The Evil (1978): Colonel Sanders is Satan in a $1k white suit
My ongoing mission to watch EVERY strange horror film ever made (pre-1996) took me to an imposing deserted mansion... one where weird things happen... an eerie dark house that was built on top of a 'cursed ancient' ground - so far, so cliche, but THE EVIL turned out to be very, very good.
A psychiatrist decides to take over an abandoned Civil War-era mansion to turn it in to an addiction clinic. The house, oppressive, remote, ornate, is built over some ancient sulphur pits, says the estate agent. He fails to mention that Satan lives in the basement.
Or is it Colonel Sanders? Does any other man have the confidence to wear a white suit?
Satan, who is cut from some versions of the film, is played by none other than Victor Buono, who is best known as King Tut from the 1960s Batman series.
I was confused by this, and thought he was Santa to start with, but I am currently recovering from an operation and on all sorts of painkillers, so I think I'm allowed to be confused.
His white suit cost a whole $1,000 - which is $4k in 'today's money'. His portrayal is camp and OTT, and TBH if I was given the choice between renovating that wretched house or hang out with him being loud and fun below ground, I know what I would choose.
The plot of The Evil really isn't anything ground-breaking, but it's packed with good scares and lots of gore as the shrink, played by Rambo star Richard Crenna, and his group of pals find out renovating this creepy old joint really is one hell of a job.
The setting of the retro horror flick is the Montezuma Castle Hotel in New Mexico. It was built in 1886, and is the third hotel to be built on the site after the first two BURNT DOWN.
When it was used for The Evil, it had been standing empty for close to a decade and had been heavily vandalised. Thankfully it is now in good hands, and is owned, used and cared for by a university.
The soundtrack, by Scottish composer Johnny Harris, is the perfect foundation for some really unsettling demonic moans that echo through the sprawling pad as the ghost of a former owner appears, and people start getting bumped off in increasingly interesting ways.
At times the wailing was so overwhelming that I thought I would never get the sound of of out of my mind. Thankfully this was just me being as over dramatic as Mr. Buono in the basement.
Also known as Cry Demon and House of Evil, The Evil is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
If you watch it/have watched it, let us know what you think! We're on Twitter and Instagram @SinisterIsles.