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Review: FACE OF EVIL (2016)

Jay Williams (Scott Baxter) has had enough of war and killing. Returning home from deployment in the Middle East on, fittingly enough, July 4th he just wants to move on with his life. But Death isn’t done with him. Now he must come face to face with the FACE OF EVIL to save humanity.

After coming home and moving in with his sister Katy (Jamie Bernadette THE 4/20 MASSACRE, THE BONE BOX). He’s obviously having issues adjusting to back to civilian life. Thinking it’ll cheer him up his friends throw him a party, even his ex Jenny (Janet Roth) shows up. But things soon go to hell as his friends turn into insatiable killing machines.

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The party turns into a massacre and Jay is saved by the sudden appearance of his former CO, Sarge (Chad Bishop, ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR). The film turns into a road trip as they race to get their hands on the cure for the epidemic responsible for the carnage. One that has a direct connection to them.

FACE OF EVIL wants to make some points about PTSD and other problems returning veterans have to cope with. The problem is the script can barely keep its main story going, let alone subtext. It takes forever for the zombies to show up. Then almost immediately they get pushed into the background as the plot goes into road trip/conspiracy mode. The end isn’t particularly unexpected and still manages to be confusing. Writer/director Vito Dinatolo really needed to have picked a main thread and kept the focus on it.

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As bad as the script is, the acting is frequently worse. Jamie Bernadette gives a solid performance as always and Scott Baxter is good as Jay. Apart from that though the performances range from bad to horrible, especially the actors playing his friends at the party. The combination of bad dialogue and worse delivery make some of the scenes painful to watch. Especially when a couple of Jay’s buddies tell him to take advantage of Jenny when she passes out.

The film’s poster boasts a long list of festivals FACE OF EVIL played and I have to question their acceptance standards. Even on a technical level, it has problems. The copy I saw kept glitching, my screen turning solid green for several seconds at a time.

Gravitas Ventures has released FACE OF EVIL on VOD and DVD.

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