"Low-budget Horror films", in all reality, is there any Horror film that is NOT a low-budget film? I really can't remember the last time I heard of a movie studio dropping the "big bucks" on a Horror film, can you? The Ring I do believe was not a huge budget, Resident Evil was given a decent budget, but by all accounts it was still fairly low in comparison to Minority Report and something along the lines of Star Wars: Ep. You Name It. So when one decided to actually slap the moniker of "Low-Budget Horror film" on something, you know you are dealing with something that you could pay for with your lunch money, and something that the big studios wouldn't dream of touching, which is a damn shame because there is some serious talent making these films!
This brings us to Evilmaker II, The Abomination, written, produced and directed by John Bowker, which is a direct follow-up to Evilmaker. The story is that after the events of the first film (where the entire cast seemingly dies, spoiler…sorry), the sister of one of the fallen from the first film, Kathy (Kylene Wetherell), starts having psychic visions and decides she needs to find out what happened to her sister Rachel (Felicia Pandolfi). In her quest to find answer's she tries to coax an ex-cop named Charles (Jon Wilmot) into helping her out, at first he throws her out of his house, but with a little assistance changes his mind.
To find the true answer's she needs to go back to the house where all of the evil was set about in the first film. Once there, we meet the dearly departed sister and all sorts of possession, sex, and puking happens. Yes, you want close-ups of puke, you got it here folks!
The beginning of the film is rather confusing, but the film relies on enough flashbacks to bring you up to speed, and one news clip used to really get the newcomer on board for what all the excitement is about.
The film itself is a strange little creature. Some of the acting is great, our first scene with Kathy trying to get Charles to help her out is brilliantly done by Jon Wilmot. His scenes throughout the rest of the film are not quite as good as this one, but he is probably the best one in the whole film and raises the standard a little bit more. But other times, the acting does fall a little short, but never to the point of being distracting. There are just certain moments that feel much more natural than others.
Following into the main cast is a psychic named Madam Vladmeria (Shannon), her role seems to mainly be to have somebody to get nekkid in the film! Though, I guess it is the standard if you have to snag somebody onto the darkside, you need to have sex with them.
The film also works best when using atmosphere. The film does effectively get you to the edge of your seat and cause your eyes to bug out. Then though, unfortunately, we get into a spiritual battle in the end that just kind of falls a little short, but this is due 100% to budgetary lacking. When you have a "lightning bolt" battles between good and evil, you almost need the visuals to be pretty dang convincing, or else it is too easy to fall into the "cheesy" category. Heck, even the battle between Gandalf and Saruman in Fellowship of the Ring was criticized for being "cheesy", so you see, you have to be careful! But with the scenes of atmosphere and the things that go bump, the film is a success.
Working in a way to defy the budgetary constraints, director Bowker pulls off some fine visuals and camera angles to keep the picture always interesting to look at. The look is a direct-to-video look, but still fresh and interesting.
The film may not be up for Academy Awards this coming year, but look at the crap that wins that stuff, do you want to watch that? If you need to have high budget types of films, avoid this. But if you can look past some of the limitations of a low-budget Horror film, then take the time to help these folk out and grab a copy of this. I have a rough time sometimes with "low-budget", but this one actually did keep me wrapped up and the time moved pretty quick on it. One way to look at these films is much like you would listen to a bands demo. These films will have faults, but you are getting some true heart on screen with these things, and it is these people that need to be given the money for major films, as these are the people who will bring a fresh approach to the genre, not some goon who is coming off 11 videos for friggin' Justin Timberlake!
The film is coming to us from the fine folks at Brimstone, that company that seems to have a never ending supply of Horror! As of this time, the film is only on video, but it will be out in the next few months in a DVD release, so keep your eyes peeled if you need to have DVD.
Watch out for the ending, it caused me to scratch my head and stare at the TV set in wonder. Talk about keeping the film open for a sequel!
Review by Carl Isonhart
|Directed by John Bowker|
|Released by Brimstone|