A writer and an exorcist team up to battle Satan and a group of Devil worshipers.
Release Date: 22 May 1977 (USA)
Director: Paul Wendkos
Writer: Jimmy Sangster
Cast: Dack Rambo, Elyssa Davalos, Richard Lynch
One of the things that changed during the 1970’s was the horror movies. Previous to the 70’s most horror movies featured a Gothic or surreal theme. Previous to this decade the average horror movie featured characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Phantom of the Opera. Horror movies relied on dark lighting, dramatic music, and thick makeup. During the seventies movie makers and watchers became less interested in monsters and turned to a more realistic horror movie. Another trend movie goers started to notice in the 1970’s is that female characters were often subjected to sexual exploitation.
A good example of this new type of horror movie is Good Against Evil. This movie does an excellent job at frightening viewers, but also adds a little romance to the storyline.
Good Against Evil was released to the public on May 22, 1977. The promotional tag line for the movie was “she became Satan’s plaything.” The movie’s plot is simple. In an attempt to get a story, news anchor Andy Stuart pairs up with a priest who specializes in exorcisms. Together the pair attempts to stop a group of diligent Devil worshipers and find themselves facing Satan.
In addition to Andy’s adventures with the devil worshipers, the movie is also about Jessica Gordon. When she is born, Jessica’s father, the leader of cult, promises his daughter to Satan as his bride. Jessica and Andy become involved after a car accident. They fall in love, and plan to marry, but before that can happen, Jessica is kidnapped by members of her father’s cult and hypnotized. The plan is that the hypnosis will prevent her from remembering Andy, allowing her wedding to the devil to proceed. This is the series of events that gets Andy involved with the priest and leads to him battling evil.
The film does everything a good horror movie is supposed to do. While you are watching it the suspense causes your heart to pound and sweat to drip down your back. It is impossible to pull your eyes away from the screen. After the credits roll you will still be jumpy and probably opt to sleep with the lights on. The movie is an example of how good acting, strong writing, and an insightful director can all come together and create a marvelous work of cinematic art.
The only caveat people have Good Against Evil is the ending. The movie end abruptly. The reason for this is that during the filming of the movie, the cast and crew were hoping that the movie would be picked up as a television series. Everyone wanted to leave enough storyline for further episodes. Sadly the television deal never panned out, and Good Against Evil never became anything more than a really good movie.
The screen play for Good Against Evil was penned by Jimmy Sangster. Jimmy’s vision was brought to life by director Paul Wendkos. The part of Andy Stevens was played by Dack Rambo, and Dan O’Herlihy portrayed Father Kemschler. Elyssa Davalos plays Jessica Gordon.