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New Release Review - LIVE-EVIL (DVD)

A small college town gets overrun by supernatural forces in this indie horror effort.


Review by Daniel Anderson (@danandclick)

Directed by: Ari Kirschenbaum

Starring: Charlene Amoia, Vladimir Kulich, Tony Todd, Vincent M Ward


"There's some slick stuff in Ari Kirschenbaum's Live-Evil as well as some impressive special effects, but it's not enough to hide the failings in story and pacing."




There's a lot of ambition behind Ari Kirschenbaum's latest feature Live-Evil. You have a big cast, plenty of special effects and weighty themes including the battle between the forces of good and evil .
It's also dripping with style, particularly in the gorgeous cinematography by Russ de Jong and the interstitial scenes between chapters when the moody score really kicks in and brings a John Carpenter vibe to proceedings.
The story mostly follows an eventful Halloween night in the life of a small town sheriff's department, with Deputy Hancock (Charlena Amoia) coming up against a force she cannot understand. Soon, it starts to infect other members of the team and town, and that's before things get really crazy.
While obviously produced on a low budget, Live-Evil expands its scope and scale with some solid special effects - the glowing green eyes of the zombie creeps were especially effective, again recalling the style of John Carpenter. The CG work is mostly strong, though there are some squibs and weapon effects which are less successful.
On technical terms then, there's much to like and Amoia's lead performance is good, helping to keep things grounded as the film progresses. Elsewhere, things are a little harder to like.
The pacing is glacial and together with the protracted title sequence feels like it's trying to extend the running time as much as possible. And that just makes the film's narrative failings all the more obvious, with a story which doesn't really make a lot of sense. And those issues just get bigger as the finale approaches, right to an ending which feels distinctly half baked and unfinished.
The dialogue is often corny or forgettable and there are some irritating performances to be found, especially a local lecturer character who I was hoping would expire horribly. But elements like that can be forgiven in the horror genre, provided the story is comprehensible, which sadly isn't the case here.
There's some slick stuff in Ari Kirschenbaum's Live-Evil as well as some impressive special effects, but it's not enough to hide the failings in story and pacing.

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