Prime Evil (1988)

prime evil poster 1988 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

So bad it is good

Badly plotted, looks horrible, poorly acted

Movie Info

Movie Name: Prime Evil

Studio:  Crown International Pictures

Genre(s): B-Movie/Horror

Release Date(s):  May 14, 1988 (Cannes Film Market)/August 25, 1985 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

prime evil christine moore william beckwith

Hey, tell “Father” all your sins…and desires

A cult of Satan lies secretly hidden within the church, and its members live centuries by extending their lives through sacrifices to Satan.  Father Thomas Seaton (William Beckwith) is the leader of the cultists and is preparing for a new sacrifice of fresh blood at the Winter Solstice.  As Sister Angela Spencer (Mavis Harris) works to infiltrate the cult, one of the members named George Parkman (Max Jacob) has planned to sacrifice his granddaughter Alexandra (Christine Moore) to challenge Seaton…but Seaton has other plans for Alexandra, and Alexandra could become the ultimate pawn of Satan!

Directed by Roberta Findlay, Prime Evil is a low-budget satanic horror movie.  The film was released to negative reviews and is frequently included in multi-movie packs.

I have two copies of Prime Evil through various collections…yet I couldn’t force myself to sit through it.  I had started the movie a few times and found it rather tedious.  Powering through I finished Prime Evil…and it definitely falls into the “so-bad-it-is-good” category.

prime evil black mass satanists

Welcome to the Black Mass!

The plot is all over the place and there are so many threads that you watch and know that it is impossible for them to all come together.  You have the Sister Angela going undercover with the Satanist (which could have been the main plot), the handyman killer hired by the Satanist to capture women for sacrifice, the weird power struggle between George and Thomas, the police investigation, and the storyline of Alexandra and her unfortunate boyfriend…any one of these could have been the story, but the movie decided to cram them all in…and none develop.

The acting for the movie, likewise, is very…questionable.  The lines are delivered so poorly that it feels like they are reading off of cue cards and it gives the film a weird cheap porn feel.  In the actors’ defense, they might not have had much direction and the story was so underdeveloped that they might not have had much to work with…but there was of course the necessary nudity for a 1988 movie.

prime evil satan

Satan here…I’ve come for your virgins!

Visually the movie is cheap looking as well.  A church in New York was willing to stand in for the film though there were reports that the director didn’t inform them that a black mass would be prepared inside.  There’s some low-budget special effects and a Satan/Devil type monster at the end, but overall the budget seems small.

Prime Evil is a weak movie, but you could at least watch it and make fun of it.  It is cheesy and cliché and demonstrates the Satanic panic that was popular in the 1980s by just seeming to throw a bunch of vaguely anti-Christian themes together and calling it “devil worship”.  Don’t go into Prime Evil expecting much…and you won’t be as disappointed when you leave with nothing.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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