. . . have you ever noticed no one makes movies about super psycho sects of Episcopalians? Or mass murdering Methodists? I’m just saying. I’d like to see these movies.
I’ve been seriously slacking on my horror film commentaries. Hostel’s been sitting in my kitchen for a couple of weeks, waiting for me to watch it and make up my own mind . . . do I like the gore porn? Or am I too classy for that? (Not bloody likely.) Anyway, that’s next on the table. Tonight’s choice is a classic about Satanic monks, ninja nuns, virgin sacrifices, and cops that do absolutely nothing at all.
And so, may I present: Prime Evil.
*Disclaimer-Spoilers Are Clearly Marked At Very End of Review, Blah, Blah, Blah.*
Okay, so when I said “classic” . . . clearly, what I meant was “movie that you’ve never heard of, never will watch, and probably don’t believe actually exists”. If you have any kind of desire to be a filmmaker, though, you really should check it out. Not because it’s good. Christ, no. This is a terrible movie. No, you watch it because it gives you some semblance of hope. If this piece of crap could make it to the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, by God, yours could to. Admittedly, that’s not a lot of hope, but hey, it’s something.
So, plot: sometime in the Middle Ages, a sect of monks decided to turn their back on God in favor of a paper-mache Satan. As long as they keep sacrificing women (bonus points for virgins!) every thirteen years, they’ll stay alive and frisky . . . and I do mean frisky literally: there are at least 87 scenes in this movie with old men hitting on/hypnotizing/kissing/molesting younger women. The Squick Factor in this movie is easily an 8 out of 10 for creepy old men alone.
Anyway, most of the movie is set in modern day (well, 1988) New York, where our Satanist monks are alive and well, using Creepy Janitor Dude who they stole? rescued? from a mental hospital in order to kidnap young women for their sacrifices. (I should point out, I can’t actually remember if Creepy Janitor Dude actually did any janitorial duties, or if we all just started calling him Creepy Janitor because that’s how he dressed. It’s irrelevant. There should always be a Creepy Janitor in a horror movie—in fact, there was one in the next film we watched, but that one was so dull I can’t even write a review on it; we fast-forwarded the last twenty minutes, and I still don’t know what the fucking thing was about. Moving on.)
The Satanic Monks are led by Father Seaton (SEA-ton, almost like SA-tan, GET IT?), who is arguably the ickiest motherfucker in the whole movie. Another candidate in the running for King Icky McIckerson is George, another Satanist. George really wants those virgin bonus points, so he plans to sacrifice his virgin granddaughter . . . er, Alexandra, I think? Honestly, I just thought of her the Fluffy-Haired Heroine or, sometimes, the Canadian. Boy, was that accent obvious. Mostly, this movie is about the Creepy Janitor stalking Alexandra’s decidedly non-virgin friends for sacrificial purposes—like, there are about 80 bazillion people in New York, but we will only kidnap people directly related to our heroine, okay—or Father Seaton’s totally gross seduction of our Fluffy Haired Heroine. Am I adequately communicating this movie’s uckiness? Seriously, it was UCKY. In bold, capital, 72 size font. Give me tit shots all day long, fine, I can deal with it. Just stop with the priest-touching. BLARG.
Ahem. In the meantime, Sister Angela is a friendly little nun who wants to take down the Satanic monkhood by infiltrating its ranks. Everyone present for Gore Fest seemed to think that this was a pretty crappy plan, considering that nuns are, in general, not trained to be sneaky like ninja . . . but she goes ahead with it anyway, and thus a new term is created: nunjas! Another potential Halloween costume.
Prime Evil is the kind of movie you have to enjoy with other friends who like bad horror movies, snack food, and mocking for two hours straight. Well, eighty minutes, actually. If you cannot sufficiently mock for eighty minutes straight, do not watch this movie. You will grieve that hour and a half of your life, and I will not be held to blame. On the other hand, if you, like me, are a Mocking Queen, by all means watch this film. You might get a kick of it. I certainly did.
Now, let me present you with a few (12) random notes before a Spoiler Section. Yes, I’m putting up a Spoiler Section, although I’m seriously laughing at any of you who are worried about being spoiled for something like this. Still. I do my best to be considerate.
1.) The bonus points for sacrificing a virgin? That sounds like something I made up. I didn’t. It’s an actual line from the movie. Which leads me to wonder . . . you think the Satanists get discounts from Amazon or a free 12 oz. drink from McDonalds or something? I’d like more detail on what these bonus points entail, please.
2.) I spent a silly amount of time trying to decide if I should describe Seaton as Father Seaton or Brother Seaton. I mean, he starts out as a monk, but he’s wearing a priest collar for most of the film, so I was in between. I decided on Father Seaton just because. There was really no reasoning behind it at all.
3.) Something to know about me: I am, in fact, absolutely horrible at remembering faces. If I meet you, I’ll probably have to see you at least a half a dozen times before your face stays in my brain for more than forty-five seconds. In the meantime, whenever I think of you, your face will likely be filled in by whatever actor I can picture who even remotely resembles you, like, has the same color hair or maybe just once wore a T-shirt similar to yours. So, four hours after watching Prime Evil I can no longer remember what any of these people exactly looked like. Instead, my brain is automatically casting a remake with Tom Amandes as Seaton, Bruce Davison as George, Nicole Kidman from the Dead Calm era as Fluffy Haired Heroine Alexandra, and Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music as Sister Angela. And THAT, my friends, is a movie I want to see.
4.) Bit of advice: any mission/job/religious conversion that will kill you horribly if you decide to back out . . . not worth taking in the first place. Seriously, people. Some sense of self-preservation is all I ask.
5.) Another bit of advice, this time coming from dear friends Kirsten and Dave: When a man says to you, “Have you ever seen one THIS big,” while referring to ANYTHING, run away. Run away for dear life.
6.) The cops in this movie are pretty worthless. I’ll expound on that in the Spoiler Section, but honestly, I’m not really sure why they’re even in there. Moustache Cop # 2 is pretty amusing, not only because he has some funny lines, but because he more or less materializes out of thin air. Sixty-five minutes into the movie, Moustache Cop # 1 suddenly has a partner. I can only figure it’s because Moustache Cop #1 goes from skeptic to full-on-believer in less than a second without any kind of transitionary scene, and he needs a “straight man” to play off of. Admittedly, it’s a little bizarre, but what isn’t in this movie, right?
7.) Although, Moustache Cop #1 does have one of the best lines in the film: when he tells Fluffy Haired Heroine that someone was murdered last night, and she says, “Are you sure? I just saw him yesterday,” Moustache Cop#1 says something like, “He didn’t move, didn’t talk back to me. Pretty sure he’s dead.” Which made me giggle. A lot.
8.) The absolute best line of the movie is given by Father Seaton, and there’s absolutely no way to do it justice by just typing it. You have to hear him with this slow, super over-the-top, evil monk voice saying, “Don’t be a complete asshole.” Cracked. Me. Up. Also: indubitably. Who even says that?
9.) Fluffy Haired Heroine’s fiancée is named Bill, and I really don’t understand why Bill bothers to stay with her at all. F.H.H. is a virgin because she was molested as a child . . . which, okay, totally and completely understandable . . . what’s less understandable is why she chooses to randomly tell Bill on a carriage ride through New York, you know, with the driver sitting like two feet away and other people presumably around . . . but whatever. Bill’s not getting any lovin’, although he seems to expect that he will be, which . . . yeah, clearly, not happening any time soon. Then, he’s suspicious of F.H.H’s relationship with Seaton, which is certainly reasonable, what with Seaton totally making out with her and whatnot. And of course’s there’s also the small matter of F.H.H. not having any kind of personality whatsoever . . . and her unique tendency of inviting hookers back to her home, not that Bill gets to sleep with them, either. I’m just saying, Bill, maybe you might want to consider another woman. Just some food for thought.
10.) And, seriously, God love 80’s fashion. If you’re new to sarcasm and mockery, begin here. There’s such a wealth of material to choose from.
11.) Also: the editors from this movie were taking some serious crack. Or shrooms. Or maybe they just really didn’t care about their job at all. Any or all of these things could be true. But characters appear to go from upstairs to basements to roof tops within five seconds, and other characters get introduced only to get completely dropped from the story for thirty-five minutes. (In an eighty minute film, this is very noticeable.) And the first twenty minutes, ha! You’re shown so many different random characters that you’re left going, “So who in the what now?” It’s pretty amusing.
12.) Finally, that paper-mache Satan puppet? ROFL. Hail Our Lord God Satan!
And now . . . to the spoilers.
Good for you, non-spoiler phobes! First, here’s a tip: always start your horror movie with a decapitation. It grabs your audience. Everyone likes a good decapitation. Or a bad decapitation. Beheadings of any kind are fun.
Now, onto the ending:
Seaton entrances Fluffy Haired Heroine with his super magic eyes (that, amusingly, have absolutely no effect on one prostitute chick . . . there appears to be no reason for this, because logic is not on Prime Evil’s side). Moustache Cop #1 and Moustache Cop # 2 arrive in time to shoot their absurdly long guns that do nothing and get knocked out for their trouble. I get why they aren’t sacrificed . . . you don’t see a lot of cults sacrificing dudes with moustaches; heaven knows why . . . but why they aren’t outright killed is beyond me. Anyway, that’s about it for them. They help some women leave later, like hold them up so they don’t fall, but otherwise . . . yeah. They’re done.
Thankfully, Super Nunja Angela is there to save the day. Honestly, I figured she was horror movie cannon fodder for sure, but in actuality, Super Nunja not only kills Creepy Janitor Guy but, wait for it, Satan! Yes, the nunja kills Satan. It is awesome.
I should point out a couple of things here:
One: Paper Mache Satan is never seen with any actors or with any kind of background behind him, so Mek and I (wrongly) assumed that he wasn’t actually in the room with the Satanists, more like he was in Hell feeding on the energy of the Satanists back on Earth (kind of like in the BTVS pilot, when Luke’s feeding on people in The Bronze and The Master’s getting his groove on in his little underground prison). Therefore, when Super Nunja stabs Satan, Mek and me are both like, “Wait, what the fuck?”
Two: I read a couple of reviews on IMDB who assumed that the red puppet hellbeast was not, in fact, Satan but some lower level demon dude. I’m going to ignore these assumptions, because, one, there are no other demons mentioned but Satan . . . no one ever says anything like, “We’re sacrificing this chick to Satan by way of Azrael” or anything, and, two, because it’s so much cooler if Satan is, in fact, stabbed to death by our super nunja. I mean, think about it. The Devil is dead. THE DEVIL is dead. What do you do with that? Isn’t that kind of like killing Evil itself? Or is it more like leaving hordes of evil orphaned and penniless? What does Good do in the face of no Evil to fight? Does the world freaking collapse? Or do factions of Good become Evil, because you have to, have to, HAVE TO have both in order to survive? I know. Here I am again, going off on some random idea that’s like a seven second thought in a terrible horror movie. I can’t help it. I find the idea of a post-apocalyptic story where the Devil has been killed exciting. You know, assuming it happens before the Rapture and all that nonsense.
Once Satan Puppet is dead, all the old monks and Devil-worshippers instantly lose that hard-earned immortality and turn into desiccated husks . . . except Seaton, who inexplicably is fine and runs away to seduce other young women. Yeah, I don’t get it. Unless the Satan Puppet really is Azrael Puppet, and Seaton is really Satan all along . . . . but, bah. I dislike that, and there’s really no other evidence for it. We’ll just go with the idea that the screenwriters went to smoke whatever the editors were on. Works for me.
Final Grade: HA! You don’t grade movies like this. I refuse.
Moral of the story . . . uh . . . well . . . when a priest says, “Look, look deeply into my eyes” . . . uh . . . don’t?