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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Evil Come, Evil Go/ Terror at Orgy Castle/ Hand of Pleasure
Evil Come, Evil Go/ Terror at Orgy Castle/ Hand of Pleasure
Image // Unrated // August 30, 2005
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Bill Gibron | posted August 24, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The exploitation genre gets a bad name - and with good reason. Whenever they hear the term, filmgoers automatically think of skin and sin, films filled to bursting with unholy acts of wantonness and more boobs than a Girls Gone Wild shoot. Or worse, the expression conjures up images of puffy businessmen visiting downtown theaters to see the latest work of foreign "art", while various miscreants in raincoats sit side by side in the local grindhouse, drooling as the usual T&A treat unspools its soiled magic. While there's a lot more to this domain than nudity and nookie, the illicit image is a hard one to shake. And the cinematic style has to bear some of the blame. Aside from the infrequent fright flick, or social subject exposé (VD, unwanted pregnancy) the entire canon can seem filled with nothing but drunken dames unveiling their unmentionables.

As it has over the last few years, Something Weird Video has continued to mine their voluminous vaults for more meaningful fare, as well as examples of the movies that made your granddad - and his groin - grin. Having long ago cleansed their closets of the more famous names of the genre, their recent releases - usually in triple feature form - have introduced the fanbase to more than a few names outside the norm. Some were rightfully forgotten. Other unjustly joined the ranks of the rejected thanks to unpaid lab fees, distribution deals gone bad, or pushy producers who believed that they, not the filmmaker, were responsible for the end result. As part of SWV's August DVD release we are treated to the work of Walt Davis, and the baffling, bumbling combo of Manuel S. Conde and Zoltan G. Spencer. Though it promises plenty, Evil Come, Evil Go/ Terror at Orgy Castle/Hand of Pleasure deliver a whole lot of diddling, and not much else. Skin fanatics should freely flounce in their fetlocks over this disc. Anyone looking for more in their outsider cinema simply has to grimace and bare it.

At least in Evil Come, Evil Go, sex takes an occasional backseat to some incredibly insane Bible humping...make that, thumping. And to paraphrase Max Von Sydow's character in Hannah and Her Sisters, if Jesus saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up. You see, Sister Sarah Jane is on a mission. Hoping to rid the world of "evil men" one hop in the sack at a time, our peculiar preacherwoman believes that fornication is for procreation only. She has no tolerance for "pleasurable sex" (or as she pronounces it "play-zure-aye-bull saaaaaaaaaax"). After killing a man wearing the ugliest pair of overalls ever created (and that's quite an accomplishment when you think of it), our pious perv heads to LA, ever on the lookout for more horny hunks to off...and not in a good way. It's all part of Sister Sara's Sacred Order of the Sisters of Complete Subjugation - of which she is, currently, the only member.

Lucky for her then that she almost immediately runs into the easily impressionable lesbian debutant Penny, who instantly falls under her anti-quackenbush campaign. It's not long before our gullible sister of Sappho is a SSJ disciple. Her job is to bring home oily longshoremen for some pretend poon, setting them up for Sister Sarah Jane's sacred butcher knife. A few killings, including Penny's previous paramour Junie, and suddenly, there are bodies piled up like chord wood. Hoping that the local wilderness will hide their homicides, the ladies dump the corpses in a clearing. Afterward, Sarah Jane and Penny watch a guy and a gal glom onto each other in the great outdoors. The lady leaves. The man propositions the peepers. They all walk off together as a hippy plays the theme song. The end.

When one thinks of vengeful serial slayers, certain names and entities come to mind. Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Buffalo Bill. But no one is name checking one of the most insane of all thrill killers, the blood-spilling Sister Sarah Jane! Evil Come, Evil Go is a classic of sorts, a movie that uses murder to cover up its otherwise sex-based scenarios. Indeed, you'll see more muff diving and tool timing than stab wounding in this hilarious, half-assed film. Director Walt Davis may be trying to say something profound about the limits of the sexual revolution, or the growing conservatism in our knotted up nation, but it's hard to find such messages when all you're staring at is man-ass in motion. This is a pickle and puff fest, a film filled with so much full frontal floppiness that even the most virile fan will find his overall penis tolerance tested. With lesbians on hand, one would expect some hot fem-on-fem freestyle, but damn if Sister Sarah isn't ready with a sex snuffing scarf to ruin the romance. Wildly uneven, funny as Hell and occasional as disturbed as an actual psychopath, Evil Come Evil Go joins the ranks of other ridiculous exploitation romps, trying to hide their carnality with nonsensical narrative misdirection. And it kind of works.

What doesn't succeed are the two other offerings on this set. There is nothing wrong with softcore pornography. If done well, with attention to atmosphere and mood, some steamy stuff can come careening off the almost X-rated celluloid. But too often, the fake friggin' is just an excuse to show saggy baggy non-erotic elephant skin, and the performers playing private part patty cake have as much creative chemistry as an organic pig farm. That's the case with this pair of films from Satyr IX Productions (Oo, doesn't THAT name sound sleazy???). Though many love the company's realistic visualizations of vice, you're average exploitation fan is usually looking for something a little more provocative in their motion pictures than hippies exposing their hashmarks.

The only horror to be found in Terror at Orgy Castle then is how anyone could find this asexual atrocity remotely stimulating. Though filmmakers Manuel Conde and writer/director Zoltan G. Spencer (there's a nom de plume for you) are well known for bringing a kind of passion and authenticity to simulated sex, the bed ballet in this film is just foul. Actually, it's the only reason for the movie to exist. What we have here is 50 minutes of monkey lovin' crammed into a 63 minute saga about adventurous lovers on European poon patrol. Bill and Lisa have "made it" everywhere on the continent, so why not at some supposedly spooky old castle (actually, the set from some supposedly spooky old horror film). Once they meet the owner, the rather underdressed Countess Dominova, the couple realizes that not even American Express Travelers Checks can save them this time. Bill gets raped in the night, he witnesses the Countess turn into a Count, and we are promised a pagan mass. Yet all we end up with is a paltry mess.

Aside from the title group grope, where everyone involved dons their birthday suit and does the dirty boogie, this is a movie that takes place almost completely in our cracked couple's bedroom. And in the world of the grindhouse, only one thing happens in and around the boudoir. Yes, this is softcore as only the 60s and 70s could swing it, before hardcore stole all of its 'down under' thunder. We are assured of a lot of things in this film, our narrator telling us that we will witness a black mass and a kind of human sacrifice. Instead, the ritual has more to do with Teamsters dropping trou and barmaids bearing all than any satanic silliness. Also, the closest we get to real repulsion is the infamous "rat casserole" scene, where a live mouse is plastered against a woman's exposed stomach, with the implication being that it intends to "chew" it's way out of the jellyroll jail. Turns out it was all a hoax, just like the movie it resides in. If Satyr IX is responsible for anything it's the post-modern ideal within the adult industry that narrative need only be a "suggested" aspect of a film. As long as you have lots of high sticking, who cares about a plot? Sadly, when the copulation is as lackluster as this Orgy of offal, you've got nothing to enjoy.

The Hand of Pleasure is a little better, and that's only because unintentional humor steps in to save the day. The pathetic thing is, we are laughing AT the cast members, never ever with them. Trying to trade on the 60s/70s fascination with spy cinema, this movie gives us a secret agent (the same dull dufus who rented the corporeal castle in Orgy) whose job it is to discover the identity of the evil Dr. Dreadful (what a totally apropos name for this character, and this film). Our London-based bad guy is using his hopped up sex slaves to literally "suck to death" other CIA operatives working in the swinging city. Our hapless hero hunk must go "undercover" to find the whereabouts of Dr. Dreadful's lair - turns out it's a crappy wax museum - and put a stop to his mons minions. And how does he do this? By getting together with a local college student majoring in the exchange of bodily fluids, and jumping her bones in endless porn pastiches.

With master Zoltan back behind the camera, we already know what to expect - ersatz sharking and LOTS of it. Of course, whenever our champion and his chicklet get together to "study the case" there is bed ballistics a'plenty. But there are a few surprises up the oddly named director's seedy sleeve. For one, he offers one of the most jaw-droppingly deranged strip tease sequences ever filmed. Imagine Chesty Morgan with a botched boob job, jugs hanging asymmetrically from a slight skeletal torso, and face painted up like a combination of trailer trash and circus clown, and you've got the basics of this burlesque. Now add a dark Dolly Parton wig, the movement skills of a comatose kumquat and a dead deer in the headlights look in our exotic entertainers eyes, and you've got the single scene that nearly reinvigorates Hand of Pleasure.

Then there is Dr. Dreadful's ultimate goal. He wants to use his patented sex transference device to render our head hunk homo. The machine looks like car jumper cables with various kitchenware attachments, and no amount of Method madness can make us believe that this contraption would actually do anything other than cause minor scalp irritation. Indeed, instead of turning our lead light in the loafers, it makes him into a super powered sex fiend. He attacks Dr. Dreadful's babes and proceeds to pork them into submission. While it is mildly more entertaining than the citadel stomp, there are still those endless shots of taint tripping the frame fantastic. Again, proving that hardcore was just a penetration and/or pop away, Satyr IX gives us just as many buffalo, beefalo and bison shots as today's explicit skin flicks. For individuals who think softcore is all about the girls, you need to check out Spencer's version of the horizontal Heimlich. This is one director who's an equal opportunity exposer.

Typical to their triple feature releases, Something Weird fails to offer much in the way of bonus features. The collection of horror comic art is interesting, even if we have seen it on other releases, and the trailers all offer the same bait and switch concepts (for example, the movie is supposed to be about science, but it's really about snatch). Visually, the movies don't look so bad, considering how rare they are. Terror at Orgy Castle appears to have some mastering issues. The darks look solarized, and many of the colors have an uneasy 'glow' to them. Hand of Pleasure has a few scratches and splicing errors along the way, and Evil Come, Evil Go is a fairly faded experience. But the 1.33:1 full frame images are still presentable, and offer the only way to view some of these long lost examples of film at its most free.

Indeed, what most people tend to forget is that exploitation set the benchmark for today's independent scene. Without the studios to back them, or the theaters to play them, the grindhouse filmmaker had to rely on subject matter and scandal to get butts in the seats. When looking at something like Evil Come, Evil Go, it is easy to see the raincoat crowd concepts in pseudo-alignment. But with both Terror at Orgy Castle and Hand of Pleasure, the pretend petting overwhelms everything else. Not even the physical oddity of a stripper's off-kilter set of tits can make up for all the scenes of drifters draining their dip sticks into creepy crankcases. Anyone who knows the genre knows it was more than that. Unfortunately, while fun, this triple feature doesn't provide much proof of that assertion.

Want more Gibron Goodness? Come to Bill's TINSEL TORN REBORN Blog (Updated Frequently) and Enjoy! Click Here

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