Anniversary Post: Evil Clutch

Evil Clutch

On this day, 26 March, in 1988, the Italian horror film Evil Clutch was released. It was writer-director Andreas Marfori’s first feature film. He’s a very interesting guy, which may explain why he’s only made six features. Some of them I’ve never found like Energy!!! The Movie, which features Timothy Leary.

But you can find other films that are worth checking out like Desperate Crimes (featuring Denise Crosby and Traci Lords) and Soviet Zombie Invasion. Evil Clutch sets the stage for Marfori’s idiosyncratic career.

Synopsis

The film starts with a young man going to a remote building where a beautiful woman is sitting. They start to make-out but then a claw appears and she rips off a bunch of flesh from his groin. He slowly dies and she now has white skin and fangs and laughs maniacally.

Not long after… The woman flags down a couple in a jeep. She says she was attacked and they give her a ride to a nearby town where they are vacationing. Once there, the woman sees a motorcyclist with a voice box and runs away.

The motorcyclist then tells the young couple a horror story about the zombies. They don’t like it and run away. But he follows and tells them that it is dangerous. Nonetheless, they stay and camp, disregarding one of the primary rules of horror films: always listen to cryptic warnings offered by people with unusual physical disabilities.

They soon run into the evil woman from before and follow her to the same building she was in at the start of the film. There’s a zombie roaming around (the victim at the beginning). Some goop splashes on the guy and he becomes sick and then homicidal.

Then it gets weird…

Analysis

Really! This is a seriously weird film. It does, however, have a flaw that makes it a bit hard to really submerge yourself into: it’s such a rip-off of Evil Dead II including tons of Sam Raimi’s two-by-four camera work. But if you can get past this, Evil Clutch has much to offer!

Andrea Marfori has a more interesting visual sense than Raimi. And much of the gore is gloriously over-the-top — yes, even more than Evil Dead II.

The film stars Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni (Terror At The Opera), Diego Ribon (Apnea), Luciano Crovato (Family Scandal), and Elena Cantarone.

I loved this film! For me, the Raimi stuff was part of the fun. And it’s not like the filmmakers are being coy. One of the characters refers to the zombie creatures as the “evil dead”!

You can get Evil Clutch on a Troma DVD. You can also find it around the internet, but generally in very bad shape. Much of the film is very dark and it’s hard to see much of anything at times. But knowing Troma, the disc isn’t that much better.

Image via Amazon under Fair Use.

2 replies on “Anniversary Post: Evil Clutch”

  1. Gerald Fnord says:

    Thank-you for the pist

    I saw this in a theatre about sixteen hours into a twenty-four–hour horror marathon, and always since have wondered if its failure to make any sense to me were inherent to the movie or a product of my drifting in and out of sleep. I’d say that it was a combination of the two, but if it had made more sense I might have been able to stay awake for more than a minute at a time.

    Was there a seemingly endless sequence where they were trying to keep the monster in a patch of light by a wall?

    The net effect was of a very boring dream with occasional gory imagery marked by periods immediately after loud noises where it _seemed_ as if something had just happen or might happen again soon but never seemed actually to be happening. (‘Jam yesterday and jam to-morrow, but never jam today.’) I can’t imagine being able to sit through this any other way.

    • Frank says:

      It’s been over a year and I now watch 1-2 films every day. To a large extent, I write about this stuff to help me remember but it didn’t help a lot in this case. What I most remember is the couple hiding in that little building. And they are there a lot time. Except he goes out and the succubus comes in and then leaves before he comes back. Something like that. It does go on for a long time! And it’s a bit like a bedroom farce with one person going and another coming. The whole thing is very expressionistic so it doesn’t matter all that much what happens. I can imagine this would be a hard one to get through if you were tired because the plot doesn’t build all that much. But I will need to watch it again. Both places I wrote about it referred to the great gore and I don’t remember that at all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *