Evil Come, Evil Go/Widow Blue/Oh, You Beautiful Doll!
Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
Released on: January 7th, 2014.
Director: Walt Davis
Cast: Cleo O'Hara, Sandra Henderson, Alex Elliot, Susan Wescott, John Holmes, Billy Lane, Sandy Carey
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Vinegar Syndrome offers up a twisted triple feature of Walt Davis directed X-rated goodness with their release of Evil Come, Evil Go which just so happens to be paired with the considerably more explicit Widow Blue and the completely off the wall Oh, You Beautiful Doll!, all three movies completely uncut and looking better than they ever have before.
Here’s a look at what you’ll find included on the two discs that make up this crazed collection of cinematic filth…
EVIL COME, EVIL GO:
First up is Evil Come, Evil Go, the easiest to find of the three movies in this set as it was previously released on DVD by Something Weird Video (who paired it with Terror At Orgy Castle and The Hand Of Pleasure). The story introduces us to Sister Sarah Jane (Clea O’Hara), a religious zealot who we first see walking through an empty countryside. Soon enough she picks up a truck driver and after making him think he’s going to get lucky, she murders him.
From here, Sister Sarah heads to Las Angeles where she meets up with a lesbian named Penny (Sandra Henderson) who makes a donation to her cause – that’d be ridding the Earth of evil, evil men. Before you know it, Penny is putting Sarah up and even about to bank roll her proposed TV show in hopes of bringing her message to a wider audience. This, of course, after Sarah initiates Penny by tying her to a bed and stripping her. Together they take out a couple of unlucky losers but things turn south when Penny’s lover, Junie (Jane Tsentas) shows up. It seems Penny just can’t quit her, but Sarah’s sway over Penny is strong and she’s not about to just walk away from all of this…
Filled with some great fire and brimstone preaching, a few H.G. Lewis style cheapjack gore effects (reportedly coordinated by one John Curtis Holmes – who is also credited as a pool player we see in the background of one scene and as assistant director!) and plenty of skin, Evil Come, Evil Go owes an obvious debt to Night Of The Hunter but eschews that movie’s slick style in favor of delightfully crass exploitative elements. There are a few lengthy sex scenes here that get close to hardcore territory but never quite cross that line, though they serve more to pad out the movie’s running time than to actually arouse (Rick Cassidy pops up in one of them). Throw in an inexplicable guitar player who seems to pop up at random and serenade Sarah, a few great scenes where O’Hara’s crazed preacher interrupts a few couples in the midst of coitus and some great footage capturing the seedier side of early seventies Hollywood and it’s easy to see why this one would have the cult following that it does.
O’Hara’s performance here is what holds all of this together. She’s pretty over the top throughout the entire movie but somehow it suits the picture perfectly. As she struts about, typically dressed in Sunday finery and shouting about in a drawn out southern accent, it’s pretty much impossible to take your eyes off of her. She definitely commits to the part and blows everyone else in the picture out of the water with her insane enthusiasm and scenery chewing antics. Great stuff.
The second movie on the disc was also released by Something Weird Video under the Sex Psycho title (and then later The Demon In Miss Jones, sans credits, something corrected with this release, and yes, the music is untouched here). Made in 1970, it’s a hardcore picture that breaks pretty much every ‘taboo’ you can think of and for the era in which it was made, it was and still is pretty strong stuff.
The movie follows Nick (Alex Elliott), a grouchy slob of a man who is married to a woman named Elise (Sandy Dempsey). Their marriage is not a happy one, neither seems into the other and there’s a whole lot of bitching and complaining going on so it’s really not much of a shock to learn that Elise is sleeping around with another man (Rick Cassidy). Nick’s also got a secret lover in the form of Eva Blue (Susan Wescott) who happens to be married to a guy named Jerry (played by the director) who is screwing around on her with his brother-in-law Marshall (Charles Lish)!
All of this probably sounds like a soap opera, right? Well, that changes when Nick shows up with a giant meat cleaver and whacks Jerry while he’s in the middle of doing the deed with Marshall. Eve watches, gets covered in blood, and becomes so instantly horny over all of this that she needs to both Nick and Marshall right then and there, after which they try to get rid of Jerry’s corpse (that Eva also gets with!). From here, the three of them intend to flee to Brazil but the unexpected arrival of swinging couple Ron (John Holmes) and Lisa (Andy Bellamy) throw that for a loop, and then there’s the unexpected arrival of Nick’s wife Elise. This won’t end nicely for anyone.
Necrophilia, incest, genital dismemberment, hardcore gay and straight sex, cheap gore scenes, bad library music, no production values and a seemingly omnipresent big black coffin make this one for the books. Having more in common with Hardgore than anything deliberately sexy, this is a trash film of the highest order, a filmic exercise in bad taste that seems to have been made with one thing in mind – shock value. At the same time, there’s very definitely a sense of humor behind all of this, or so it would seem. There has to be, right? You can’t really go into this one expecting to take it seriously….
The cast are good here. Davis and Lish are more committed to their parts (ha!) than you might expect while Dempsey, who isn’t given as much to do as some of the others, is also fun to watch. She’s made up to look nerdy and frumpy but still manages to retain her beauty despite the best efforts of the makeup artist. Alex Elliott gets to really go for it here, chewing scenery and wielding that cleaver with a ridiculous amount of gusto. It’s fast paced and definitely quirky. Definitely one of a kind. Keep your eyes and ears open for flubbed lines and some ridiculously shoddy directorial slips throughout the movie as well!
OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL!:
Last but not least, on the second disc in the set we get this effort from 1973, also released previously by Something Weird Video and by After Hours Cinema as well. The film once again stars Clea O’Hara, this time as ‘The Doll,’ an aging actress named Gaye Ramon who isn’t quite ready to accept the fact that her better days are behind here. She runs an acting school out of her house but seems to always look a mess. Although she parades about in clothes that were once obviously quite ornate, now they’re raggedy looking and her makeup seems to be applied too heavily and is more often than not smeared across her face. Think The Beales Of Grey Gardens and you’re on the right track.
Her latest student is Buck (Billy Lane), a younger guy who is on the outs with his girlfriend, Virginia (Jill Sweete), something Gaye isn’t above taking advantage of. Also hanging about her house is a director named Rodney LeCoq (Keith Erickson) who manages to convince a few lovely young ladies to ‘audition’ for him as he rolls his camera and struts about, hard on at the ready, like a peacock. Buck’s lady shows up again later, hoping to screw him back to loving her, and when Gaye gets upset over this, claiming that she was once the best cocksucker in Hollywood, it’s up to Rodney to man up and save the day. Andy Bellamy and Sandy Carey both pop up here too.
The lesser of the three films in the set, this is still a pretty entertaining softcore effort from Davis loaded with plenty of over the top acting and seemingly intentional camp value. Sort of a cross between some of Warhol’s productions and Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, this film works best as a showcase for O’Hara, who once again carries the film with a remarkably energetic performance. Looking like something out of an early John Waters picture, she’s pretty mesmerizing to watch here and she acts circles around everyone else in the cast. Too his credit, Erickson is pretty charged up here too, but this is O’Hara’s show pretty much all the way.
The story isn’t particularly deep but it is fun to overanalyze it and wonder how much of it is a well-aimed pot shot at the Hollywood film establishment that the likes of Davis and O’Hara never got to be a part of. There’s a layer cynicism here that makes this more than just a softcore skinflick but which instead almost feels like an angry anti-Hollywood statement of sorts. The dialogue, much of which seems to have been made up on the spot, is occasionally vitriolic and the statement that it makes about the treatment of aging starlets is hard to miss. It’s not quite as insane as the first two movies in the collection but in many ways it’s more interesting, particularly as it was one of the last pictures that Davis would direct.
All three movies are presented in 1.33.1 fullframe transferred from the original negatives and for the most part all three movies look pretty good here. Some small splices and scratches pop up here and there as well as some minor specks but detail is good and colors look excellent. What we wind up with here are some nice, film-like transfers taken from materials that were culled from less than perfect sources but which still look very nice. Texture is strong throughout and there are no issues with compression artifacts, noise reduction or edge enhancement. Colors also generally look really good here as well. These transfers are definitely much cleaner and far more colorful than the previous releases, there’s a very noticeable upgrade in quality here that fans of these movies will most certainly appreciate.
Each of the films gets a Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack, in English and without any optional language options or subtitles provided. Clarity of each mix is fine. There are some scenes that sound a bit flat in each of the three movies, but that’s obviously to do with the original recording. The scores sound good here and the levels are properly balanced. Any hiss or distortion that does creep into the mix is minor and not particularly distracting while the dialogue is consistently easy to understand and follow.
There are no extras on the first disc outside of static menus and chapter selection but the second disc contains a few supplements, the first and most interesting of which is a twenty-two minute long video interview with the legendary Bob Chinn. He speaks quite frankly about his involvement in these movies, what it was like working with both Walt Davis and Manuel Conde, how the famous Johnny Wadd collaborations with John Holmes came about, and some amusing stories about what the various cast and crew members got up to on these shoots. Chinn comes across as amiable and smart, he’s got a very good memory and has a knack for storytelling, which makes this quite a fun watch.
Outside of that, we also get a trailer for Evil Come, Evil Go and Oh, You Beautiful Doll! There are also roughly four minutes worth of outtakes from Widow Blue, most of which are taken from the murder scene. Static menus and chapter selection are included on disc two as well.
The Final Word:
Vinegar Syndrome’s triple dose of Walt Davis directed insanity should be a welcome addition to the DVD library of any self-respecting fan of trashy seventies low budget cinema. As twisted as they are sometimes very funny, each of the three movies here, while not for prudes, offers up sex and violence aplenty as well as some great location shooting and some interesting performances from various exploitation and porno movie stalwarts. The presentation is great and the extras quite welcome as well.