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Reviews for Beyond Evil ( 1980 )

Possesses little in the way of originality or charm. (IMDB: 3)

On: 9/16/2021 12:00:00 AM By: BA_Harrison
Your best pal arranges for you and your wife to move into an old house that, as legend would have it, is haunted by the spirit a woman who practised black magic and who returned from the dead to kill her philandering husband. What do you do?

If, like me, you have seen enough horror films to know that living in a house like that will seriously affect your life expectancy, you'll politely decline and book into a hotel. But if you're newlyweds John Saxon and Lynda Day George, you'll happily set up home in said haunted house, and not even bat an eyelid when creepy shizz starts happening.

Soon after settling in, Barbara Andrews (George) starts to act very strangely and, when hubby Larry (Saxon) isn't looking, she shoots green laser beams from her eyes. When Larry's friends and associates start to die in mysterious circumstances, he eventually cottons on to the fact that his wife's might have something to do with it, so he seeks help from local faith healer Dr. Solomon (David Opatoshu), who tells him that she is possessed.

Beyond Evil is an utterly abysmal supernatural horror that suffers from a cheesy plot that brings nothing new to the table, an awful central turn from George, and some really cheap visual effects (the day-glo green solarised effect is particularly nasty). Even the usually reliable Saxon cannot help make this one work. The only decent things about the film are a couple of reasonable gore effects (when the faith healer performs operations on his followers) and the Omen-esque score by Pino Donaggio.

Cult cinema at it's purest. Terrible but VERY enjoyable! (IMDB: 7)

On: 10/27/2020 12:00:00 AM By: meathookcinema
A few things about this film should attract cult film aficionados. Firstly, it stars John Saxon and Lynda Day George. It was also released on the infamous video label VIPCO (home of Zombie Flesh Eaters and Shogun Assassin in the early 80's). It's also features some of the cheapest special effects I've ever seen which have aged incredibly badly. In other words, it's great fun and has plenty of things going for it.

A couple move to a tropical island and find a mansion that is so cheap that they have to buy it. But it then becomes apparent that Barbara (George) is showing signs of being possessed by the evil spirit of the wife of the previous owner who was practising the occult before she ended up killing and being killed by her husband.

This is kitsch cult cinema at it's purest- bad effects, bad acting, bad plot. BUT, very enjoyable because of it. This film has, erm, character! This movie would be perfect if you stumbled upon it on an obscure cable channel late at night.

Could Barely Stay Awake (IMDB: 3)

On: 7/23/2020 12:00:00 AM By: glenmatisse
Lynda Day George and John Saxon move into a new house and Lynda gets possessed by the angry spirit of a woman who died there years ago after being murdered by her husband. About the most exciting thing that happens is when the spirit shoots green lasers out of her eyes. The rest is really boring and you can't get that time back.

Beyond Boring (IMDB: 3)

On: 6/25/2020 12:00:00 AM By: joanclarke-81661
Beyond Evil has John Saxon and Lynda Day George as a couple who move to an island for one of the husband's construction jobs and the wife becomes possessed by the spirit of an angry woman who lives in their house.

Beyond Evil starts out slow, then picks up steam for a few minutes and then slows down to a crawl again. It's never very scary or suspenseful, but there are a few somewhat creepy shots and it has a nice Pino Donaggio score. It's biggest crime is a lack of danger and urgency.

Meh! (IMDB: 6)

On: 3/24/2020 12:00:00 AM By: ThyDavideth
A married couple buys a house and it ends up being haunted. Whoopie Doo. Beyond Evil is nothing special but all in all its a simple neat film. You won't get much bloody happy fun but you'll be entertained by this films crappy acting, hood rat ghetto ass special effects and it's over used and abused conception of possession and s···. Beyond Evil is beyond r·tarded but you could do worse.

Not quite bad enough to be good-bad (IMDB: 3)

On: 11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM By: ofumalow
This terrible possession thriller is graced by an orchestral score by Pino Domaggio, familiar from all his Brian DePalma scores (and it duly sounds like them). So it takes a while to realize just how cheesy this movie is--really, it deserved a soundtrack of one finger at the Casio keyboard. Perhaps the funding ran out prematurely, because aspects of the film are...well, not exactly good, but certainly more professional than others. And the absolute worst are the post-production FX (crude green rays from glowing eyes, solarized images, etc.), which would have seemed pretty elemental even twenty-years earlier.

John Saxon and Lynda Day George play a (somewhat squabbling and shallow--not sure if that's how we're meant to perceive them) couple who luck into an amazingly cheap mansion on a Hawaiian island. It's cheap, of course, because there's an evil spirit, which soon possesses Lynda. Who is not, let's face it, the actress to pull off this sort of thing without lots of triggering a fair amount of unintentional laughter. She looks glamorous as usual, but if you're hoping for some nudity, sorry--the most you'll get is Saxon (who admittedly was in pretty great shape still) taking his shirt off quite often. Anyway, this film is silly and suspenseless, but not energetic or outrageous enough to be entertainingly bad, which is what I'd hoped for. If you're seeing it for the actors, well, you'll see them--though they've certain been better used elsewhere.

Rote possession film (IMDB: 5)

On: 9/2/2019 12:00:00 AM By: drownnnsoda
Genre favorites John Saxon and Lynda Day George star as a couple who move to the Philippines where they purchase a grand colonial mansion. Life seems great, but it turns out the house was built by a husband and wife who killed one another. The wife was an occultist, and she still happens to be looking for a living vessel to inhabit.

This kitschy supernatural horror movie takes cues from "The Exorcist" and a spat of other similar films, and predates "Mausoleum," which has a similar tone and premise. The good is that it has some nice cinematography, and there are a few moments throughout that evoke a sense of creepiness; Saxon and George are awoken in the middle of the night to odd voices; he finds her idly meditating over a fire in the fireplace; she sees the ghost of the deceased female occultist trying to possess her. The cinematography is also top-notch, especially for a low-budget feature.

The bad? The screenplay is rote in its procession. Saxon's character goes back and forth from his architect job, while George's character experiences increasingly odd supernatural experiences. A subplot involving a medicine man who lives next-door is woven in, and he is a source of all the knowledge regarding possession and the evil spirit in the couple's mansion. These events play out in a manner that is rather dull and predictable, and there isn't enough connective tissue to bind them together. The performances from Saxon and George do help amplify the proceedings, and both give admirable efforts in a screenplay that gives them limited options.

In the end, "Beyond Evil" is a slightly amusing genre picture (several reviewers have commented on the dated special effects, which are actually not all that terrible in comparison to other films of this ilk), but it does feel largely underwhelming. The horror scenes, when present, are well-executed, but the rote unspooling of the story leaves the film feeling by-the-numbers. There are no real surprises to be had here, but if you are willing to accept that, it is a notch above the standard television horror flick of its era. 5/10.

Subtle, yet good (IMDB: 8)

On: 12/9/2018 12:00:00 AM By: GOWBTW
For a horror movie, "Beyond Evil" isn't half bad. John Saxon and Lynda Day George play a couple who go on an island country, trying to get a home there. The apartment that they try to live in isn't ready for settling in. So they get to live in a castle where there is a questionable past to it. About a 100 years ago, a couple lived in the castle. Business was a factor for them. No true love there. Both are unhappy with each other. Trying to get rid of each other. Only the wife got involved with the occult. Her spirit haunts the castle, and the wife of the architect became the victim. Forget the regular mood swings, evil spirits make anything a living nightmare. Since his love for his wife was strong, the spirit didn't stand a chance.Despite being low budget, it was a good movie. It has a subtle structure it wasn't very hyped up like some that I seen. Enjoyed it very well.2 out of 5 stars

Not what you would expect considering this is a Troma film. (IMDB: 2)

On: 6/29/2012 12:00:00 AM By: Aaron1375
This film does not seem like the Troma I am used to. Usually Troma films are filled with gore, nudity and all sorts of sleaze, while this one tries to have a serious story going and it also differs from most of their offerings in that it is boring. This could have been the sequel to the film "A Name for Evil" with Robert Culp as it plays a bit like that film only a bit more flashier. Still, it drags on and on with one inconsequential plot point after the other with the occasional tepid kill thrown in to remind you that you are still watching a horror film no matter how little horror is on the screen at any given time. This one also has a lot of the same plot elements of the film "Mausoleum" within it, only that film came after this one and it seemed to know it was a horror film as it had a whole heck of a lot going for it compared to this one which has one thing and one thing only going for it and that is John Saxon as the lead character.

The story has an architect and his wife relocating to an island where the architect is helping to oversee the construction of some buildings. There is a buddy who is supposed to be getting an apartment ready for them, but he is instead getting them an awesome new house at an unbelievably low price. Turns out the place has a history and there is a lot of history with the characters, to much if you ask me. There is to many shady deals going down here which would be cool if it were the least bit relevant to the plot! Well the place is haunted by a woman who died in the place and practiced dark magic and so she shall try and take over the architect's wife in very slow and unspectacular fashion. There is a faith healer that warns our hero, but of course he does not believe in all that magic stuff. The filmmakers apparently did, painting faith healers as real, obviously this is before their little tricks were revealed to be nothing more than chicken livers.

So you have a possession plot going on, so you probably want to know is it interesting? Well no, I said the film was boring and I meant it. The problem is they went to serious and the threw up a very weak horror film. The plot could be a possession plot on a soap opera it is so bland. It also feels very much like a television film, especially when the scene cuts out on a high musical note that sounded as if the film were about to go to commercial. So there is very little in the way of gore, nudity or general mayhem and the film is mainly people milling around and talking about stuff that is not relevant to the possession plot. This is a film that just screams gore and nudity and delivers not much in the way of either. So you hope the story is good, but it is just to crammed with stuff that just is not important.

There is a good point to the film and that is John Saxon as the architect. If not for him I would have given the film a one, but he is an actor who stars in these b movie nightmares and can make them a bit more tolerable. I love the pointless scene in the hospital about the missing records where he punches a dude in the stomach. He does a good job and the lady portraying his wife has a nice chest, it is a shame they never showed it to us in all its glory as it would have been worth at least another point from me.

So this film in the end is boring. Very much like another Troma film, "Zombie Island Massacre" in that it is set on an island and there is nothing that you expect within. I was expecting more, some good gore, perhaps lots of boobies. All I got were plot points that at times seemed to come from another movie entirely and a very slow moving possession film. You get deaths that are also suited for other films as they usually just had people falling or other things that just did not seem part of a horror film. Just disappointed all around with this one, I was not expecting this one to be really good, but I also was not expecting it to be boring either. Heck, it was beyond boring.

Nifty low-budget chiller with some atrocious special effects (IMDB: 6)

On: 6/14/2006 12:00:00 AM By: nuelow
This is a fabulous low-budget chiller that features a great collection of energetic and enthusiastic actors--there are literally no bad performances anywhere--and showcases steady, focused direction of the kind that movies with ten times the budget are often lacking.

On the downside, the film features some rather laughable visible effects. In most cases, the filmmakers seemed to be aware that their budget limited what they could do--and they got by quite effectively with creative lighting, fog machines, jump-cuts, and other inexpensive movie gimmicks--but then they also decided to do some animation effects. These were passable when all they were used for were to illustrate whenever the ghost was up to something evil, but when they started showing laser beams shooting from the eyes of the possessed Barbara, the animation went from cheap-looking to ridiculous.

Despite the occasional special effects missteps, "Beyond Evil" is mostly a competently executed haunted house/possession flick. It sags a bit in the middle--where the voodoo queen flexes her supernatural muscle and things get a bit repetitive as Larry tries to convince the increasingly strange Barbara to seek medical help--but for the most part it remains an engrossing little movie that's worth a look.

Attack of the Special Effects! (IMDB: 4)

On: 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM By: wkduffy
I am a sincere horror movie fan. As such, I am extremely forgiving?indeed, my friends would argue I have no standards at all. To shake up this dynamic even more, there is a class of film that forgiving fans feel compelled to huddle around and protect because these "works of art" are so obviously vulnerable to attack?mostly because they suck in every way imaginable. Remember Robert Culp crazily running around naked in "A Name for Evil?" (Whoever says anything nice about "A Name for Evil?") Remember a coiffed Richard Moll attempting to navigate the discontinuity in "The Nightmare Never Ends?" (What dozen or so people ever bothered watching "The Nightmare Never Ends" in its entirety?) How about Trish Van Devere flitting about the badly lit sets in her housecoat in "The Hearse?" Technically, these films are inconceivably bad, plain and simple. They never really gel; they don't scare; the characters are flat or unconvincing; the lighting is poor; the sound is cacophonous; the plot convoluted. These movies always seem to be a collection of medium-range shots pasted haphazardly together?not an interesting angle or lighting effect to be found. These films don't even fall into the clichéd "so bad they're good" class of films.

In my mind, films like "A Name for Evil" are "TV quality" films (if we are talking TV quality of about 30 years ago, of course). In fact, the most effective way to turn me off from wanting to watch any film is by telling me it is of average TV quality. To me, that means artless, white-washed, vanilla, predictable, flat. I'm immediately disinterested.

Having said that, films like "The Hearse" and "Nightmare Never Ends" and even "A Name for Evil" almost supernaturally, are imbued with something greater than the sum of their parts. In the minds and hearts of truly forgiving horror movie fans, these films hold a place that they do not deserve; there's something about the "idea" of the movie?not borne out by the reality of the film itself?that exerts an inexplicable power. I guess what I'm saying is that these movies are never as good as the ideas behind them; but for some reason I, as viewer, seem to remember and connect with the idea, rather than the movie. Call me insane, but it is almost as if the movie doesn't matter. For example, when I spy the DVD cover of "Horror Planet" on my shelf, I think of the "idea" of the film fondly?even though I never really want to watch the film a second time because it is so poorly executed. I imbue it with a power it doesn't really have. And I'm fascinated by that interaction. Maybe I'm just nuts.

Now, having said all that, I'm not sure "Beyond Evil" quite makes it into that mysterious class of films. The ideas in this film (not the film itself) try damn hard to work their way into my subconscious?but ultimately the flick fails in that regard. The acting is adequate, even adequately inspired at times. The music by Donaggio is adequate. The plot is okay. But when it comes right down to it, I think there are three specific things that ultimately do this movie in?things that are so completely distracting, I can't even love the idea of this film, let alone the film itself:

1. Could You Repeat That Please: The film takes place in a large mansion, mostly. Here we get the "one Radio Shack mic placed in the middle of the cacophonous room" effect?often with more than one person speaking at the same time. Remember the award-winning audio in films like "The Ghosts of Hanley House?" Terribly distracting. As someone else also said, this movie is evidence why filming in front of an airport is not such a good idea?did you catch that dialog? I didn't. Planes are loud and noisy. Someone tell the director.

2. The Editor Fell Asleep at the Cutting Wheel: Something bizarre happens in the last 15 minutes of this movie (referring to the UK PAL R2 DVD). Suddenly parts of the film disappear?there are plot elements you KNOW occurred, you'd bet your paycheck on it, but they've been sliced to the point where the narrative starts to literally come apart at the seams. Once again, I am a forgiving fan here and can even appreciate discontinuity on some artful level. But this isn't epileptic enough to be interesting or keep me off balance. No, it's just that somebody let the scissors slip a few times, and the film falls apart?literally?in the last few frames. Why oh why?

3. Attack of the Special Effects: The effects in this movie, as other reviewers have adequately illustrated, are atrocious. Remember, I am a forgiving fan?probably much more forgiving than you are. But when you see something so low--that you start to think you might actually have standards of some kind?you know you've hit rock bottom. The effects are really at rock bottom. They are so bad, they chew into the narrative. While watching, I was having a conversation with myself (as the movie progressed) about how the ghost of the former owner of the mansion could have been presented so much better, and so much more simply. Glowing green laser beam eyeballs. Awful, awful, awful. The silly superimposition of the ghost character that suddenly blinks into life on a dark space in the picture's frame. Awful, awful, awful. I think of all the scary movies I've seen where ghosts were presented simply and interestingly and frighteningly without a special effect to be found. Why would adequate-director-Herb-Freed make such a bad, bad decision?

So there you have it. An unforgivable "TV Quality" movie where ultimately the ideas don't even float to the top. Too bad, too bad.

Fascinating low-budget junk! (IMDB: 5)

On: 8/11/2005 12:00:00 AM By: Coventry
John Saxon ("Black Christmas"!) and Lynda Day George ("Pieces"!) form a fabulous horror couple in this cheap and bizarre, but nevertheless intriguing little 80's film, set on a remote Southern island. The story isn't exactly original, blending cliché horror premises like haunted houses, soul-possessions, spiritual tribes and witchcraft, and yet, there isn't a dull moment to detect anywhere. This is largely thanks to the enthusiast acting performances and the surefooted direction of Herbert Freed. "Beyond Evil" is quite an oddity, because the special effects are very amateurish (sometimes even downright laughable) and still the wholesome remains a spooky and unsettling horror tale. Upon their arrival at the island, newlyweds Larry and Barbara are offered a beautiful and gigantic mansion to live in. Through a very atmospheric flashback-story, however, we learn that this same mansion was once homed by the sinister Alma Martin and her unfaithful husband. He poisoned Alma but her restless spirit still dwells around the mansion. Now, 100 years later, Alma Martin sees her change to reincarnate through Barbara and she won't hesitate to destroy everyone that tries to prevent this from happening. As previously stated, the special and visual effects are terrible? They often exclusively exist of funky green laser beams projected from the eyes of Alma Martin and they're not very convincing. Still, the film does offer some genuine shocks whenever budget isn't required, like Alma's ghostly appearances out of nowhere or the creepy shots inside the crypt. Especially since it's such an inexplicably fascinating movie, "Beyond Evil" should be categorized under 'interesting failures' and not just under 'worthless horror junk'! If you can pick up the DVD for a reasonably cheap price, it's definitely worth buying.

A very decent horror movie (IMDB: 7)

On: 9/15/2004 12:00:00 AM By: Ton_O
A very satisfying film, with incredibly good acting, especially for such a low budget movie. John Saxon.(From Dusk Till Dawn, Dario Agento's Tenebrea, to name but a few of his many starring roles) and his wife Linda Day George (who starred in such different works as Pieces and the TV series Roots) go to an island for a building project the husband works on, and while there, are offered a wonderful mansion to live in. As it is on islands in horrormovies, the locals have some superstitions about the house, which are not far from the horrible truth. I won't tell too much, because it would spoil the fun of watching this well crafted film.

OK, the special effects are very seventies, and in those days probably could even have been slightly better - but if the filmmakers decided to spend whatever budget they had rather on great actors than on the effects, I would say this was money well spent. This is a good story that borrows a little here and there, but never crosses any line of plagiarism as so many recent Hollywood productions get away with shamelessly. Adding a lot of itself and a rather disturbing atmosphere (which is enhanced by Saxon's brilliant acting) this results in a very enjoyable and sometimes frightening horror movie.

Beyond boring. (IMDB: 2)

On: 8/28/2004 12:00:00 AM By: The Bronson Fan
Totally boring movie about a man and his wife who move into a house or villa and soon his wife becomes possessed with the spirit of an evil one who once dwelled within its walls. As the possession takes hold more people and friends of theirs begin to die, many in rather unintentional humorous ways. So her husband (John Saxon) wants her back and consults a local "spiritual healer" to help defeat the evil one. After confrontation he gets his wife back. This movie is a waste of time unless your looking for some laughs. Truly bad and stupid with special effects that are poor even for the time. Some notable funny moments the eye lasers, mans car falls apart then explodes (laughable), man gets crushed with pile of junk, and a rather fake looking devil doll that tries to possess his wife. Saxon is cool and works with what he has, but that's not much leading to a typical turkey that belongs where i saw it... in the middle of the night. 2 out of 10 stars avoid this bore.

Beyond Evil is bad but funny. (IMDB: 6)

On: 1/11/1999 12:00:00 AM By: Whovian
This is really quite an awful movie, but there are a number of moments when it is so awful you can't help but laugh. See the badly animated green laser eyes! See the car which explodes before hitting the ground! Hear the man explain to his wife that the accident at work occurred when a crane "came out of nowhere!" I definitely recommend this film if you like bad movies.