21 June 2024
Force of Evil (1977)
100 min.
Directed by Richard Lang.
With Lloyd Bridges, Pat Crowley, Eve Plumb, William Watson, William Kirby Cullen, John Anderson, Cindy Eilbacher.
Top drawer variation on 1962's classic Cape Fear.

Murderer and rapist Teddy Jakes (Watson) returns to the small town of Desert Wells after serving 7 years in prison. But starting over is not what Jakes has in mind.

He's intent on making his old boss Dr. Carrington (Bridges) and family pay dearly for helping to convict him.

Suspicious events begin: a killer stable fire...a tragic boating accident...but soon, the 'chance' happenings turn decidedly deadly.

Will the Carringtons live long enough to stop Jakes?

Well acted (Bridges and Crowley are both excellent, while Watson as the maniac matches them wit for wit), this teleterror is also exceptionally paced and spiced with a few non-telegraphed scares including a 'severed arm by delivery' and a nice jump scare with Crowley and Watson.

The underscored moral dilemma faced by Bridges and Crowley as they attempt to kill their would-be killer is a nice touch.

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