Face of Evil is one of those horror movies that tests your patience. A horror that seems to be trying its hardest to make you turn if off at first but in a nice surprise once it gets going it turns into a fairly entertaining watch. One that deals with the real horror of PTSD.
From writer/director and producer, Vito Dinatolo, Face of Evil is now available on VOD and DVD from Gravitas Ventures. It stars Chad Bishop, Jamie Bernadette and Scott Baxter, the latter playing Private Jay Williams.
He returns from his tour of duty in the Middle East on July 4th to be greeted by his sister and friends. They have thrown him a party and are in the celebratory mood even if he isn’t. Something is wrong and after a brief bit of ‘meet the characters’ the party takes a surprising turn when some sort of infection turns everyone but Jay into demons/zombies. He fights them off and escapes before randomly running into his ex-sergeant.
Sarge seem to know a hell of a lot about the zombie like epidemic and the pair team up to put a stop to it. Everywhere they go, the people they meet turn into demons/zombies forcing the pair to constantly have to battle to survive.
Face of Evil is a film of two parts. One is a poorly acted (everyone but Baxter and Bernadette – who plays his sister – pretty much stink up the screen), run of the mill zombie infection flick. The other is an interesting take on the horrors of wartime and its effects on those involved.
It’s the latter part that really makes this worth watching provided you can get through its awful opening segments. It’s at this stage that the film doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. When the infection spreads it reminded me more of something demonic, something akin to Evil Dead but the characters keep insisting they are zombies. The thing is they don’t really act like zombies!
Once it settles down and we’re accompanying Sarge and Jay on their journey things get better. It’s not the best told story as it muddles through some unimportant scenes but it is far more watchable. You can’t help but think Dinatolo had his ending written before anything else.
I do like the finale though. About half way through you start to get this itch at the back of your brain. Certain things you see or notice begin to make you question just what you’re seeing. The twist/reveal as it is isn’t surprising but it is well done. It’s a finale that leaves you feeling a bit cold but satisfied.
The flaws that make up the first part of the movie are hard to overlook though. Get through it though as Face of Evil pays off the time you invested nicely.
Face of Evil
The Final Score - 5.5/10