The Friday Night Horror Movie: Evils of the Night (1985)

evils of the night poster

I’m fascinated by the careers of classic film stars late in their lives. Every now and again an aging star will land a wonderfully juicy film role, but mostly they found themselves in cheesy television shows as guest stars, or in low-budget horror films, slumming.

Julie Newmar, Neville Brand, Aldo Ray, John Carradine, and Tina Louise weren’t exactly the biggest stars of their day, but they made some good movies and starred in some enjoyable TV shows in their prime. They deserve better than this.

I watched Evils of the Night primarily based on that cast list and the basic plot description that involves vampire aliens kidnapping attractive young people for their blood.

I should have just gone to bed early.

I’m a fan of bad movies. I love the so-bad-its-good genre of cinema. This film doesn’t deserve to be called bad. It’s terrible.

The first twenty minutes find a bunch of sexy teens frolicking at a lake and sexing on the beach. Some dudes in ski masks (Neville Brand and Also Ray) snatch some of them and take them back to a hospital where Tina Louise, John Carradine, and Julie Newmar attempt to extract their blood, but not actually kill them.

It is never quite clear what they need the blood for, only that it has to come from healthy young people (but not too young) and that they can’t have any bruising (which is a problem for them because the guys is ski masks keep beating the kids up before they bring them in.) There is some business about the bosses screwing up by landing them in this small town where there aren’t enough healthy youngsters or intelligent minions to make their plan work. But nothing is really explained.

It is a weird mix of ’80s boner comedy and slasher horror with a bit of sci-fi alien story mixed in. But it feels completely thrown together with very little thought or effort put into it. For example during the numerous sex scenes, everybody keeps their shoes on and the guys never even unbutton their pants (the girls, including porn stars Crystal Breeze and Amber Lynn, naturally, get completely naked). The masked dudes wear masks to conceal their identities, but also overalls with their names on them. The spaceships come from clips stolen from the original Battlestar Galactica series (the poster includes a slightly modified Millenium Falcon).

One imagines they blew their entire budget on the stars and then just slapped something together fast and cheap hoping to recoup their money based on name recognition alone.

Please, do everyone a favor and don’t watch this film. It is bad enough that I had to.

4 thoughts on “The Friday Night Horror Movie: Evils of the Night (1985)

  1. Your description of this reminded me of a film I saw recently. It was a 1979 tv movie called “Death Car on the Freeway,” about an unseen driver who targets young women driving alone on the LA freeway. It starred Shelley Hack, George Hamilton, and Peter Graves, and featured Frank Gorshin, Dinah Shore, and Abe Vigoda (in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him cameo).

    I was drawn in by all the stars of the 70s and the premise of the film. It actually wasn’t too bad overall, but it lost a lot of steam halfway through, when it became less about the Death Car and more about Shelley Hack’s character’s personal life. I found it on YouTube, if you’re interested.

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