Fear No Evil (1981)

R | 99 mins | Horror | 16 January 1981

Director:

Frank LaLoggia

Writer:

Frank LaLoggia

Producer:

Frank LaLoggia

Cinematographer:

Fred Goodich

Editor:

Edna Ruth Paul

Production Designer:

Carl Zollo

Production Company:

LaLoggia Productions
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HISTORY

       The 11 Mar 1981 Var reported that the working title of the film was Mark of the Beast, but it was retitled Fear No Evil during post-production.
       Fear No Evil was the first feature film of writer-director-producer Frank LaLoggia, who also co-wrote the music. As detailed in articles in the 9 Nov 1980 LAT, the 11 Mar 1981 Var, the 27 Mar 1981 HR, and the 19 Apr 1981 San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, LaLoggia joined forces with his cousin, Charles LaLoggia, and their attorney, Carl Reynolds, to raise $25,000 from supporters in LaLoggia’s hometown of Rochester, NY, and formed LaLoggia Productions in Nov 1978. Although the company planned to produce a comedy as their first feature, potential financial supporters felt a horror film would be more commercial. On a weekly salary of $180, LaLoggia wrote the film while simultaneously helping his cousin raise money for filming. They raised $250,000 by the start of principal photography, Aug 1979 in the Rochester, NY, area and along the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY. Eventually, $550,000 was raised before the nine week shoot, using a non-union cast and crew, was finished. Upon completion of prinicipal photography, an additional $250,000 was needed for special effects. LaLoggia Productions had deliberately chosen not to secure a distribution deal prior to filming and, needing capital to complete the project, they edited a two and one-half hour rough cut, missing the special effects for the climactic conclusion, and screened it for Avco-Embassy. Avco-Embassy was interested, but it ... More Less

       The 11 Mar 1981 Var reported that the working title of the film was Mark of the Beast, but it was retitled Fear No Evil during post-production.
       Fear No Evil was the first feature film of writer-director-producer Frank LaLoggia, who also co-wrote the music. As detailed in articles in the 9 Nov 1980 LAT, the 11 Mar 1981 Var, the 27 Mar 1981 HR, and the 19 Apr 1981 San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, LaLoggia joined forces with his cousin, Charles LaLoggia, and their attorney, Carl Reynolds, to raise $25,000 from supporters in LaLoggia’s hometown of Rochester, NY, and formed LaLoggia Productions in Nov 1978. Although the company planned to produce a comedy as their first feature, potential financial supporters felt a horror film would be more commercial. On a weekly salary of $180, LaLoggia wrote the film while simultaneously helping his cousin raise money for filming. They raised $250,000 by the start of principal photography, Aug 1979 in the Rochester, NY, area and along the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY. Eventually, $550,000 was raised before the nine week shoot, using a non-union cast and crew, was finished. Upon completion of prinicipal photography, an additional $250,000 was needed for special effects. LaLoggia Productions had deliberately chosen not to secure a distribution deal prior to filming and, needing capital to complete the project, they edited a two and one-half hour rough cut, missing the special effects for the climactic conclusion, and screened it for Avco-Embassy. Avco-Embassy was interested, but it took four months to work out a deal. Avco-Embassy provided $250,000 and received worldwide distribution rights and a share of the profits. Special visual effects supervisor Peter Kuran and his company, Visual Concept Engineering (VCE), spent four months on the film’s concluding sequence. The 11 Mar 1981 Var reported that the film’s special effects and final editing were completed in Nov 1980, and the total cost of the film, including deferments, was $1.5 million. Avco-Embassy had planned to release the movie in May 1981, but another feature on their distribution list, Night Kill, was sold to television and Fear No Evil was moved into that theatrical slot.
       An article in the 7 Jan 1981 Var noted Rochester, NY, investors and friends were shown an advance screening of Fear No Evil in Dec 1980. Var and the 5 Feb 1981 HR reported the film opened on 16 Jan 1981 in FL at theaters in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ft. Myers, and Tallahassee, as well as in the TX cities of Houston, Corpus Christi, Beaumont and Laredo. Fear No Evil grossed $976,881 in its first seventeen days at 100 theaters, and an additional $52,086 in its next three days at sixty-three theaters. The 11 Mar 1981 Var announced that the successful “test dates” in FL and TX resulted in “prime” NY bookings. Fear No Evil opened in New York City on 6 Feb 1981 and the 12 Feb 1981 HR reported that its opening weekend box-office gross was $511,618 from eighty-eight theaters. The film also opened that weekend in New Orleans, LA, and Dallas, TX, with box-office grosses of $219,861 at forty-seven New Orleans theaters and $196,137 at seventy-one Dallas sites. Fear No Evil opened in Los Angeles, CA, on 20 Mar 1981 and, according to the 24 Mar 1981 HR, the film grossed $425,347 in its opening weekend at ninety Los Angeles area theaters. An article in the 27 Mar 1981 HR reported LaLoggia’s claim that the film had been released in 35% of the country, with a resulting box-office return of approximately $3.5 million.
       As noted in onscreen credits, Fear No Evil marked the feature film debut of actress Kathleen Rowe McAllen.

      The film opens with voice-over narration by Jack Holland, as his character “Rafael/Father [Thomas] Damon” provides the necessary backstory regarding "Lucifer’s" banishment from heaven, and the prophecy that three angels, "Mikhail," "Gabrielle" and "Rafael," will destroy the devil on the eve of the Second Coming of Christ. End credits contain the following statements: “All animals appearing in this film were under the supervision of Kenneth F. Wynne, D.V.M.” and, “The producers wish to thank the following for their cooperation and assistance in the making of this film: Thousand Island Bridge Authority; Monroe County Parks Department, New York; The People of Jefferson County, New York; Webster Central School District; Daily Record Corporation; WXXI-TV Channel 21, Rochester, New York; Albert G. Ruben & Company, Inc.; Depauville United Methodist Church; Christ Episcopal Church, Clayton, New York; New York State Motion Picture Council of the Arts; Angelo and John.” Re-recording mixer John L. Mack's name is misspelled "John L. Mac" onscreen.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1981
pp. 1, 21.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Nov 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 Mar 1981
p. 8.
New York Times
6 Feb 1981
p. 22.
San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle
19 Apr 1981
p. 22.
Variety
7 Jan 1981.
---
Variety
28 Jan 1981
p. 18.
Variety
11 Mar 1981
pp. 20, 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Avco Embassy Film
A Frank LaLoggia Film
A LaLoggia Production
An Avco Embassy Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Asst prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Master elec
Best boy elec
Elec
Best boy grip
Still photog
Video op
Video op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
Key grip
Cam equip provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art prod engineer
FILM EDITORS
Loc ed supv
Asst ed
Loc ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop mistress
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus comp
Mus orch and cond by
Mus rec
Soundtrack mus dir
SOUND
Sd coord
Sd ed
Sd ed
Synthesizer eff
Synthesizer eff
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Prod sd mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff supv
Spec photog eff
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Visual eff
Photog eff
Eff anim
Pyrotechnics
Eff ed
Eff storyboarding
Opt eff supv
Opt cam
Opt eff supv/Eff facilities provided by
Eff facilities provided by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Female makeup artist
Hair des
Hair des
Hair des
Makeup asst
Makeup asst
Makeup asst
Makeup asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Script cont
Post prod supv
Creative consultant
Loc auditor
Loc mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Travel arr
Travel arr
Asst prod coord
Asst script
Transportation coord
Prod asst
Line up
Soundtrack coord
Orig paintings by
Contact lenses provided by
ANIMATION
Spec anim
Anim
Anim
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Hey Joe,” written by Patti Smith and Billy Roberts, performed by Patti Smith, © 1977 Linda Music Corp. ASCAP/Third Store Music BMI, 1977 Sire Records, Inc.
“Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight,” written by J. Spencer, performed by Rezillos, © 1978 Warner Bros. Music Corp. BMI, 1978 Sire Records, Inc.
“Blitzkrieg Bop,” written by Douglas Colvin, John Cummings, Thomas Erdelyi and Jeff Hyman, performed by the Ramones, © 1976 Bleu Disque Music Co., Inc. ASCAP, Taco Tunes, Inc. ASCAP, 1976 Sire Records, Inc.
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SONGS
“Hey Joe,” written by Patti Smith and Billy Roberts, performed by Patti Smith, © 1977 Linda Music Corp. ASCAP/Third Store Music BMI, 1977 Sire Records, Inc.
“Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight,” written by J. Spencer, performed by Rezillos, © 1978 Warner Bros. Music Corp. BMI, 1978 Sire Records, Inc.
“Blitzkrieg Bop,” written by Douglas Colvin, John Cummings, Thomas Erdelyi and Jeff Hyman, performed by the Ramones, © 1976 Bleu Disque Music Co., Inc. ASCAP, Taco Tunes, Inc. ASCAP, 1976 Sire Records, Inc.
“Psycho Killer,” written by David Byrne, Martina Weymouth and Christopher Frantz, performed by Talking Heads, © 1977 Bleu Disque Music Co., Inc. ASCAP/Index Music, Inc. ASCAP, 1977 Sire Records, Inc.
“Love Goes To A Building On Fire,” written by David Byrne, performed by Talking Heads, © 1977 Bleu Disque Music Co., Inc. ASCAP/Index Music, Inc. ASCAP, 1977 Sire Records, Inc.
“Delicious Gone Wrong,” written by Bobby Henry, performed by BIM, © 1980 Oval Music Ltd., 1980 Swerve Records/Sire Records Company
“I Don’t Like Mondays,” written by Robert Geldorf, performed by Boomtown Rats, © 1979 Zomba Enterprises Inc., Phonogram Records, Ltd. & CBS, Inc.
“Lava” written by the B-52’s, performed by the B-52’s, © 1979 Boo-Fant Tunes Inc./Island Music Ltd./ASCAP, 1979 Warner Bros. Records Inc./Island Records, Ltd.
“Blank Generation,” written by Richard Hell, performed by Richard Hell, © Automatic Music Quickmix Music Inc./Dorafio Music Inc./EMI Music, 1977 Sire Record, Inc.
“Fear No Evil,” written by Andy Paley and Erik Lindgren, performed by Trybe, produced by Andy Paley, © 1980 Bleu Disque Music Co. Inc./Warner Bros. Music Corp., 1980 Sire Record, Inc.
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COMPOSERS
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DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Mark of the Beast
Release Date:
16 January 1981
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 6 February 1981
Los Angeles opening: 20 March 1981
Production Date:
began August 1979
Copyright Claimant:
LaLoggia Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 January 1981
Copyright Number:
PA90749
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Prints
Prints by CFI
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The devil Lucifer, seeking independence from God, was driven from heaven and vowed to wreak vengeance on mankind. Three angels, Mikhail, Gabrielle and Rafael, were sent on a mission to continually find and destroy Lucifer’s human incarnations until the eve of the Second Coming of Christ when it is prophesied that the three angels will become “as one in spirit” and destroy Lucifer. In 1963, Rafael, in his final physical incarnation as Father Thomas Damon, ruminates on the prophecy as he rows a boat to the island castle where Lucifer’s current incarnation, a man named “Bonnamo,” resides. Damon wonders why Gabrielle has not yet manifested a physical presence in this lifetime. When Damon confronts Bonnamo, the devil kills himself with Damon’s holy staff, claiming he will be reborn. Shortly thereafter, in upstate New York, Mr. and Mrs. Williams take their newborn son, Andrew John Williams, to be christened. As holy water touches Andrew, he starts to bleed, and the blood spurts onto the priest and congregants. Over the years, the Williams’ home decays as the couple argues about Andrew’s sway over his mother. On Andrew’s eighteenth birthday, Mr. Williams accidentally drops the birthday cake and his wife slaps him. They fight and he knocks her to the ground. As she pulls herself up, an iron falls on her head, knocking her unconscious. At school, Andrew is quiet and withdrawn, but studious. After English class, Andrew retrieves a book that his classmate, Julie, left on her desk. Outside, Julie and her boyfriend, Mark Landers, kiss, but Andrew interrupts. As he hands the book to Julie, she ... +


The devil Lucifer, seeking independence from God, was driven from heaven and vowed to wreak vengeance on mankind. Three angels, Mikhail, Gabrielle and Rafael, were sent on a mission to continually find and destroy Lucifer’s human incarnations until the eve of the Second Coming of Christ when it is prophesied that the three angels will become “as one in spirit” and destroy Lucifer. In 1963, Rafael, in his final physical incarnation as Father Thomas Damon, ruminates on the prophecy as he rows a boat to the island castle where Lucifer’s current incarnation, a man named “Bonnamo,” resides. Damon wonders why Gabrielle has not yet manifested a physical presence in this lifetime. When Damon confronts Bonnamo, the devil kills himself with Damon’s holy staff, claiming he will be reborn. Shortly thereafter, in upstate New York, Mr. and Mrs. Williams take their newborn son, Andrew John Williams, to be christened. As holy water touches Andrew, he starts to bleed, and the blood spurts onto the priest and congregants. Over the years, the Williams’ home decays as the couple argues about Andrew’s sway over his mother. On Andrew’s eighteenth birthday, Mr. Williams accidentally drops the birthday cake and his wife slaps him. They fight and he knocks her to the ground. As she pulls herself up, an iron falls on her head, knocking her unconscious. At school, Andrew is quiet and withdrawn, but studious. After English class, Andrew retrieves a book that his classmate, Julie, left on her desk. Outside, Julie and her boyfriend, Mark Landers, kiss, but Andrew interrupts. As he hands the book to Julie, she has a sudden vision of Andrew kissing her. Nearby, Tony and his girl friend, Marie, join friends listening to music in his convertible; Tony mistakenly believes Marie left his car unlocked and slaps her. Across town, Mr. Williams, on his postal route, speaks with Margaret Buchanan about Father Damon’s murder conviction eighteen years ago. She claims people refuse to see the truth about her brother’s situation, and Mr. Williams agrees that he was a good man. Unbeknown to Williams, Margaret is the incarnation of the angel Mikhail. As Williams bicycles away, Margaret remembers being with Damon on his deathbed, then hears Damon’s voice proclaiming that Gabrielle is alive and Margaret must find her. At the Williams’ home, Andrew brings a tray of food to the locked room where his mother is confined to a wheelchair as a result of her head injury. Later, Andrew watches from the ruins of Bonnamo’s castle as a tour boat cruises past the island. The guide reveals that eighteen years ago, workers mysteriously disappeared during construction. Locals thought Bonnamo had murdered them, and had hidden their bodies on the island. Father Damon, believing Bonnamo was the devil incarnate, murdered him. Andrew is angered when the guide announces that developers have purchased the property and will convert it into a resort. As Andrew places his hand on a gargoyle statue, light emanates and he promises the castle will live again. In the morning, before school, Mark reveals to Julie that he has been accepted to Columbia University and proposes marriage. At school, as the boys shower after gym class, they question Andrew’s masculinity. Jokingly, Tony kisses Andrew, but he cannot disengage from the kiss for a long moment. When Tony falls back, he orders the other teens never to speak of the incident. At the local church, Margaret confronts Father Daly and asks him to read Damon’s diary. Daly claims his former friend went against God’s law and refuses to believe Margaret’s assertion that Bonnamo was the devil, insisting that she lead her brother astray with her beliefs. As Daly storms away, Damon’s voice assures Margaret that he is with her. That night, Julie dreams that Andrew is in her bed, kissing her and clawing her back. She awakens with a start to find it is morning and she is alone, but when she looks in the mirror, she has three claw marks on her back and her reflection is momentarily Margaret’s face. At gym class, Andrew is late and the gym teacher orders him to do sit-ups and push-ups while the others play a game of dodge ball. Andrew is angry, and when the teacher throws a ball at Mark, Andrew’s eyes turn yellow and the ball hits Mark with such force that the teen dies. Later, at Mark’s funeral, both Andrew and Margaret linger in the cemetery, watching Julie place a flower on Mark’s casket. That night, Margaret visits Bonnamo’s grave, promising to kill Lucifer, and then prays at Damon’s headstone. Elsewhere, Andrew stares intently at tree branches and, in the cemetery, wind rises and a branch falls onto Margaret, knocking her unconscious. Meanwhile, Julie dreams that she is Father Damon, tormented by a guard in his prison cell, and she awakens screaming the name “Mikhail.” Margaret regains consciousness and returns home. Later, Julie sneaks out of her bedroom, and is led by Damon’s voice to Margaret’s home. She recognizes the picture of Damon as the man in her dreams, and Margaret explains how they are bound together. At the castle, Andrew slays a dog, places the animal on an altar, and drinks its blood. On the beach across the river from the castle, Father Daly prepares for the annual “Passion Play” of Christ’s crucifixion. Margaret feels something terrible will happen and begs the priest to cancel the performance, but he refuses and local families crowd the beach to view the play. At a bar, an inebriated Mr. Williams proclaims that his son is the devil, then returns home and shoots his wife in the head. Intoxicated, Tony, Marie, and their friends rent a boat, cruise to the island and continue drinking. From the castle’s balcony, Andrew declares he is Lucifer, calls forth the dead men buried on the island, and the zombies arise from their graves to attack the teens. Meanwhile, Margaret and Julie, armed with Damon’s holy staff, try to rent a boat, but are stopped by the police who have been searching for Julie. At the play, when “Christ” is crucified, stigmata appears and he dies. As audience members also spontaneously bleed, lightning strikes, and the crowd panics. The police car is forced to stop, and Margaret and Julie escape. They retrieve Damon’s staff and commandeer a boat. On the island, zombies attack Marie as Tony runs away and hides with another girl, Brenda. Andrew discovers them, forces Tony to stab himself, and carries Brenda to his altar. Margaret and Julie arrive and try to stop him, but Andrew stabs Brenda to death. Margaret raises the staff and it emanates light, momentarily blinding Andrew before he laughs and runs away. They follow him to the tree where Bonnamo was murdered, and Margaret, armed with the glowing staff, forces him to recite the Lord’s prayer. Andrew’s hand burns, but he knocks Margaret aside and morphs into Mark as he approaches Julie. Margaret intervenes but Andrew kills her, tossing her body aside as he morphs into the devil. Julie raises the staff and its light pierces Lucifer. The staff rises and a glowing light from heaven shoots bolts of electricity at Lucifer, trapping him against the tree as Damon, Margaret and Julie unite as one inside the light. The prophecy is fulfilled and red light erupts around Lucifer until he explodes and disappears. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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