Beginning with a diner massacre before jumping directly to a desert car chase, then a nudity-enriched vampire throat-ripping, then a vampire beatdown courtesy of a sword-wielding cowboy/priest, Live Evil bangs from scene to scene like a bat out of hell.
Clearly taking advantage of America’s approval of vampire worship as the new national religion, the low-budget wonder from co-writer/director Jay Woelfel is undeniably bursting with energy. According to Ken Foree’s somber introduction, the drug and lifestyle excesses of humans have rendered the majority unfit for vampiric consumption, provoking the colonies of starving vampires to fight amongst themselves for survival. (Hmmmm…something smells like the Blade franchise in here.)
Live Evil cruises back and forth between two different perspectives: a car-full of vampire buds road-tripping to Hollywood, and the sword-wielding, vampire-hunting priest who is out take care of some…(languorous pause, staring glassily into the distance)…”unfinished business”…(roll snippets of a vague flashback that won’t be fully revealed until at the end of the movie). B-movie veteran Tim Thomerson (Trancers) plays the priest in a wryly funny performance that has him stomping vampire hearts with his boot heel, and (in one memorable speech) comparing vampires to Lamborghinis. In fact, Thomerson is so committed to the character, hiding a whiff of false menace behind his amusingly sincere line delivery, the storyline featuring the vampire buddies pales in comparison.
Slightly reminiscent of Near Dark,Live Evil brings enough blood and boobs to the table to entertain even the most jaded horror fan. The film’s five-person special effects team really pulls out all the stops when it comes to bringing the syrupy wet work. From a vampire party complete with topless waitresses, to the introduction of a pair of cop vampires with fangs in the palms of their hands, to an inevitable confrontation with vampire babies (“Goddamned vampire babies”, intones Thomerson, “they’re the worst.”), Woelfel slams down the creative gas pedal and doesn’t let up until the end credits roll. For those willing to ignore sub-par production values, Live Evil pays off in spades.
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