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Good Against Evil (1977)

A writer, Andy Stuart, teams up with an exorcist, Father Kemschler, to battle Satan, and a group of Devil worshipers led by Mr. Rimmin.


Paul Wendkos


Jimmy Sangster

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Complete credited cast:
Dack Rambo ... Andy Stuart
Elyssa Davalos ... Jessica Gordon
Richard Lynch ... Mr. Rimmin
Dan O'Herlihy ... Father Kemschler
John Harkins ... Father Wheatley
Jenny O'Hara ... The Woman
Lelia Goldoni ... Sister Monica
Peggy McCay ... Irene
Peter Brandon Peter Brandon ... Dr. Price
Kim Cattrall ... Linday Isley
Natasha Ryan ... Cindy Isley
Richard Sanders ... The Doctor
Lillian Adams Lillian Adams ... Beatrice
Erica Yohn Erica Yohn ... Agnes
Richard Stahl Richard Stahl ... Brown


A writer, Andy Stuart, teams up with an exorcist, Father Kemschler, to battle Satan, and a group of Devil worshipers led by Mr. Rimmin.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She became Satan's play thing.




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Release Date:

22 May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les forces du mal See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A TV series pilot that was not picked up by the network. See more »


While the story is unfolding in New Orleans, the film jumps back to a view of Andy's van parked on the waterfront near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, then back to New Orleans. See more »


Linday Isley: Father Kemschler, it's one thing for you to break into my house, but to stand there and give me orders - that's something else!
See more »


References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

GOOD AGAINST EVIL (Paul Wendkos, 1977; TV) **
31 August 2011 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Following his move to the United States, Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster found steady work in TV where thrillers and horrors could be turned out cheap and fast. Having made a mint back home with a mix of DIABOLIQUE (1955) and PSYCHO (1960), Sangster now turned his attention to two major diabolism films of the era: ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) and THE EXORCIST (1973). The result, however, is a dismal failure – for which his own, frankly, lousy screenplay is largely to blame!

For the record, I have watched countless rip-offs of both films by this point but I do own at least one virtual copy of the former (THE STRANGER WITHIN {1974}, coincidentally also a TV-movie) and as many as 5 other 'possession' films – ABBY (1974), THE EERIE MIDNIGHT HORROR SHOW aka THE SEXORCIST (1974), THE POSSESSED aka DEMON WITCH CHILD (1975), THE EXORCIST III: CRIES AND SHADOWS aka NAKED EXORCISM (1975) and THE POSSESSED (1977; TV). By the way, director Wendkos had earlier helmed a stylish diabolic chiller himself i.e. THE MEPHISTO WALTZ (1971) but, here, he is cramped by the under-lit TV look (even if the film frequently changes locale for the sake of variety – starting in 1955 New York, then cutting to present-day San Francisco and moving to New Orleans for the climax) and, as I said, a plot that is half-hearted, under-nourished and downright confusing! What is more, the whole works its way to a major cop-out of an abrupt ending – having been intended as a pilot to a prospective series but it was understandably not picked up – so that the central premise is pretty much left hanging!

The notion of having upper-class types revealed to be Satanists is a pretty tired one by now: meeting every once in a while – here to present the Devil with the child that, upon growing up, is to bear his offspring – to honor their master (whose disciples conveniently keep a statue of the Horned One secured in their private place of worship). That said, after the opening sequence (which recalls Hammer's own TO THE DEVIL…A DAUGHTER {1976}, albeit not Sangster-related), the horror element is so underplayed that it seems to interrupt the blossoming romance between the girl (Elyssa Davalos, who looks too sweet to suggest the evil that is supposed to lurk underneath!) and hero Dack Rambo. Interestingly, having preceded this with THE LEGACY (1978) – another Sangster-scripted mix of diabolism hits – it was amusing to note the interchange of components between them (for instance, horses and cats are involved in both, the girl is unaware of who she is while the boyfriend is an interloper, etc). Another moment that harks back to the Hammer legacy (pardon the pun) is the death-in-the-belfry of the priest (from Dracula HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE {1968}) – which follows one of the few effective moments in the film under review as Davalos throws an instant and unexplained chilly darkness over a church upon entering.

Richard Lynch is always good value for money in this type of fare, but he is given little of substance to do except look sinister and make the occasional invocation to the dark forces (at one time, this occurs inside a cave!) – curiously enough, while he plays the leader of the cult here, he had also been a Christ-like alien in Larry Cohen's GOD TOLD ME TO aka DEMON (1976)! Still, why he seems so reticent to eliminate Rambo's character is baffling – he attempts to make the hero forget Davalos by throwing him back into the lap of a former girlfriend (a young Kim Cattrall): the fact that this leads directly to the introduction of Dan O'Herlihy's exorcist figure (since Cattrall's child is decreed as possessed simply for having drawn the sign of the demon Astaroth) seems to me a gross miscalculation on the villain's part! O'Herlihy's sudden appearance – in a state of agitation to boot – in the last act takes the film into its obvious center-piece, which is the battle for the soul of a little child: it does not matter that she has little to no bearing on the main plot but, then, the staging is so tame (indeed lame) that one is amused by the entire scenario, especially as the girl remains calm and composed all the way through it! I was literally thrown into fits of hysterical laughter when Rambo goes up to check on the priest and finds him at the mercy of an invisible hand suffocating him with a pillow!! With Lynch admitting defeat soon after the Devil is expelled and the unlikely team of Rambo and O'Herlihy keeping up the search for Davalos (while Cattrall offers herself in case the hero just happens to fail in his ultimate quest!), the film just ends: had one been completely unaware of its pedigree, we could say that the script was suggesting that the fight between Good and Evil is a continuing struggle and not easily won...

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