Directors: Walt Davis, Zoltan Spencer
Something Weird Video/Image Entertainment

After what seems like an eternity since a Something Weird DVD release, the #1 company for cult and exploitation titles unleashes another must-own triple feature disc! Walt Davis' EVIL COME, EVIL GO, a long-time contender for DVD release, and two of California madman Zoltan Spencer's better-known sexploitation oddities are gathered for an out of this world experience that was worth the wait. All three films were a part of Frank Henenlotter's Sexy Shocker series, so they're guaranteed to be filled with the kind of sick and twisted thrills one could expect when they come with a seal of approval by the maker of BASKET CASE.

When it comes to mixing crazed religious harpies, almost-porno sex scenes and gooey gory murders, no film does it better than EVIL COME, EVIL GO! Sara Jane Butler is a prim and proper churchgoing gal who travels the country street-preaching against the evils of sex and sin! To make her point, she picks up sleazy johns at local taverns, takes them to a motel promising pleasures of the flesh and gorily dispatches of them! She finally reaches Hollywood, where she is taken in by Penny, a "friend of the cause" lesbian who is quickly initiated into Sister Sara's Sacred Order of the Sisters of Complete Subjugation. The two gal pals proceed to lure more men into their apartment to cleanse their souls by butchering them in blood-splattering fashion!

Walt Davis should have gone down in history for directing and starring in the unclassifiable hardcore porno epic SEX PSYCHO, which has been discontinued from SWV's catalog but is required viewing for those who think they've seen everything. For those who have seen that abomination, it's surprising to see that there is a hint of talent to be seen from this oddball director in EVIL COME, EVIL GO. It's another peek into the bizarro mind of Davis, but is competently photographed by Manuel S. Conde and better-acted than his more familiar films (THE DANISH CONNECTION, SEX PSYCHO). The violence and sex is a tad more restrained this time around for Davis, but it's still a sleazy, off-the-wall gem which could have only been made in the 1970's!

Leading lady Cleo O'Hara only appeared in one other film, Davis' OH! YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL, the following year, but she must have taken the role of Sara Jane as her bid at stardom, for she plays it to the hilt! She really digs her claws into this bizarre character, throwing inhibition to the wind to spout outrageous dialogue, disrobe for awkward sex scenes and brutally slice and dice the sinful men she woes into her clutches. What's more, it's funny to see her improv such moments as mouthing "fucking bastard" at a hot dog vendor who charges her for his wares and making an exaggerated shrug as she accidentally spills a cup of soda on her way out of a restaurant. It's in scenes like these she reminds me of Sandy Dempsey, another comic actress in 70s sex films whose improvisation skills were top-notch. Whatever happened to Ms. O'Hara? She is completely believable in this unpredictable role and would have been a good comic guest star on countless 70s TV sitcoms. Sandra Henderson is serviceable as Penny, her naive disciple, but it's O'Hara's show all the way. Softcore and hardcore stud Rick Cassidy (who would also go gay as Jim Cassidy) appears as the male half of a sunbathing couple who graduate to bumping uglies in broad daylight, and John Holmes is credited as a "pool player" (and as assistant director!) but is seen too far from a distance to recognize him. Davis himself appears as an Arizona pig farmer picked up in a bar and shown post-murder with his guts hanging out! Producing behind-the-scenes were two big names in adults-only sinema: Manuel S. Conde and Bob Chinn. Chinn would become famous for creating the JOHNNY WADD series and partly influenced Burt Reynolds' director character in BOOGIE NIGHTS, while Conde was a popular cinematographer for such 70s sexploitation gems as DEEP JAWS, THE DICKTATOR, THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL, and this film. You can see Chinn's cameo more clearly in the opening bar scene. With a cat wandering into the frame during a dramatic scene, a beach scene reminiscent of Matt Cimber's WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA, split-beaver shots, full frontal male nudity (including a brief hard-on), borderline hardcore sex, lots of hymns, a graphic post-coitus murder leaving a nude Penny drenched in blood, a lengthy unenthusiastic lesbian scene, and a very strange ending!

The presentation of EVIL COME, EVIL GO is a decent fullscreen transfer. There is a lot of grain on display, and some audio hiccups in the final reel, but the print is bright and clear, with no splices, jumps or print deterioration at all. Gore and sex easy to see and colors like orange and yellow look good. Davis probably shot this on the cheapest stock possible, so it's a wonder it isn't in worse shape! The mono audio suffers during under-recorded dialogue during production, but the musical score and action sequences are very clear.

Where Zoltan Spencer failed in technical panache, he excelled in doses of grindhouse-level sex and sleaze appeal. I'm hard-pressed to name a Spencer film which is genuinely good, but whether he dabbled in rough black-and-white or garish color, his films remain perfect examples of the type of low-brow entertainment which packed in the crowds at West Coast skinflick houses. Shot for pennies with clothesline scripts and a cast of California lovelies, Spencer's filmography is long overdue for DVD release, so it's great to finally have two of his best films here on this disc. Perhaps we can expect SISTERS IN LEATHER, DANISH AND BLUE and ALL THE WAY DOWN soon?

TERROR AT ORGY CASTLE is one of Spencer's more popular films and also one of his most unique because of the fact that it strives to come across as a European import. There are no credits and the film seems to have been shot with dialogue which was either never recorded in post-production or discarded in favor of narration.

Bill and Lisa, a sex-crazy couple on a European vacation, are booked into a decrepit old German castle for an overnight stay. They meet their hostess, Countess Dominova ("She was right out of one of those late-night TV vampire movies"), who keeps an open coffin and an Andrew's cross in her living room and wears very outrageous makeup. Her servant Igor shows them their room, where they proceed to "make it" ("Those old stones really turned her on"). Bill is torn from reading a horror novel by sounds of a bizarre ritual where Dominova transforms herself into a man with odd eye makeup and humps away at two nude ladies! As punishment for witnessing her sex ritual, Dominova sends a zombified blonde girl with a twig ("a succubus sent to suck the strength from her male victim") and her redheaded friend to screw Bill silly while Lisa sleeps next to him! The next day, all hell really breaks loose when Dominova holds a costume party where her followers pounce on the intruding couple and show them what vampirism and naughty Satan love is all about!

ORGY CASTLE thankfully doesn't wear out its welcome in 63 minutes. It was reportedly shot on the same dungeon sets at Hollywood Studios as BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE, a much tamer movie. There's really not much to say about this one except if you enjoy plotless excursions into mixes of sex-n-horror, this one will push all your buttons. Cinematographer/producer Manuel S. Conde keeps the photography pretty simple, with none of the flare for visuals he would show in other projects, but there are some nice moments like our hero wandering the dark hallways with a candle. Even though there are no credits, the cast includes Jane Tsentas (pre-implants, from ADULT VERSION OF JEKYLL AND HIDE) as the blonde succubus, Holly Woodstar (subtle name, huh?) as Countess Dominova, and blonde sexploitation regular Ron Darby as an orgy participant. William Howard, the male lead, would return in HAND OF PLEASURE for Spencer. With moody organ music, a jazz-rock score, full frontal male nudity, graphic lengthy sex scenes (many of which are pretty hot), a slovenly dinner feast, a rat pressed against a girl's stomach in a bowl and heated so it chews through the girl's stomach to try to escape (!), a nude Dominova in a black flowing cape overseeing a black mass, Bill tied to the Andrew's cross and double-blown by two gals, and a surprise gangbang where all the guys wear a garish, glittery ram's headdress!

The fullscreen transfer of TERROR AT ORGY CASTLE is from the original negative and looks very good for such a bargain-basement production. Colors are bright and skintones are accurate, and other than frequent grain and scratches during the opening reel, this is a good-looking transfer. Compared to the VHS release, this is a vast improvement in terms of color restoration; the tape has an overbearing pink hue which is nowhere to be found on this disc. The mono audio brings across the narration and soundtrack very well, with no volume wavering.

Moving on now to Spencer's final film, HAND OF PLEASURE, one has to wonder what happened to this man? He's also credited on other films as Spencer Crilly, but both names sound like pseudonyms, so perhaps we'll never know who or where he ended up and the true stories behind his career. It might be best that he retired/disappeared before hardcore took over, because HAND OF PLEASURE is a fitting swan song to his particular brand of twisted sinema. Compared to ORGY CASTLE, this is a bonafide masterpiece in terms of production value and storyline and is still chockfull of maddening 70s schlock value!

London, 1971: American CIA agents (with apparently no purpose being in the UK) are being abducted by gun-wielding gals of a gang known as The Hand of Pleasure (hence the title). Scotland Yard is baffled as they discover the bodies of men "sucked to death." Who are these sexually insatiable ho's? They are the result of the dastardly experiments of Dr. Dreadful, who recruits beautiful woman and turns them into "man-killing love robots" with his trusty iron maiden and sex transference machine! American student Joe is accidentally mistaken for an agent and is planted as a decoy by the Yard. But he and his gal pal Jill have no idea what insane sexual thrills await them in Dr. Dreadful's Museum of Heinous Crimes!

From the grab-your-collar opening scene with a baby-faced agent being pounced by screeching naked ladies, HAND OF PLEASURE is one crazed mother of a movie! Part comedy, part sci-fi and part sex film, this is Spencer's final shining moment in the sexploitation genre and is the closest he ever came to making a genuine movie with a plot. Contrary to the shots of London (which don't look to be stock footage), this was definitely shot in California. There is no attempt at British accents, which might have added some great unintentional comedy, and Manuel S. Conde's cinematography is once again kept simple to reflect the very low budget. Clocking in at 63 minutes, some of the travelogue London footage feels like padding (which is probably accurate), but the rest of the film is fast-paced and a hell of a lot of fun.

As with Spencer's other films, there are no credits but it's not hard to spot familiar cast members from the California sex film scene. Ron Darby is abducted by Maria Arnold (who I've realized is quite short!) and her cohort and sucked to death while the girls meow and hiss; William Howard, the star of TERROR AT ORGY CASTLE, returns as Joe; a stripper with enormous hooters who dances and takes a bath on-stage appears to be Roxanne Brewer, mega-tit superstar of means' magazines and skinflicks such as FANTASM and DEEP JAWS; Jill, the American college girl posing as a hooker, is played by bucktoothed blonde Terri Johnson, familiar from Novak and Apostolof films. If you want a peek at the director himself, he actually stars in this one as Dr. Dreadful! With goofy toy guns, another delirious jazzy rock score, surprising profanity, growling animalistic nude women, a street with a handwritten sign saying "Birdcage Walk", a giant hearing device to collect the secrets told by the agents in flagrante, topless girls flailing during their transformations, pretty graphic sex scenes, brief costume and S&M play, a wax museum scenario much like one in Al Adamson's DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN (but influenced by HOUSE OF WAX), a threeway lesbian scene, and a goofy plot twist with Joe becoming a raging horndog!

The 35mm print source for HAND OF PLEASURE is in very good shape, with decent color, fair amount of grain, and no splices or jumps. The image is bright and clear, skin tones are beautiful and blacks are appropriately deep.

For a disc with three feature films on it, the extras are bound to be limited. A collection of trailers kicks off with the previews for EVIL COME, EVIL GO and TERROR AT ORGY CASTLE (the preview for HAND OF PLEASURE has apparently never turned up). EVIL COME is proclaimed as being "based on the horrifying book that shocked the nation"! DANISH AND BLUE is another Zoltan Spencer film, starring hardcore cutie Suzanne Fields (FLESH GORDON), Spencer regular William Howard (in an almost hardcore scene), and Linda Wroom (the blonde in ANGELS' WILD WOMEN whose one line is "You wanna see some boobies?"). John Holmes is supposed to be in here, too. A black dancer reveals "she" is a man (!), two naked blondes wrestle and go lesbo, and a man and woman are tied to another Andrew's cross. DEEP JAWS is a late-70s softcore epic shot by Manuel S. Conde and featuring some of the most buxotic starlets of the period: Roxanne Brewer, Candy Samples, Sandy Carey! It's a sex comedy with full frontal male nudity, lots of goofy sex scenes, George "Buck" Flower, and follows the behind-the-scenes story of shooting a sex film. THE TEASER is one of the best films of Rene Bond's career, and she isn't even the star! Classy tease Becky Sharpe is a high school girl who is raped by Ric Lutze and taken in by wealthy couple Rene Bond and Carlos Cole, who show her sex can be beautiful. Sandy Dempsey also appears as a topless waitress, and John Paul Jones is her much-teased coworker. And in a surprising appearance, the nameless bisexual star of SEX PSYCHO appears during an orgy! Capping off the extras is a gallery of comic book cover art with original rock music by the Dead Elvi. Lots of gorgeous, garish horror images which should be collected into book form! (Casey Scott)