Exploitation fans, be warned! Judge Bill Gibron believes that this twisted, tainted triple feature is enough to make you swear off softcore skin flicks forever.
Shock-O-Rama Sex and Horror!
You know the phrase "Jesus wept"? Well, it was probably because of what he saw Sister Sarah Jane doing on his behalf. This Bible-thumping humper just can't stand the notion of "pleasurable sex" (which she pronounces in an accent so antebellum that you half expect her to start crying out for Ashley Wilkes), and decides that the best way to purge the world of "evil men" is to fornicate them to death. So our erotic evangelical picks up sleazeballs in bars, brings them home, and stabs them to death while in the throes of passion—or what passes for passion in Sister Sarah's blood-splattered arms. After moving to L.A., our homicidal heroine recruits poor unloved lesbian socialite Penny, who immediately becomes a member of Sister Sarah's Sacred Order of the Sisters of Complete Subjugation. Together, they vow to clean up God's earthly kingdom, one oversexed drunk at a time. It's just like the Good Book says…Evil Come, Evil Go.
Over at the castle of Countess Dominova, swinging couple Bill and Lisa have just checked in. They've "made it" all over Europe and have decided that a spooky old manor—actually the rundown set from a rundown horror movie—would be the perfect place to continue the physical expression of their love. Naturally, the minute they settle into this moldy old abode, goofy ghoul stuff starts happening. Bill is raped by a trio of she-demons (he doesn't put up much of a fight). He also witnesses the Countess shape-shifting into a Count. Of course, the big surprise comes when the perplexed paramours want to leave. Instead of allowing them to check out, their scantily-clad hostess demands they take part in a Black Mass sex party that's so perverse that Anton LeVay would denounce it as "disgusting." All Bill and Lisa wanted was an atmospheric place to gyrate their genitals; what they got instead was Terror at Orgy Castle.
When all available CIA agents in London end up sexed to death, the government has no choice but to enlist the services of some random dunce to discover the whereabouts of Dr. Dreadful, an evil villain with a plot to rid the world of heterosexuality. With his patent-pending sex transference device, which looks like car jumper cables with various kitchenware attachments, he plans on lightening the loafers of every man on the planet (the better to have his way with them). If they refuse, he will call upon his naked sex assassins who, when they're not making animal noises, are perfectly capable of deadly diddling. Our inexperienced spy guy hooks up with a college student while in Merry Olde England, and they both employ a unique method of tracking down the evil uberlord—they have lots of softcore sex. But they better be careful. Dr. Dreadful will use the Hand of Pleasure to make sure our hero never desires the dames ever again.
Frankly, serial killers couldn't ask for a better representative for the carnal side to their slaughter than Sister Sarah Jane. She's the true definition of a coitus interrupter. That is why Evil Come, Evil Go is a classic of sorts, a movie that uses murder to cover up its otherwise sex-based scenarios. 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 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 freestylin', but damn if Sister Sarah isn't ready with a sex-snuffing scarf to ruin the romance. Wildly uneven, funny as Hell, and occasionally 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.
The only horror to be found in Terror at Orgy Castle however 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 scratchin' crammed into a 63-minute saga about adventurous lovers. Our unseen narrator promises us a lot of interesting things. He swears we will witness a black mass and some manner of hideous human sacrifice. Instead, the ritual in question has more to do with Teamsters dropping trou and barmaids bearing all than any Satanic silliness. The closest we get to any real repulsion—aside from all the noxious nudity—is the infamous "rat casserole" scene, where a live mouse is plastered against a woman's exposed stomach. The implication is that the rodent intends to "chew" its way out. Turns out it was all a hoax, just like the movie it resides in.
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 with them. Zoltan G. Spencer is back behind the Boloflex again, and he has a few seedy surprises up his sleazy sleeve. Indeed, this movie has one of the most jawdroppingly deranged striptease sequences ever filmed. Imagine Chesty Morgan with a botched asymmetrical boob job, face painted up like a combination of trailer trash and circus clown, and you've got the basics of this burlesque. Now add a tatty Dolly Parton wig, the movement skills of a comatose crayfish, and a "dead dear in the headlights" look in our exotic entertainer's eyes, and you've got the single scene that nearly reinvigorates Hand of Pleasure. Like all other Satyr IX productions, this fetid film proves that hardcore was just a penetration and/or pop away. There are so many buffalo, beefalo, and bison shots here that your guy-groin forbearance will be flustered. For those 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 (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 faded. 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.
While there's a lot more to the exploitation genre than nudity and nookie, the illicit image is a hard one to shake. Aside from the infrequent fright flick, or social subject exposé (VD, unwanted pregnancy), the entire canon can seem filled with nothing but inebriated flower children unveiling their unmentionables. Though they try to offer something more novel, Evil Come, Evil Go/ Terror at Orgy Castle/ Hand of Pleasure are too fond of the fetlocks to completely succeed. Sister Sarah Jane had the right idea all along. Perhaps it's better to kill than copulate, especially when someone, or something, like Satyr IX is behind the fake fornication.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Something Weird Video
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