Monday, 17 November 2014

Good Against Evil (1977)

This film was the pilot for what looks like it would basically have been "The Exorcist: The Series", only with a sillier name.

Jessica Gordon is a 22 year old woman who seems to lead a charmed life.  While in design school an anonymous benefactor arranged for her to have her own show, for instance, and she now earns her living doing what she loves.  It's almost like she has a guardian angel.  Or a guardian fallen angel.

Jessica, you see, has been earmarked as the consort of the demon Astaroth, and he is the one ensuring her smooth and orderly progress through life.  Well, except for the fact that any man she shows an interest in quickly meets a sticky end.

It's probably no surprise then that she is initially very unwelcoming of the advances of Andy Stuart (played by the wonderfully-named Dack Rambo).  He wears her down though, with tactics we're meant to find romantic but which in this more modern age veer rather more toward 'stalkery'.

When an attempt to deal with Andy in the same way as Jessica's previous paramours fails, Astaroth decides to simply hypnotise her into forgetting the last two years and whisk her off to the other side of the country.  And then to make sure Andy is distracted, he possesses the daughter of a former lover and makes her have an accident.  Andy rushes off to help the woman (a young Kim Cattrall), but the joke's on Astaroth since in the process he meets a priest who recognises the signs of demonic activity.  Together, they free the possessed girl, and then drive off in search of Jessica like a 1970s version of the boys from Supernatural.

Which, now that I think of it, is something I'd watch.  "Starsky and Hutch, Demon Hunters" sounds like a pretty cool elevator pitch.

This however is a fairly forgettable little film, and it is easy enough to see why the series didn't get picked up.  There's just not much intensity to it, and Astaroth's machinations are rather impractical given the advantages he has.  The film makers also have a very inflated opinion on the scariness of the average black cat, to the point that the 'dun dun dun' ending involving one gave me a fit of the giggles.

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