6.8/10
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13 user 6 critic

A Taste of Evil (1971)

Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | TV Movie 12 October 1971
On her way home from a stay at a mental institution after a traumatic rape, a woman realizes that someone is deliberately trying to drive her insane.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Miriam Jennings
...
Susan Wilcox
...
Dr. Michael Lomas
...
Harold Jennings
...
John
...
Sheriff
Dawn Frame ...
Young Susan
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Storyline

On her way home from a stay at a mental institution after a traumatic rape, a woman realizes that someone is deliberately trying to drive her insane. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happened to little Susan was so horrible, she's been away for seven years. Now she's back...and so is the horror.

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Hauch des Bösen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Jimmy Sangster says on the audio commentary for the Anchor Bay DVD of The Horror of Frankenstein (1970) that producer Aaron Spelling thought "A Taste of Evil" was awfully similar to the earlier Sangster-scripted Scream of Fear (1961), a.k.a. "Scram of Fear". Sangster basically admitted that it was the same script, with characters and settings changed to American ones. See more »

Goofs

The year of the film is 1971. Susan has been away for seven years. That means that she left in 1964. The styles depicted in the beginning of the movie, which takes place in 1964 supposedly, are early seventies. Also, Barbara Perkins hair is very wavy. The actress who plays young Susan has very straight hair. And, the young girl's hairstyle is early seventies not sixties. Plus, Barbara Stanwyck's character seems to have not aged at all in seven years. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dateline NBC (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly disturbing
19 March 2016 | by (New York, NY, United States) – See all my reviews

"A Taste of Evil" focuses on a woman, Susan, who returns to her family estate after having been institutionalized following a sexual assault that she experienced as a young girl in the woods outside the home. Soon after arriving home, however, visions, flashbacks, and sinister occurrences galore begin to intrude on her life.

I was actually surprised by how darkly and disturbingly this film began—a young girl is sitting inside a playhouse built by her parents, isolated in the woods. As she draws a picture of her Raggedy Ann doll, a man enters the doorway, his features obscured by the sunlight. "Who are you?" she asks. The camera turns, the clatter of the table echoes through the scene, and the dolls are thrown across the room onto the bed as the girl screams bloody murder. Sound rough for a television film? I think so. Especially for being in the early seventies.

Based on Jimmy Sangster's Hammer-produced "Scream of Fear," "A Taste of Evil" was also scripted by Sangster, an produced by Aaron Spelling. Like all of the glorious made-for-television films of the decade, "A Taste of Evil" is wonderfully atmospheric, with its obvious staged interiors, as well as the moody photography of the mansion exteriors (John Llewellyn Moxey, who later directed the phenomenal Christmas horror tele-flick, "Home for the Holidays," directs here with a keen eye on mood). There are some fantastic scenes in the woods post-Susan's return, as well as nightmarish sequences and appearances of her apparent assailant.

The film benefits greatly from having a phenomenal cast; Barbara Stanwyck leads as the matriarch, while Barbara Parkins is adequately emotive as the unstable woman. Neither performances are award-worthy by any means, but both manage to muster an appropriate chemistry. Roddy McDowall is a welcome presence as the psychiatrist, and William Windom is sleazy and sinister as Susan's drunken stepfather.

Overall, this is an enjoyable and at times legitimately suspenseful film. It is also daring enough to tackle such a topic as child rape, and the understated yet unflinchingly brusque opening sequence establishes a no-holds-barred attitude from the outset. The film's plot twists are also surprisingly wicked. An enjoyable watch for a rainy evening; recommended highly to fans of the made-for-television horror and thriller films of the 1970s. 8/10.


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