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"Fear No Evil" combines two of my favorite genres: Horror and Hannah-Barberra animation. I did not expect the film to turn into a cartoon in the last ten minutes, but apparently the producers couldn't get any real special effects wizzards for the final confrontation between Satan and God's angels, so they got the animators from "The Wonder Twins." What starts as a bloody battle turns into mind-bogglingly bad laser beams that literally look like they were taken from a late 60's sci-fi film. The film then takes off into what one might call "Xanadu" territory," where the actors are no longer on film, and we see a series of lights flashing at the screen to crazy music. I guess the filmmakers were going for a "2001" type effect here, but what they got was a discount version of the old HBO animation they ran before movies in 1982.
The film is a mixture of pretentious, poorly-acted, poorly-scripted, and shoddily directed discussions about heaven and hell, with some brilliant early 80's high school scenes, set to the music of the Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, and The Ramones. It makes you wonder how a director who is so completely out of touch with how to make an interesting horror film could assemble such a brilliant soundtrack. The high school scenes are worth the rental: all the guys look like they're 30, all the girls have giant afros and yellow satin jackets, and the teachers have tweed jackets. The one stoke of genius on director Frank LaLoggia's part is to have a number of scenes with "general chatter," where people aren't really speaking any lines specific, but are just hubbub-ing very enthusiastically. The first time we see this LaLoggian touch is when baby Satan is born in 1963, and the proud father is handing out cigars to his buddy. They are babbling like a bunch of chimps, yet you cannot understand a word they're saying. It's amazing - you think they're speaking another language, it's just a lot of "Heeeeey! Wheeeeaaaay! Yaaaahaaaa! Cigar, cigar, cigar, whoooooaaaa hoooooo!" The next time is after a gym class, which apparently went so well that all the teens run into the locker room indecipherably yelling "whoo-hoo, alllriiiiight, yeeeeeah, gimme that locker, whooooaaaa hoooooo!"
This unique touch of Frank LaLoggia, a trademark in all two of his films, truly gives weight to the credit "A Frank LaLoggia Film" that appears before the main title. It definitely is, Frank. It definitely is.
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