A slow-build supernatural horror film in the vein of The Amityville Horror but set in Asia, Beyond Evil works pretty well for what it sets out to achieve, and with some wild in-your-face special effects (there’s some serious laser-eye action in the climax!) and some icky prosthetic make-up work, the film is a success for fans of late ’70s, early ’80s horror films.
An architect and his wife move to the Philippines, but find that the beautiful home they purchase is haunted.
Well-to-do architect Larry (John Saxon in great shape) and his wife Barbara (Lynda Day George) relocate to the Philippines, with plans set in place to move into a brand new apartment complex a friend of theirs has been designing, but instead of the apartment complex, they are “gifted” a hundred year-old mansion worth much more than the apartment they were planning on. They are both delighted and can’t believe their good fortune, but the locals know that the home used to be inhabited by a beautiful blonde woman with supernatural powers who met with a bad end when her lover poisoned and murdered her. The witch then rose from the grave to take her vengeance on her lover and her spirit has lain dormant … until now. When Larry and Barbara move in, the witch’s vengeful spirit possesses Barbara incrementally, causing her to be a little loopy at first (hairdo changes, odd behavioral patterns), but then Larry (who’s been warned by some locals that they need to leave ASAP) realizes that his wife hasn’t been right since they moved in. A serious wound to one of her hands is the first indication that Barbara has been targeted, but when one of their closest friends is found dead near the house (possessed version of Barbara pushed him from the roof), Larry has to do everything he can to save his wife from certain doom before it’s too late.
A slow-build supernatural horror film in the vein of The Amityville Horror but set in Asia, Beyond Evil works pretty well for what it sets out to achieve, and with some wild in-your-face special effects (there’s some serious laser-eye action in the climax!) and some icky prosthetic make-up work, the film is a success for fans of late ’70s, early ’80s horror films. There are some gross-out gore gags and a solid, moody score by Pino Donaggio, and so this one is a cut above the average exploitation film. Herb Freed directed this, and with his next film Graduation Day he proved that he was a solid horror filmmaker.
Troma’s new Blu-ray of Beyond Evil basically reissues Vinegar Syndrome’s virtually identical release with a strong high definition transfer, plus a bunch of choice bonus features, all of which were showcased on VS’s pressing. Special features include an interview with the producer, an interview with the author of the story, an interview with the director, and some trailers. This disc is more affordable than the Vinegar Syndrome release, so there’s that.