyn team.