Editor’s note: This review originally appeared on Fangoria.com prior to a mass site overhaul that saw two years’ worth of work completely wiped away from the inner crevices of the net.
Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Jay Woelfel
Cast: Tim Thomerson, Mark Hengst, Åsa Wallander
On a mission to avenge his family, who was slaughtered by a rogue group of vampires in the distant past, The Priest (Tim Thomerson) travels rural regions in search of those who cast misery upon him so early in life. This band of bloodsuckers isn’t all too difficult to find. Their incessant thirst for blood leads to careless, and quite messy mistakes. Which, in turn leads to The Priest directly to this band of plasma thieves. It all comes down to one man, fire in heart battling a group of undead with a few secrets tucked carefully away. Who knows if God can help this priest out…
Here we deal with an inspired cast who clearly enjoyed themselves while filming the picture. The acting, action and gore are all so extremely far over-the-top, I can’t fathom being a part of this and not enjoying it. Tim Thomerson is absolutely perfect portraying the haunted priest, and I’ve got to say – he’s got some of the best one-liners I’ve heard in ages. Just wait for the dialogue in the baby scene… oh my. Mark Hengst (as Benedict) is convincing, while Asa Wallander (who plays Sydney) is absolutely perfect. Throw in producer Ken Foree (as the creepy Max) for good measure and you’ve got a cast that will hold your attention for a solid hour and a half.
Jay Woelfel did an impressive job containing a film that could have easily broke reigns. Performances, while oft tongue-in-cheek are clearly played for intention, the settings and overall environment hold versatility while being obviously limited, and the editing (courtesy of Jonathan Ammon) is convincingly impressive, though not awe inspiring. John Ellis and LSFX did a stellar job with the special effects, while the makeup effects who Amber Barrios, Rich Calderon and a handful of others handled is equally as gruesome. After viewing Live Evil I’m convinced this is one hell of a talented group of filmmakers.
What resonates with me personally is the crew’s willingness to cross so many boundaries. There are so many scenes in this film it’s a wonder it was able to be made, MPAA blessing or not. But the insanity of the film is what makes the film. The most taboo of concepts are approached in such a nonchalant manner it’s initially mind blowing. When the initial shock wears off however, it becomes one hell of a humorous experience. I’d like to highlight a few key scenes, but I think realistically it’s better to experience it, than to have it spoiled by some would-be critic. So, watch it.
In closing I’ll say this: Live Evil is one of the best independent films I’ve seen in quite some time. There’s a great vintage feel to the film, a cool twist on vampires, and a pretty damn stimulating twist to cap off an already morbidly embraceable film. It’s worth seeking out.