Dropping Evil is most definitely an independent film through and through. It’s also definitely an independent horror film, which means not all the effects are up to par. What I didn’t know while I was watching this was that, according to IMDB, it was supposed to be a comedy as well! Looking back on it, I can see where it tries, but the film just isn’t funny. At all. Cheese-filled with a really nonsensical plot? Yup. But it comes across as trying too hard and failing instead of playing as a comedy. What it does remind me of are those early ‘80s, direct-to-video films that used to line the shelves of the rental stores, but it’s one of those ones only a few people are going to enjoy, and the rest are going to return with a sour look on their face.
Dropping Evil actually has two plots going on, one following a sinister corporation of some type that’s dabbling not just with the occult, but also with some kind of demons. The other is about a group of three friends and the weirdo they invite camping who hates everything about them because of religious reasons. If these were two, separate, short films without these two plots colliding, it’d work really well. The evil corporation bits are filmed in black and white and you can tell there’s definitely something sinister going on, while the four friends part is in grainy color, which is where the early ‘80s bits seem to come in for me. Also, the sound throughout the film is off. The music is at a great volume, and some of the effects, but the dialogue is all over the place in quality, which also helps make the film hard to watch. I’m not sure having understandable dialogue would have helped grasp the complete plot however.
The film starts off with our lead, Mike, and his girlfriend, Samantha, meeting at her garage where she’s practicing with her band and their groupies before high school starts. They are setting up their camping trip. Let’s just say the band isn’t all that engaging, none of the acting is convincing, and the whole scene makes me cringe, and not in a good way at all. Either way, the pair decides to invite his weird male, religious fanatic friend, named Nancy, along to be a double date for another friend, Becky. As far as I can tell, the only reason they’d invite this guy along must be because they secretly hate Becky. Cut to Becky getting worked on at the evil corporation, and getting an eye implant so they can spy on what’s going on. Then cut back to them getting ready for, and going on, the most awkward car drive I’ve seen in a while where they end up thinking that giving Nancy a slip of LSD will be sure to lighten him up. Instead, this sends him on a murder spree. Cut back and forth while this is going on with events in the evil corporation, and Armin Shimerman trying to explain to us the set-up and why all of this is important, before dropping a long, grindhouse-style preview for a sequel film, and then the end credits. This trailer is also literally the only portion of the film where Fred Williamson shows up, so his name plastered all over the box is really misleading.
The evil corporation plot, the demon subplot, the kid’s plot, none of these really work well together. The pacing is awful, the acting doesn’t hold up, and it feels like the idea for this was not only half-formed, but like they were coming up with a lot of the scenes on the fly. The dialogue is hard to hear as it’s uneven all over, and the only saving grace for me was that the film was decidedly short. I love Armin Shimerman from his days on Buffy and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but even he couldn’t save this film for me. Don’t get me wrong: I do like some low budget and decidedly B-movies, but a lot of those have a charm attached to them as well, or simply feel like complete films. Dropping Evil feels more like an experiment that got out in the wild, and it’s going to be hard for most people to enjoy.
Dropping Evil (2012) was released on DVD by Wild Eye Releasing on October 23, 2012. It was written by Louis Doerge, and directed by Adam Protextor. The film is 82 minutes in length, and is not rated. Cinefessions was provided a DVD copy of the film for review from Wild Eye Releasing.