Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Fear No Evil (1981)
Review by Jesse Nelson of EXHUMED FILMS
Avco Embassy Home Video

Fear No EvilWhen I first saw this film, I thought it was effectively creepy and atmospheric. 15 years later, I find it to be interesting, but ultimately dull and sloppy.

The story concerns the reincarnation of the devil (who is portrayed as a flamboyant homosexual — watch him scamper around at the end of the film) who is being hunted by several angels in human form. The movie's certainly an allegory for the persecution that homosexuals face in society, but is totally over the top in its homoeroticism, including a very disturbing scene in the boys' locker room shower.

There's a lot going on here and FEAR NO EVIL is much deeper than it really should be for a horror film. In addition, it can't really decide what it wants to be: one minute it wants to be a gory horror film, and by the next it wants to be an "awkward teen" high school flick.

The score by director Frank LaLoggia (LADY IN WHITE) is overbearing and inappropriate, while the songs in the film (including “Blank Generation” by Richard Hell!!) come too often and then not at all.

FEAR NO EVIL is the rare 80s horror movie that actually has a story. In fact, it has so much story that I found myself scratching my head at many points and yawning at others. I hate to say this is a bad thing — based on the number of mindless horror movies I've seen — but the pacing is so weak, by the time the zombies showed up I almost didn't care. I say "almost" because the last 15-20 minutes is just great, it just seems like it takes forever to get there.

It's hard not to recommend a film that tries so hard, but that may be its biggest flaw. There's a lot of potential here, and the movie has its moments, but aside from the last act, it just doesn't hold together.


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