There’s been a small boom in genre films set in a police station in the past few years, films like THE TRAVELER, INKUBUS, and THE LAST SHIFT. Shot in 2015, LIVE EVIL seems to have been an attempt to parody them. I say seems because the results are so muddled it’s really hard to tell exactly what’s going on. It’s sad because there’s the germ of a good film in here, but it’s lost in a sea of unexplained events and odd style choices.
Beginning with an extended credit scene that is in color, the film abruptly switches to black and white as the story begins, (it switches back to color equally abruptly near the halfway point). It starts in an effectively creepy sequence as Deputy Hancock (Charlene Amoia A DEMON WITHIN, VITALS) responds to call and finds dead bodies and a strange, naked girl who remains silent but doesn’t resist being clothed or cuffed and arrested.
Placed in a cell strange thing begin happening, people see her as different people, none of them good. The other prisoners begin to transform into glowing-eyed zombie-like creatures, a transformation that will begin to spread to the townsfolk as well.
Not a bad plot, certainly one with potential, the script is a total mess. There is no real backstory, things just happen, people know odd but crucial things with no explanation how or why leaving the viewer constantly wondering what is going on. Now if the comedy had managed to kick in it might have saved it, made it all into a chaotic, madcap farce. But it doesn’t, the attempts at humor repeatedly fall flat, horribly, painfully flat.
The film does have it’s good points, the zombies, (who can fire guns and ride Harleys), with their glowing green eyes are creepy, Amoia gives a great performance in the lead and Tony Todd (CANDYMAN, THE DEBT COLLECTOR) is amusing in yet another extended cameo.
But overall writer/director Ari Kirschenbaum (FABLED, BATSHIT CRAZY) totally drops the ball here. If he’d at least set up a few clichés to explain the backstory and then spoofed them, like the much funnier BONEJANGLES did he might have still had something watchable, but even this was too much effort apparently.
LIVE EVIL will be available on Amazon this Halloween 10/31 with other platforms to follow.