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Evil (Το Κακό) (2005)

31 March 2010 by Baldy No Comment
Evil (Το Κακό)

2005, dir. Yorgos Noussias
83 min., Rated R.
Starring: Mary Tsoni, Pepi Moschovakou, Argiris Thanasoulas
Review by Baldy

Believe it or not, Greece is not known for being a hive of zombies. Weird, I know, but once I thought about it I realized that aside from the mind of Dario Argento, Europe has been passed over by the really interesting movie monsters. If Godzilla waded up the Spanish coast, there is no correspondingly impressive monster to fight him off. There are vampires, sure, and a couple of werewolf legends, but you don’t start getting really interesting supernatural creature stories until you hit Ireland.

So Yourgos Noussias decides to make a movie about a zombie outbreak right in the heart of downtown Athens. Not a bad idea, really. There is no convenient shopping mall to barricade yourselves into. There is no open countryside to race across to get away from the walking dead. There is just a mazelike warren of narrow streets that reflects sounds in odd ways and makes people lose direction. In the middle of a crowded city, it’s easy to find yourself surrounded.

There is no Baron Samedi at work here, no weird plague, no botched government experiment. This time, it’s an evil spirit that is accidentally freed from a sealed cave (think Evil Dead meets Reign of Fire). Mr. Noussias is a Raimi fan and it shows – he imitates many of the shots Sam made famous. Anyway, the people who explored the cave go home and begin to feel sick a little later. Then a switch flips in their brains and they immediately fall upon their loved ones in a frenzy to consume human flesh. Here’s the cool part: That is the LAST time there is a grace period. After that, somebody gets bitten, wait a couple of heartbeats and WHAM! They’re eating your intestines. That’s kind of cool.

Here’s the bad stuff. The cinematography is really squirrelly. Though it’s not a great thing, I suppose that it KIND of works for the environment that our characters are in. The sound levels don’t remain constant, meaning that I had to keep changing the volume to be able to make out individual voices. The movie started as a pretty decent and serious zombie flick, but during a big fight in a restaurant it suddenly changed into pure camp. That killed most of the good feelings that I had built up about the movie.

Here’s the good stuff. They stick with the things that we love. There’s the requisite group of mismatched personalities working to settle conflicts between themselves while trying to not be eaten. There are flesh eaters in all kinds of interesting states of decay. Being that it’s set in Greece, there are some VERY attractive women in the film. Best of all, THE EFFECTS PEOPLE ROCK. They came up with some fantastic, unique and amusing ways to dispatch the walking dead. Though the movie takes a little while to reach cruising speed, once it gets going there is gore galore and by the buckets.

Was it a thoroughly professional production? Nope. What makes this movie worth watching? Aside from what I mentioned above, there is an intangible thing that makes the movie appealing. The director loves zombie films. It’s obvious. It’s like when Eli Roth did Cabin Fever – you could see the love and the homage paid to those who had gone before him. This guy LOVES the undead and he LOVES the gore and he LOVES being able to make money by showing you his story.

I won’t say it’s a must – it does have a lot of shortcomings – but to fans of zombie flicks this is a good idea.

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