Fear No Evil (Frank LaLoggia, 1981)

Based on the deeply-false assumption that one can read a tyro filmmaker’s biography from their debut feature (see, e.g., Phantasm), Frank LaLoggia, the twentysomething writer-director-composer (!-!!-!!!) at the helm of this film is either a former altar boy who spent one too many sessions in the confessional booth talking about the messy biology of transubstantiation or one too many sleepless nights wondering if he was, in fact, the reincarnation of a neon-powered seraphim. In this overly-ambitious idea-choked narrative, high school hijinks (with a stellar roster of new wave acts soundtracking the proceedings) crashes into quasi-religious apocalyptic hokum (accompanied by “special” “effects” that are astoundingly awful); sub-summer stock emoting ruins what are hefty emotional situations; and slack pacing grates at the surface of truly incredible set pieces, as a Passion Play, erupting in lighting and squibs as the Jesus manqué dies for nobody’s sins, is cross cut with a phalanx of oatmeal-faced zombies unearthing themselves.

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