Well, sometimes things turn out to be totally different to what you expected! When I was sent the info for Wickedly Evil it was described as a “comedy horror caper”. When the opening credits start any letters that can have them (W,M,V, etc.) have the pointy bits extended to look like canine teeth. So, when you have horror graphics and horror in the description you kind of expect werewolves, zombies, vampires, etc. Maybe even a bit of gothic architecture knocking around. Did we get that with Wickedly Evil? Nope! We got something far more entertaining.
The opening is quite Tarantino-esque. As the production company credits are rolling we can hear police radio chatter about an armed robbery; shots have been fired and an officer is down. We then cut to a building which has two guys hiding. They are the guys mentioned on the radio. They are wearing matching green tracksuits and frog masks both of which have a red eye mask painted on them. The dialogue that made me think of the Admirable Quentin is surreal and so out of place. The two masked robbers, Dancer (James Farrelly) and Gaz (Darryl Carter), are hiding from an impending SWAT team arrival. What are they talking about?
I’ve Done More Cocaine…
The best way to escape? How to avoid the authorities? No! They are arguing about whether or not you should freeze bread! The argument against is that sandwiches are a convenience food so why would you want to have to plan in advance to defrost your bread. The other side of the argument is along the lines of “What are you going on about? Is this really the time?” and so forth. Then the argument turns to the masks. They were supposed to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were unavailable so they went for the cousin of the turtle…the frog. Then there is an argument about the colour of the bandanas.
Then, as they are finally getting into their getaway car, a woman, Claire (Louise Bourke) sees them and asks what they are doing. She pulls out a gun and shoots several times. Dancer flinches but she misses with every shot. Dancer walks up, chins her, and knocks her, unconscious, to the floor. He turns around, looks to where Gaz was standing and sighs. “Brilliant…just brilliant” he says. Then we start on the vampire teeth opening credits which are shot over a drive along a country road until we arrive at a little house out in the middle of nowhere. In fact the original title was Bad Things in the Middle of Nowhere.
…Than Maradona At The World Cup
So far, so very robbery/heist film. Where are all the monsters, witches, mummies, etc? Patience youngling, patience! The first hint that there could be something sinister happening does come early on. A third member of the gang, Frankie (Joseph McGucken) for it is he driving the car, gets out of the car and walks around looking for the key under flower pots. There is no-one else to be seen. Frankie walks back around the corner and jumps out of his skin when Sadie (Cat L Walsh) is now sitting on the bench that he had just walked past. Quite a nicely done jump scare.It turns out that Sadie is just a neighbour…or is she?
It is quite a while before the horror theme of the film starts to get going but that doesn’t mean it drags. There is a fair amount of humour; when Claire, the kidnap victim, suggests sex as a way of being cut loose, Dancer asks “Is this Stockport Syndrome?” Well, it made me laugh! Considering the inexperience of the cast (of the actors mentioned only Louise Bourke, Claire, was not making their feature debut) this was a very well performed film. It was amusing and entertaining. O.K., the horror part may have been better done in other films but, as I alluded to before, there is a lot more going in Wickedly Evil!
Wickedly Evil comes to digital on 13 November 2023 courtesy of 101 Films UK.
Movie Grade: B+
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!