Evil Cult: Local filmmakers make good.

Evil Cult
dir. Taylor
Open Fri May 28
Sabala's Mt. Tabor

The stale blandness of most Hollywood fare is enough to drive ya ba-zonkers. The cookie-cutter formulas, the test-marketed scripts, the perfect seamless editing--it makes you wish a plague would wipe out the entire movie industry, opening the door for filmmakers whose main intention is to fuck shit up. Most of us have friends like this; people who grab a camera and shoot a hilariously fucked-up movie in two days with no money and a handful of buddies. And while the result is sometimes unintelligible, there's a freshness that a million Peter Jacksons could never duplicate.

Such is the case with local twin filmmakers made good, Rob and Neil Taylor. These 22-year-old Oregon City residents directed plenty of home movies, but decided to press the issue by approaching a straight-to-DVD company to beg for money and professional equipment. They received $13,000, a Sony DV camera, and a three-month deadline. The result: Evil Cult, a sidesplitting B-movie horror flick that's more entertaining than a year's worth of Hollywood crap.

The hero is Neil Stryker (Neil Taylor)--a skinny cross between Snake Plissken and Steven Segal--who has just rescued a beautiful girl from the clutches of a squeaky-voiced time-traveling scientist. On his way home, this two-fisted loner stumbles into a remote religious cult who have a decidedly EVIL secret. Anyone who doesn't want to join finds himself "brain-melted, mangled, and stuffed in a cage." Therefore it's up to the heroic and salty-talking Stryker to permanently solve the problem, using guns, pruning shears and a swiftly swung ax.

Though Evil Cult may be a low-budget affair, and a little draggy in parts (particularly the last 15 minutes), the wacky improvisational nature of the film keeps you interested and laughing. The acting is well above par for this type of movie, and the blood and gore, while plentiful, is ridiculously comical. The theatrical premiere of the best "straight-to-DVD" flick you'll see this year starts this Friday at Sabala's Mt. Tabor theater and it's only three dollars--so if you pass this up to see Raising Helena, you get whatever you deserve.