The Evil (1978)

# 14868 IMDb R 

The Evil (1978

taglineEscape is just a nerve-shredding scream for salvation!

Director: Gus Trikonis

Stars: Richard Crenna, Victor Buono, Mary Louise Weller, Andrew Prine, Milton Selzer

Horror, Thriller (1h 29min)


Rated 5.9 after 1,472 votes on 05-Dec-18.


A chilling tale of suspense and survival. When a doctor rents a haunted house to use as a clinic, he and his associates are victimized by supernatural powers within.


Gus Trikonis (director) Richard Crenna Joanna Pettet Andrew Prine Cassie Yates George O'Hanlon Jr. Lynne Moody

Richard Crenna (C.J. Arnold), Joanna Pettet (Dr. Caroline Arnold), Andrew Prine (Prof. Raymond Guy), Cassie Yates (Mary Harper), George O'Hanlon Jr. (Pete Brooks), Lynne Moody (Felicia Allen), Mary Louise Weller (Laurie Belman), Robert Viharo (Dwight (as George Viharo)), Victor Buono (The Devil), Milton Selzer (The Realtor), Ed Bakey (Sam the Caretaker), Galen Thompson (Emilio Vargas), Emory Souza (The Demon)

From the same director


Galen Thompson (screenplay) (as Donald G. Thompson), David Sheldon (story) (uncredited), Gus Trikonis (screenplay)

Produced by

Ed Carlin (producer), Roger Corman (executive producer), Paul Joseph (executive producer (as Paul A. Joseph)), Malcolm Levinthal (executive producer), David Sheldon (co-producer (uncredited))



A daft, but entertainingly modest low-budget late 70s haunted house variation with horror comic lashings (intentional or not) in what becomes a traditional battle between good vs. evil. Nothing surprises, as no cliché is left untouched, but director Gus Trikonis' able execution is quite well done for what it is. Some creepy or outrageous moments and there's a solid cast led by the ever-reliable Richard Crenna, as he plays a psychologist along with his wife (a doctor) buy an abandon mansion (which does have something of a gloomy past) to hopefully restore to use as a clinic. So some friends and students of his go there to help fix it up, but unknowingly to them a devastating satanic force is unleashed and they find themselves trapped inside trying to survive.

The raw atmospheric make-up emit's a dominating presence, from the grand vast secluded mansion to the eerily placed music score, imaginative camera placement and cue in the cackling evil laughter of the evil entity. It constructs an ominously nightmarish strangle-hold, as it grows claustrophobic but at the same time the whirlwind becomes a random schlock-fest with its climax being the tip of it. It's not as unnerving as it could have been and the ending it feebly done. The story dynamics are old-hat (a stormy night) and it's slow to get going with some plodding opening dialogues, but soon that's made way for impulsively staged deaths / encounters --- consisting of spirit manifestations, possessions, fires, self-mutilation and bodies being thrown about. When these strange occurrences transpire, it's even mentioned for no one to go anywhere on their own, but do they listen… of course not. The dedicated cast also features lively performances by Andrew Prine, Joanna Pettet, Cassie Yates and a memorable sequence with Victor Buono.

Memorable quotes

[C.J. comes face-to-face with the Devil sitting on a throne in a white-colored limbo plane of existence]
Devil: [chuckles] Forgive me, but you are an endless source of amusement to me.
C.J. Arnold: What is it that you want?
Devil: There... you see what I mean? After all I put you through and you still don't know.
C.J. Arnold: You did all that?
Devil: No, Mr. Arnold. YOU did. You denied the warnings, you opened the door, and still you cannot accept or understand what you've done. You pondered the deeper meaning of a universal power for good. Self made.
C.J. Arnold: What is it that you want from me?
Devil: My accounts. I fill my accounts. You have a will, Mr. Arnold. Strong, sometimes misdirected, but a will. So you have some value even among your kind. By the way, where is that piece of holy excrement that you used to open the door? The cross?
C.J. Arnold: It's a thing of God. How could it come here? What could you want with it?
Devil: [stern tone] Don't question me. I have little enough patience. That "thing" shall be destroyed and you are going to see it done. Where is it?


Filmed in an abandoned health spa and resort.

5 total 



Other titles

Cry Demon • La razón del mal (Argentina) • L'héritage des Vargas (Canada (French title)) • The Evil (Canada (English title); Thailand (English title)) • El enigma de la mansión siniestra (Colombia) • El poder de Satanás (Spain (video title)) • Profecía diabólica (Spain) • Pahuus (Finland) • Le couloir de la mort (France) • Evil (UK (alternative spelling)) • The Evil Below (UK (video title)) • Le radici della paura (Italy) • Zlo (Poland) • Maleficul (Romania) • Djävulen slår till (Sweden) • Ondskan (Sweden) • Zlovesce sile (Slovenia) • Зло (Soviet Union (Russian title)) • House of Evil (USA (LD title)) • The Evil - Die Macht des Bösen (West Germany) • Zlokobna sila (Yugoslavia (Serbian title))



Argentina:18 / Australia:R / Australia:M / France:12 / Iceland:16 / Norway:18 / United Kingdom:18 / United States:R / West Germany:Not Rated



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