Friday, May 12, 2017

Where Evil Lives – review

Directors: Richard L. Fox, Stephen A. Maier & Kevin G. Nunan

Release date: 1991

Contains spoilers

Where Evil Lives is a portmanteau that is, for the most part, very silly but the vampire story - Midnight Date – actually works rather well as a vampire short.

The wraparound sees Blake Rutherford II (James Coffey) visiting a house with the intent to buy it. The realtor, Brandy Wine (Faye McKenzie), has to make a call and he gets speaking to caretaker Jack Devlin (Claude Akins, The Norliss Tapes & The Night Stalker) who tells him three tales of terror concerning the house. The first is a zombie (apparently) tale and the last a witch story but it is the middle story that interests us.

The story is narrated by the adult Jamie Davis (Played as a child by Beth McKenzie and as an adult by  Dawn Carlile). She and her brothers, Tim (Tom Croom) and Tom (Derick Martini, I think – he is listed on the credits as Tommy but missing from IMDb, and there is also a Tom listed in the credits, I assume the father shares his name), are hanging around the abandoned house and Tim is shooting at a bottle with a rifle (and missing). Jamie takes a shot and nails the bottle but Tim is now distracted by girlfriend Lori (Carol Rice). Tom and Jamie go for an explore of the house.

the comic
The voice over by the adult Jamie tells us that Tom is often rebellious and in trouble but she was just coming to terms with her gift of second sight. He explores upstairs but she was drawn by a book in the cellar. She finds it and it is a comic book about a succubus. She hears a woman, Diane (Jennifer Marie), asking for help and we can see it is a woman in lingerie – she says she sprained her ankle. Jamie knows it is a ploy and Diane is scared of the light edging into the cellar. Jamie leaves.

Tim gets overly frisky with Lori and she shrugs him off but offers to meet him at midnight at the house. He sneaks out but she fails to show and then he sees Diane through a window. He goes in the house, follows her into the cellar and she bites. All this is witnessed by Jamie, in a dream. When the cops show the next day, as he is missing, she tells them what happened – of course no one believes her. The cops do check the house but a vision keeps them out of the cellar.

Jamie convinces Tom to go and rescue their brother (despite a vision of Tom with a bloodied chest) and they prepare by getting a cross, sharpening stakes, making holy water balloons and stringing garlic garlands. Once in the house they see a sign painted on the wall in blood – “Welcome Home Jamie” – and become separated. Jamie is locked in a room with Tim, Diane suggesting he might wake up thirsty but, when he rises, he is scared off by the cross Jamie holds. However, as an older vampire Diane is not affected by the cross…

Jennifer Marie as Diane
And I’ll leave it there. As I say it was a nicely effective short. The kids did well enough and, whilst it did nothing too unusual – bar having one of the kids having second sight – it absolutely did nothing wrong either, bar perhaps the cop reaction when in the house but that can be overlooked. There is the common conflation of vampire and succubus but there is no mistaking Diane for anything other than a vampire – despite her using sexuality to lure a horny teenage boy!

As always, with a portmanteau, I am scoring for the vampire section only and it deserves a solid 6 out of 10, though the rest of the film varies very much in quality. The imdb page is here.

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