I get annoyed when people complain that a director/writer’s first movie isn’t groundbreaking and wonderful. Not everyone can be a Kevin Smith! Personally I think Yorgos Noussias has turned out a fun, gore-filled zombie flick with his 2005 feature Evil – To Kako and shouldn’t be unfairly derided for not achieving a Hollywood blockbuster on his first attempt. Admittedly Evil doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, however it is a more than competent outing and shows potential that we will hopefully see develop in the larger-budget sequel Evil – In The Time of Heroes (the trailer that’s been released already looks promising).
Three construction workers in Athens discover a cave, and shortly after entering they are attacked by an unknown entity (it is never explained what this entity actually is). Later that night the three fall ill and promptly start attacking everyone around them The film follows a ragtag group of characters fighting to survive against increasingly overwhelming odds as the infection swallows the entire population of the city. That about sums it up for the plot, but thanks to the fast-paced action and 83m runtime you don’t really ever get left bored despite having seen characters face almost identical situations so many times before in other movies. In fact the pacing is almost too fast; although some attempts are made to develop the characters on screen we never really bond with them as the audience, which means when characters get killed we don’t really care a great deal.
The zombies, if you can call them that, are something of a pick’n’mix of zombie lore. They are the fastest turning I have ever seen, taking a matter of seconds from the first bite to turning around and attacking the next person in line. This does make for an interesting scene where the infection spreads across the spectators of a football stadium, however unfortunately this is more suggested than actually shown properly. They move like the Infected from 28 Days Later, only with a limp. But unlike the Infected, if you chop one of these beasties in half then the torso will still keep coming at you!
Aside from minor gripes about the only just passable acting, Evil’s biggest fault is the image quality. In particular most scenes look washed out and grainy, belying the low-budget that this film was made on. However the director has managed to throw in some rather nice stylings such as comic book split-screen (as seen in films like Run Lola Run), and this helps to alleviate the grating of the poor image quality. But the real powerhouse of the movie, the thing that will draw the most fans, is the quantity and quality of gore. Much like a Romero film, there is the real sense that someone has sat down and thought “what different ways can I kill off these zombies?” Memorable finishers include exploding heads, a thrown stiletto impaling the brain of a zombie, and a pool-cue through the throat, all pulled off with surprisingly good effects and lots of blood.
Extras wise the release is a damp squib; the disc includes a very short stills gallery, a theatrical trailer, and trailers for three other movies.
If you are willing to sit back, relax, and enjoy yet another outing in zombie-bashing that will satisfy your gore-lust but not much besides, then you will certainly sense something deliciously satisfying in this lesser known entry in the genre. However if you prefer your zombie movies more cerebral (*groan*), along the lines of Night of the Living Dead and Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, then you may well find Evil to be a mindless exercise in splatter effects. Either way, you’d be right – and my money is on this becoming one of those cult movies that people “in the know” just love to introduce their friends to. Sadly although this is a thoroughly enjoyable gore movie, the other elements of the movie mean that it cannot fairly be rated above two stars.