Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century is a look back at the weirdest, most memorable, and most off center movies of the 20th century. From head turning horror to oddball science fiction, this column examines the films that will leave a lasting impression for centuries to come.
Evils of the Night is a 1985 exploitation film that pays homage to the sci-fi Martian invasion movies of the 1950’s. There is a flying saucer, sometimes monsters, an empty hospital run by Martians, beach parties, and because it’s the 80’s there is nudity. Evils of the Night does not make much sense, but that’s not necessary when you also have Aldo Ray, John Carradine, Julie Newmar, and a team of adult film stars in supporting roles. This week’s strange and fantastic tale is none other than Mardi Rustam’s Evils of the Night.
Like any horror film of the 80’s, it’s not unusual to find young couples absconding to remote corners of the woods for intimacy. It is, however, unusual to find couples going to Pound Town out in the open right by other couples. This is how we know we’re in for a different kind of movie. Couples strip down and rid themselves of any inhibitions only to be interrupted by a strange vacuum like device/creature that ruins the fun. It’s not clear what this is, but it makes several appearances.
What is known is that a spaceship has landed and aliens are abducting local teens and taking them to a nearby hospital where they perform experiments. When the vacuum monster is not working for them (maybe it’s taking a break?), two bumbling mechanics help with the abductions. Why? They were promised Martian gold.
Mechanics and naked people aside, there are three standout performances. Heather (Bridget Holloman), Connie (G.T. Taylor), and Brian (David Hawk) are three friends who because of their single status seem to always be thrust together. Brian jokes and teases the girls and flirts with them in a manner that makes them laugh. They have the majority of the dialogue since they are the only characters who do not engage in any of the fooling around. These three characters wind up in the worst kind of danger and have to work together to save each other. By the time the film reaches the end, viewers are rooting for this team and want their success. However, these almost final girls do not reach the finale.
None of this film makes any sense, but you will enjoy it the whole way through. The film will delight and amuse and it may even frighten. Lose some clothing and check out this week’s strange tale Evils of the Night.
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