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I saw this little bootlegged DVD at the local mom and pop discount
store for $1.99 and was attracted by the title. It was released under
the title "Eternal Evil" and the distribution company that released
this feature isn't even on the box, if that means anything (the back of
the DVD only reads, "(c) 2005 Mircale Pictures a division of PMC Corp.
De.") I read the synopsis and thought it would be rather interesting
... then i read the credits and find that this film was directed by
none other than George Mihalka - - the director behind the cult fave &
horror classic "My Bloody Valentine" (which is in my top five of all
time, by the way). Well, the premise is great, but it doesn't quite
deliver the way it should. There are loops in the plot and the story
tends to d-r-a-g in places. Not to mention the forty minutes in the
film where I was completely lost as to where the story was going. There
are scenes that don't make sense and don't cohere with the story line,
also. The final "twist" of the film was satisfying, if I can use the
term loosely. I guessed it wrong though, even during the exact moment
in the film where you can pretty much tell how it will end...lol. The
opening sequence is very effective, and it's one of the few highlights
of the film itself. I read somewhere that this was a made-for-TV movie,
which would explain the lack of gore and the absence of any type of
foul language for a film of this nature. Oh yes, the soundtrack wasn't
all that great for the film, but there are one or two scenes where the
music shifts in the direction that masters Goblin did with "Suspiria"
back in '77 to get your attention. I was sorry that didn't last any
longer than it did.
All in all, this isn't a bad film, but it's not as great as I was hoping from the director of a great classic like MBV.
My god! The Horror! Don't have the guts to see this twice.
Where to begin....
Now it begins with a man (Paul Sharpe played by Vincent Rekert) having an astral projection (a.k.a. an out of body experience like a disembodied soul). He is hovering over the farm of his father in law.
He is woken up by his young son just as he was being observed and recognized by his father in law.
Paul is a director, directing commercials. Previously he directed a documentary film about Australian Aboriginal long distance communication by astral projection. He interviews an elderly couple who have been using this process to find younger bodies for themselves as they grow old and wear out their existing bodies. The explain this process to the man in detail. They say that they have lived for thousands of years hence the alternate title of the film Eternal Evil.
What Paul doesn't realize is the elderly couple's secret agenda.
Very good plot. Very well acted and directed. This film wisely avoids over the top special effects.
In short: an eye-opening film. You will never look at people the same way again.
10 out of 10. You're lucky if you own it on DVD.
Other recommendations: 1. Out of the Body (1989). 2. The Astral Factor (1976). 3. Fallen (1998) starring Denzel Washington.
Thank you for reading!
A Canadian production brought to us by the man who previously gave us the '80s slasher favorite "My Bloody Valentine". As a director, George Mihalka is an interesting fellow, especially when you take a look at his choice of projects during the '80s. He really caught my interest some years ago after having seen his offbeat & eerie hostage thriller/drama "Hostile Takeover" aka "Office Party" (1988). "Eternal Evil" - which may not be the best of aka-titles possible to slap on this production, although "The Blue Man" just sounds too silly - is yet again an interested effort not at all lacking a sense of originality. It deals with a burned-out TV-director who, after having met the mysterious dancer Janus (Karen Black), learns to control the powers of astral projection. 'To control' might be a bit overstating things, as events turn for the worse and people from his circle of acquaintances start dying unnatural deaths. A detective starts puzzling the pieces together. Granted, the film has a hard time to keep the viewer excited, as the pace is a little slow and it's not exactly a spectacular thrill ride. But the story does try to provide a bit of mystery, and that's basically what keeps the viewer going. The film's decently made and Mihalka has some impressive camera-tricks up his sleeve (especially during the astral projection sequences). And the story does have some original elements and a satisfying conclusion (don't expect a terrifying climax, though). So it receives a whole extra point for that. If you want to see another horror film revolving around the concept of astral projection, you might want to check out Brian Trenchard-Smith's "Out Of The Body" (1989). It's also half-way decent.
A television commercial director is loosing his 'artistic juice' as he
calls it. He's also discontent with his wife and complains of her
cooking, and with his son who seems to have insomnia. Seems a good
prospect for giving his life over to Astral Projection! The main
character's been experimenting as of late with astral projection and is
finding the time he spends developing this new hobby of his is starting
to be much more fulfilling than his actual creative life and career.
Within the first few minutes of the film we see the first of one of his projections. We fly around with him from his perspective and view people and places. There is a sense of foreboding to these travels we witness as we begin to think that he may be able to transcend the physical as he follows people who run, terrified, from something unseen but they can sense.
And then there are some slight horrific moments. Where some of the people in his projections are harmed, well, let's just say there is a subplot of sorts where an investigator is trying to find the reason behind many killings of late where the victims implode or die without any evidence of assailants. When he awakes...he wonders if he was dreaming instead. Or perhaps the projection is not his? As I'm watching the film, though, I am trying to figure out just what I'm supposed to be thinking about. Some films are for simple enjoyment, some have something to say, but this one is just kinda...bland. Ah, then I look and notice it was a made for TV movie, which explains a lot. As the film winds down I still don't know anything more about the subject of astral projection apart from Professor Xavier doing it in comic books and everyone can see a ghost-like form of him, or it being something usually associated as 'hippie' or new age and something about meditating and traveling and all that. Here there is something about taking over another's body in a sort of spiritual vampirism. Is THAT what projection is? Not sure, I don't think it is, but they're trying to sell this as a horror movie and there really is not much horror related in it...more thriller or psychological mystery.
The music is a bit distracting and seems out of place in mood quite a lot. I guess the pan flute and tabla is of course what comes to mind with new age things such as astral projection, huh? It's a little pandering. The acting isn't bad, it's just a bit soap opera quality in it's delivery. Karen Black is here and she always seems to get into her roles, as the spiritual guide who's teaching our main character the art of projection. Yet, in her teachings, nothing is conveyed to us the viewer to have any idea of what exactly it is except closing ones eyes and floating around POV style. The rest of the cast are not as recognizable, except for seeing Lois Maxwell, James Bond's "Ms. Moneypenny" ('62-'85) for a minute.
The title on the DVD I got, which came in a huge 50 pack collection of similar grade films from Mill Creek Entertainment, is "Eternal Evil," but that's the Australian title, for some reason. In Canada, where the film was made, it is aptly titled, "The Blue Man." Ah, yes, you see when the main character is floating around...he IS somehow seen by others as a 'blue man.' We, the lucky viewers, don't get that wonderful opportunity. That would cost more for special effects. But, as the film ends, and with a slight twist in a few spots, you will see that "Eternal Evil" is a bit fitting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The use of "astral projection"(wandering soul), to exist outside of
body, with the result inflicting horrible death(..crushing the insides
of victims leading to broken spine and ruptured organs)on those close
to the one with such ability, is the threat of ETERNAL EVIL, providing
Karen Black(..as Janus) with another "unique" character to fool around
with as a woman who influences a commercial director, Paul
Sharpe(Winston Rekert) tired of his waning marriage and dull career. In
actuality, she's dying and needs his body, her spirit potentially
harmful to his wife and son(..his son has a "special friend" who talks
him into things, even poisoning himself at one point). A detective,
Kauffman(John Novak) investigating the unusual homicides concerning
those killed by the benevolent spirit, links Paul to the deaths and
through him uncovers Janus. Soon both realize that Janus must be
stopped or she'll simply move to another human host. What Paul doesn't
know is that his new secretary is Janus' lover, both were actually
older intellectuals featured in his documentary of astral projection
called WANDERING SOUL.
Director George Mihalka(My Bloody Valentine)certainly creates a weird atmosphere with this movie which contains a rather bizarre premise. It seems that Paul's boy can see the spirit moving in the shape of a "blue man", manipulating the kid into disorderly conduct. Black, despite the star treatment, rarely is shot close up taking advantage of her face which can produce the type of malevolent evil her character warrants. Instead, she's shot from afar, her voice dubbed, and she never quite establishes herself with the proper menace which is an opportunity lost, in my opinion. For some reason, despite the intriguing(..if oddball)idea of astral projection causing a spirit to kill folks from within, the film just never takes off. The soundtrack is very "Yanni-ish" and the lighting(..and sound), while at times moody and effective, often is quite murky. The pacing is a problem, also, as the story mules along. The cast is rather limp, especially Rekert in the lead, his performance erratic, at best. It doesn't help that there are few characters(..except Paul's wife)we could care less about, and what really hurts is that Paul himself isn't exactly the most lovable person in the world..he can be quite difficult and moody, his unfulfilled career a reason for such behavior. Black should've been a more prominent figure in the film, yet remains mostly in the background, talked about in dialogue between Paul and Kauffman, but rarely does she get a chance to amuse us with her histrionics, which is a shame.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
TV director uses astral projection to kill people taking the form of
the blue man.
Dull uninvolving horror film that kind of just sits there before your eyes and makes you wonder why you are watching it. I sat through the film to the end and I really can't give you more than a cursory account of what the film was about because I kept finding my attention diverted by other things.
I can't really recommend this. I think my feelings are best summed up by the fact that I paid a dollar for the DVD as a double feature and I feel kind of ripped off.
"Eternal Evil" is an incredibly strange film. I think I liked it
overall, but it was such a strange and uneven experience, I still am a
bit at a loss as to what to say about this film. It is obviously a very
low-budget film with mostly non-stars (apart from Karen Black), a very
cheap and cheesy sound track and some dialog that seemed weird and
unreal. There also is an annoying use of skipped frames during key
scenesmaking the film look almost like it's being done in stop-motion!
Yet, on the other hand, the film was awfully original and creepy.
The film begins with a man (Winston Rekert) attempting to do astral projectionto leave his body and travel with his mind! It's pretty weird and his wife and friends think it's pretty weird. But what is weirder is that despite having a great life, he is a bit unsatisfied with it. Additionally, soon folks near and dear to him begin dyingand a dogged cop is determined to investigate (he's a bit annoying and poorly written). For a while, I felt a bit disengaged about the film until there is a strange tie-in. One of the man's films he made some time ago seems to be a keythat there are some spiritual vampires who can change bodies with othersessentially stealing them. However, to do so, the donor must be willingand to make them willing, these 'beings' make their lives horribleso horrible they want to die. What happens next in this creepy thriller? See for yourself.
As I mentioned, the film is pretty cheesy in spotsespecially the soundtrack. But, the idea is so original that I cannot help but think the film is worth seeing.
"A bored television director is introduced to the black arts and astral
projection by his girlfriend. Learning the ability to separate his
spirit from his body, the man finds a renewed interest in his life and
a sense of wellbeing. Unfortunately, the man discovers while he is
sleeping, his spirit leaves his body and his uncontrolled body roams
the streets in a murderous rampage," according to the DVD sleeve's
The synopsis isn't entirely correct, as it turns out.
Anyway, the movie opens with a dizzying "out-of-body" example of handsome director Winston Rekert (as Paul Sharpe)'s newly discovered "astral body" experience; it also foreshadows an upcoming dogfight. Young Andrew Bednarski (as Matthew Sharpe), being a kid, draws pictures of "The Blue Man", as his murder spree begins. Handsome detective John Novak (as Stewart Kaufman) discovers the victims are connected to Mr. Rekert. Mr. Novak's investigation leads to the supernatural; a prime example of which is Karen Black (as Janus), with whom Rekert fears he is falling in love.
Several in the cast perform well; but, "The Blue Man" winds up tying itself up in a knot. Aka "Eternal Evil", its unsatisfying story tries to be far too clever for its own good.
This is a good plot concept, so why-o-why is it such a poor film. The acting is terrible and every shock is signposted so far in advance that it is almost laughable by the time it reaches you. Spend your time and money elsewhere, this is not worth watching.
I never figured out what the attraction of Karen Black was. She always had those beady eyes and kind of an odd look about her. She seemed to often be eccentric or cast as the "other" woman. In this one, she is the psychic adviser and expert on the occult to a crummy producer of bad commercials as he learns astral projection. He is a mean sucker, even without the new baggage. Apparently this is the avenue to immortality, because if you get good at it, you can inhabit the bodies of future generations. I believe Star Trek had a plot like this with Jack the Ripper hanging on for several centuries. Anyway, this guy is really dangerous. He has a nice family and makes them miserable. He begins to murder friends, just because they have an unkind comment for them, or he doesn't like them. You can see the ending coming from the back row in left field. It's a very harsh, humorless movie. Most of it must be taken as truth. Why are some called but few chosen? I found it long and not very satisfying.
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