5.8/10
1,615
50 user 41 critic

The Evil (1978)

R | | Horror, Thriller | 5 May 1978 (USA)
A doctor buys a Civil War era dilapidated mansion, and hires a few friends to fix it up, but the mansion hides a deadly secret.

Director:

Gus Trikonis

Writers:

Galen Thompson (screenplay) (as Donald G. Thompson), Gus Trikonis (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Crenna ... C.J. Arnold
Joanna Pettet ... Dr. Caroline Arnold
Andrew Prine ... Prof. Raymond Guy
Cassie Yates ... Mary Harper
George O'Hanlon Jr. ... Pete Brooks
Lynne Moody ... Felicia Allen
Mary Louise Weller ... Laurie Belman
Robert Viharo ... Dwight (as George Viharo)
Victor Buono ... The Devil
Milton Selzer ... The Realtor
Ed Bakey Ed Bakey ... Sam the Caretaker
Galen Thompson Galen Thompson ... Emilio Vargas
Emory Souza Emory Souza ... The Demon
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Storyline

A chilling tale of suspense and survival. When a doctor rents a haunted house to use as a clinic, he and his associates are victimized by supernatural powers within. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Witness Its Awakening. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

House of Evil See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rangoon Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buddy Joe Hooker burned his face performing a fire stunt. See more »

Goofs

When Lynne Moody is attacked and thrown around the lines use to pull her are visible. See more »

Quotes

[C.J. comes face-to-face with the Devil sitting on a throne in a white-colored limbo plane of existence]
Devil: [chuckles] Forgive me, but you are an endless source of amusement to me.
C.J. Arnold: What is it that you want?
Devil: There... you see what I mean? After all I put you through and you still don't know.
C.J. Arnold: You did all that?
Devil: No, Mr. Arnold. YOU did. You denied the warnings, you opened the door, and still you cannot accept or understand what you've done. You pondered the deeper meaning of a universal power for good. ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints cut Victor Buono's appearance as the Devil See more »

Connections

Featured in Fantastic Fantasy Fright-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Mildly Entertaining Low-Budget Fun
18 July 2000 | by WritnGuy-2See all my reviews

Way before I rented this, I kept hearing about the horrendous climax with Victor Buono as the devil. I figured I could just look past it and enjoy the rest of the movie, and though the scenes are amazingly cheesy, they don't *kill* the movie. If anything, it's a unique idea.

Richard Crenna and Joanna Pettet star as CJ and Caroline Arnold, a couple that has just bought the old Vargas Mansion, and have invited some friends and former patients from CJ's psychiatric group (? I know, I thought it was sort of odd) to help clean the place up. Caroline begins to notice creepy things about the house, including a transparent apparition that disappears when she takes a second look. She even finds an old diary of Emilio Vargas, the deceased owner of the house, and eventually, she gets the feeling they are all being warned to leave the house. While looking for Mary's (Cassie Yates) dog, who has run off and gotten itself frightened by something, CJ finds a cross in the basement, over a latched passageway in the floor. As he pries open the doors, they begin to lift and open themselves, and all hell breaks loose. (Literally.) The house shakes violently, one stock character being electrocuted along the way. Then all the windows seal and the doors all are jammed shut. After realizing they are trapped, the survivors struggle to find an explanation to what's going on, and in their pursuit to survive the night, the evil begins claiming their lives one by one....

All slightly typical fare, with some inspiration by "The Haunting," no doubt. The characters are all likable, though, and the movie can be entertaining at times. Yet ridiculuous explanations to legitimize what's happening, some loose ends, and a predictable play-out all make the movie below-average. Like, what ever happened to Laurie (Marie Louise Weller), and why did A) Ray (Andrew Pine) give up so easily on helping her, and B) why didn't he tell Felicia (Lynne Moody) in the next scene? That was my biggest problem with the movie, along with the scene where Caroline finds CJ, Laurie, and Ray possessed. She (supposedly) drove the evil out of them, but I was just sort of left unsatisfied by the fact that the scene didn't seem to matter by the next scene. The rest I can deal with. As for the climax....Well, it was an okay idea. ("The Beyond" had the same idea, of the hotel being over one of the seven gates of Hell.) But unlike "The Beyond" this movie executed that idea in a pretty weak manner. The Devil just didn't seem to threatening to me. Seemed a bit more like a child molester than the epitome of all evil.

Alright, you could do worse. And I could have done far worse when I rented this. I suppose if you can get past the plot holes, the terribly cheesy music (especially that way-too-happy music in the ultra-cheesy ending!), the excessive deaths-by-execution, and the somewhat weak climax, you may enjoy this.


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