Evil Come, Evil Go

*1/2

Reviewed by: Jane Fae

Evil Come, Evil Go
"Not a film i'd recommend to anybody, unless late night, at a party, with a large bowl of popcorn and an audience prepared to laugh at it, not with it."

I shall start with a confession: and no, not that sort of confession. I really have not sat down and viewed that many actual porn films end to end. By which, I guess, I mean films whose primary objective is to have the viewer tuned in, turned on and, at some point, self-touching. Just occasionally, porn has played backdrop to parties, events I have attended. But sit and watch? Nah!

My tally is perhaps as many as two. During my last one, sometime back in the Eighties, I alternated laughing at the unlikely flares worn by the lead character and wiping sick off my shoes, courtesy of the drunk guy sat on the sofa next to me. Yes, it was that sort of a party.

So this – thank you, EyeForFilm! - makes it three.

And from what little I know of the genre, Evil Come, Evil Go, directed by Walt Davis, has all the hallmarks of genuine porn. Shaky hand held camera? Check. Camera noise over the dialogue? Check. Dodgy dialogue, excruciating acting, improbable plot? Check. Check. Check.

Yes, unlike more ambitious works from the period, like Flesh Gordon, Evil Come really is meant to be taken at face value.

It is the everyday story of hymn-humming religious fanatic 'Sister' Sarah Jane Butler (Cleo O'Hara), on a God-inspired crusade to rid the world of all those who have sex for pleasure.

The film opens with her seducing – then gutting - a random bloke-in-a-bar. One must assume for his lustful ways, though after catching a glimpse of the fashion-atrocity dungarees he is wearing, i'd argue he deserves to be massacred for his sartorial taste alone. Then it's on to LA where Sarah slaughters another useless man.

“What kind of a freak are you?” he wants to know, “singing hymns while i'm trying to give you head!” Still, he too deserves to die, as he inadvertently reveals in dialogue so clunky it could be recast as a seatbelt. For he is a bad boy, bigamist squared, and father to several children for whom he pays zero maintenance.

Squelch! Sarah stabs him mid-orgasm, then stays just long enough to scrawl 'God is Love, not Sex' on the mirror.

Events now take a turn to the kink side, as Sarah meets naïve lesbian Penelope aka Penny von Prut (Sandra Henderson) while out busking, and inducts her as first follower in "Sister Sarah's Sacred Order of the Sisters of Complete Subjugation". By way of initiation, Sarah ties her to her bed, strips her, and teases her with a knife...while singing a rousing chorus of Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

“I feel a strange compulsion to obey you,” admits Penny, before stripping and getting with the programme (which appears to be Sarah's plan to murder every man in the United States, given half a chance).

More of the same. Penny lures men with her sexy wiles. Much fumbling. Then Sarah appears with her knife, to stamp out the evil godlessness. The only slight departure from this routine is a bit of lesbian fumbling that takes place twixt Penny and ex-girlfriend Junie (Jane Tsentas), who – you guessed it – is shortly afterward garroted by Sarah. Mid-sex, obviously.

Cue credits. Cue incredibly cheesy guitar accompaniment to the film's theme, Evil Come, Evil Go with gobsmackingly awful lyrics such as

Sister Jane

You're insane

But you always pull it off and fly away

And with that, it is over. Praise the Lord!

I am guessing this is typical of soft porn of the era (1972). There is a fair amount of nakedness, a good deal of badly simulated sex, not an erection in sight - but apart from the occasional erect nipple, rather less actual genital detail than in the average Channel 4 game show. And about 10% as erotic!

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the film is the pubes on display, It is one thing to read how depilatory fashion has led to the shrinkage, if not total disappearance of pubic hair: quite another to be reminded of how truly hairy humans in the wild actually are.

As films go, it is not especially sexy. Sarah's southern belle religiosity is worth about five minutes' lampooning – but not the hour plus devoted to it here. Not a film i'd recommend to anybody, unless late night, at a party, with a large bowl of popcorn and an audience prepared to laugh at it, not with it.

Because there is a great deal to laugh at here.

Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2019
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A religious fanatic murders people who are engaging in sex and enjoying it.

Director: Walt Davis

Writer: Walt Davis

Starring: Cleo O'Hara, Sandra Henderson, Jane Tsentas, Rick Cassidy, Margot Devletian, Chesley Noone

Year: 1972

Runtime: 66 minutes

Country: US

Festivals:

SQIFF 2019

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