Frank LaLoggia hasn’t had much of a career for some reason. He wrote and directed a fairly well respected movie in 1988 entitled Lady In White. I’ve yet to see it myself but will get to it someday. The only other movie that he both wrote and directed was 1981’s Fear No Evil. I myself had never heard of this movie before until stumbling upon it in a used bin at a local Blockbuster Video just before they went completely under. The only reasons I bought it were it was only $2.00 and it was made in 1981. These two things combined are guaranteed to get me to purchase any movie. After a quick scan of IMDB and reading the somewhat unfavorably reviews, I filed it and kind of forgot about it for over a year. The other day I took it out and gave it a hook.
The movie starts out with some whack scenes of an old man chasing what we assume is Lucifer. Not very intimidating for being the Prince of Darkness. He had a goatee and was not in the best of shape. When I think of Satan himself I picture Tim Curry in Legend (1985). Just a behemoth of pain and hate. Not a wimpy stage actor with some pubes on his chin. Anyway, the old man arrives at some evil, stone place by boat and I couldn’t help but notice the awesome arrangement of freshly lit candles everywhere. Lucifer is apparently a home maker. We’re also treated to several hanging animals. Never got that about devil worship. Why kill animals? Who the fuck are they hurting? They can’t even get it together enough to not shit on spot when they feel like it so why are they even a threat? That always pissed me off about Satan. Too much animal murder. Kill humans. Show your man. Don’t kill the somewhat defenseless animals who are just looking for a quick meal and a place to poop.
Above is how Satan looks in my head
So the old man is in this place with all the dead meat when from above a woman with demon eyes drops. The old man gives a pathetic head beating and she’s dead apparently. Tough. We are treated with some more views of Satan who now curiously looks like Jerry Only from The Misfits with the hair and what not. After the old man catches up with Satan he kills himself, turns into a girl for a minute for fuck knows what reason and he’s dead only to be reborn. Now, what’s the idea here? Satan, the grandmaster of pain and death gets chased by the old man and suddenly he declares he’ll be back and kills himself. A little weak don’t you think? I did. I’m already slipping into apathetic territory here but I’m hopeful. I keep watching because the movie does look like quality. LaLoggia does well with the camera and scenery. I can only assume with the script and how it looks he was a fan of The Omen. Who isn’t. For as slow as it is , it’s powerful and Gregory Peck is awesome in his decent into son-murdering madness.
Jerry Only from The Misfits
We’re now magically whisked away to 1963 and we see a man choking on a stogie. He’s just had his son born and the boys make him smoke the tobaccy pole for shits and giggles. Fast forward a few months (I guess 4 months as I’m not sure what the time is normally for Baptising. My daughter was about 3 to 4 months) and the baby is getting baptised. As the water is poured blood pours from the baby terrifying all involved. Over the next 18 years we hear scenes of the parents turning on each other. Something is alluded to the child being the cause of them turning on themselves. On Andrew’s, their son, 18th birthday the parents try to give Andrew a cake. They instantly start fighting once the cake falls and then Andrew’s mother takes an iron to the head. I believe this gives her brain damage and a shitty, small role to play in the movie for the actress.
Here we jump to Andrew’s school. This is where the movie kind of takes a turn into the feel of a slasher movie. Just with the typical school crowd. As we’re scanning the halls we see the janitor, who is black as I guess black people were only janitors back then, and spews out the funniest line in the movie. A woman walks by and all he says is, “oooo I like the look of that”…. Seriously? The only black man in the film has that as his line? No wonder black people hate white people. They finally get through the years of slavery, fight for all the civil rights in the 60’s and end up being regulated to the janitor roles in movies. Janitors that make inappropriate remarks to high school girls no less. Fuck…I want to kill some honkeys right now myself.
After that amazing intro we’re introduced to the way older than high school cast. I’m saying late 20’s early 30’s too old. Terrible casting. We’re also treated to I Don’t Like Monday by The Boomtown Rats in the background. How blatant. School kids…Monday…hate them…fuck off. I hate Bob Geldof. He’s a twat, as the British say. Never liked a thing he’s done and Russell Brand hit the nail on the head a few years ago when he was hosting an awards show and Geldof was up next. He said something about living off I Don’t Like Mondays and it’s true. Other than that song, who even remembers a BoomTown Rats or Geldof song ? I don’t. And if you do, stop reading and go listen to a BoomTown Rats song in the corner by yourself. I will not take anything you say seriously and might resort to bullying you with a Slayer album or something.
Fuck Bob Geldof
With the popularity of Grease a few years earlier (I’m wondering if LaLoggia is possibly gay. I’ve read that there was penis in this movie and that it had gay undertones. It does so I wonder if the rumors are true. Not that I care in the least, just wondering.) we’re introduced to the teen, Grease wannabe’s The Bees. Matching jackets and all. We then hear the Sex Pistols in the back. I guess they were played to represent the delinquent youths you are about to be introduced to. As time passes, I have less and less respect for the Pistols. Love the album but I don’t really buy into Johhny “I was a hair dresser before The Pistols” Rotten’s bullshit anymore. I did when I was younger but not so much now. For a guy that’s so against “the system” he seems to care an awful lot about what people think about him.
We are introduced to an old lady. Apparently she’s the reincarnation of one of the angels tracking Lucifer. He and the old man from the start take human form from time to time to hunt Satan. The old man was accused of murder and died in jail from what I gather. The story surrounding the old people who are angels is a bit sketchy at times. I felt that whenever there were scenes with them, although they are obviously integral to the movie, it bogged down. This movie feels like it never knew what it wanted to be. The Omen, or more specifically The Omen 2, or a slasher movie. I think it’s failing in both categories but I’m still into it.
Back to the teens…
We meet the tough, rebel of the movie Tony. He is shown as being a bit of a crazy bastard and hateful. He slaps around his girlfriend, Queen B in the gang, and smokes , drinks and talks back. A real badass I guess.
Skipping around a bit here Andrew does some psychedelic stuff at an alter that goes nowhere. Tony tries later to get Andy high, but he says he doesn’t need it. Evil high is way better that weed high. I can see that actually.
Next we have the oh so blatant, unnecessary homosexuality of the locker room scene. Tony and the boys come in and start taunting the uncaring Andrew about kissing him etc. Tony turns him around and they lock lips…..No idea why but Tony has a homophobic freak out. Talking about “no one saw that” etc. It was a weird scene. Not because of content but it has no real connection with what’s going on. Why put this in here and have it go basically nowhere? Is this implying Tony is gay or was this LaLoggia’s idea of getting back at the bully? Too weird and that way of thinking definitely dates the film.
There’s also another girl introduced. She is an object of affection for Andrew but she already has a boyfriend. I never fully grasped her importance in the movie either. Hell…I didn’t even catch her name. She has a weird dream and Andrew appears in her bed. I think she likes it but I’m not sure. Andrew has some weird skin on his back. Not make up but actual weird stuff on his back in real life. Just thought I’d mention that as it may have been the scariest thing in the movie. That and the abundance of male ass is frightening. I’m starting to believe the homoerotic undertones. Again, not that I care it’s just really up front and in my face at this point. The girl ends up getting bad cuts on her back in bed from Andrew and when she’s checking them out in the mirror she sees herself as old. Are we alluding to the fact that this girl will someday be the replacement for the old lady? Maybe. I’m not really caring but cool. Keep givin’ ‘er.
Next we get to the gym class scene. Andrew shows up late and is forced to do push ups and sit ups while the class plays dodgeball. As the game goes on the coach acts like a savage screaming “Get ‘em” . Great psychotic performance by the actor. His rage is being conjured up by Andrew on the sidelines. The Coach gets a ball and throws it so hard it kills one of the kids. The coach is stunned. I’m happy there’s finally some more blood in this tepid flick. The boy killed is the girl from the dream sequence boyfriend. Convenient.
Skip ahead to the old lady praying against Lucifer, Andrew having a swing in a tree swing, some shaking by Andrew and the old lady getting pelted in the head. Ho-hum…my bum.
The girl decides to visit the old lady. Can anyone tell me why the girl always looks dirty. Like straight up dirt marks on her face. Where’s the make up department? She does some over acting when meeting with the old lady.
Cut to Andrew killing a dog. Again, why the dog. He was cool catching sticks and shit. Why kill him? For the record, that dog looked awfully real. I certainly hope it wasn’t. Andrew does some overacting after drinking the dog’s blood.
Cut to old lady talking to the priest who thinks she’s a wacko. He’s too busy planning his 33rd year of directing the town play for the Passion of the Christ. This fuckin’ guy takes himself way too seriously. Well…maybe not. He’s like every other Catholic priest I’ve ever met. Way too into themselves.
Cut to the towns folk arriving for the play. It’s hilarious. The guy playing Jesus comes in and kids surround and hug him like he’s Mick Jagger or something. He gives this, “Happens all the time” look. I now have the urge to punch Jesus in the lips. Ever get that feeling?
Tony reveals he has a gun and isn’t afraid to use it. Cut back to ol’ Andrew’s dad who is whining about his son being the devil and all that. Now we see Andrew raising the dead. He calls up Beelzebub and Leviathon to take human form and rise from the dead, to which they do as bumbling zombies. Apparently, LaLoggia didn’t want this and he had to add in zombies somehow and the discretion of producers because zombies were hot at the time. So this movie just turned into a zombie/demon movie. Ugh.
Some lobby cards
The play is happening in the town. Tony’s crew steal a boat from some fisherman. He’s cool though and just gives it up and drinks the beer they gave him. More ridiculous Andrew shaking and cut back to Andrew’s dad. He walks in where his wife, who is now really confused and weird because of the iron to the head , is sitting. I don’t fucking have a clue why but she has cobwebs coming from her head to the surrounding furniture. I understand she’s a vegetable but cobwebs on her head? That’s fucking awful. You might hate her, Andrew’s Dad, but you could at lest dust her once in a while. Wait…he really hates her….he comes in and shoots her in the head. Grim.
Now the fit starts hitting the shan. Everyone at the play starts bleeding. Jesus is really crucified and the crowd goes wild. Not good wild but hysterics wild.
Back on the island where the kids are, Tony talks to his Queen B about protecting her. The zombies comes, Tony bolts, Queen B is murdered. Tony picks up another girl and they split. Also on the island are the girl and the old lady in hot pursuit of Andrew.
Back to Tony. Poor Tony. For some reason, Andrew makes him grow tits. Tony loses his mind and stabs himself to death. End of Tony.
Andrew has Tony’s other girl now, kills he and the old lady arrives not in the nick of time with her staff of light to attack Andrew. These scenes are anti-climactic and predictable. Andrew fights but is driven back by the girl with the staff. The old lady dies and the girl is now the one. A crazy light show and that’s it for Lucifer. Driven back somewhere I guess.
Roll straight into credits.
This movie had some cool ideas but was trying ever so hard to be Damien: The Omen II which is a much superb film. Everything this movies wants to be is The Omen II. Why not skip it and rent Damien. It’s better than Part 1 and if you even remotely got entertained by this, you’ll love The Omen II
Performances: 5/10 Andrew and the final girl were over acting all over the place and it got annoying. The small roles were all played well with Tony being the stand out. Nothing to write home about here
Effects: 4/10 Nothing major at all. Severe lack of blood and budget hurt this one.
Direction: 4/10 LaLoggia didn’t know if he was making a slasher or a demon movie. The half assed script had several pointless scenes that just didn’t do it for me. It could have been so much more but wasn’t.
Pacing: 3/10 This movie crawled when any scene without Andrew happened. I never cared less about the old woman or her protégé. There were lots of plot holes and an enormous amount of clunk present.
Script: 2/10 So much lacking.
Overall: 3.5 / 10