NIGHT OF EVIL
(director: Richard Galbreath; screenwriter: Louis Perino/from a story by Lou Perry; cinematographer: David Holmes; editor: Guy Fitzsimmons; music: Arnold Holop; cast: Lisa Gaye (Dixie Ann Dikes), William Campbell (Chuck Logan), Earl Wilson (Narrator), Lynn Bernay (Linda Dietrich); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Richard Galbreath/Lou Perry; Sinister Cinema; 1962)
“This badly acted and conceived exploitation film is strictly a drive-in staple.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A cheapie camp melodrama that unconvincingly depicts a real situation of the downfall of a vulnerable and luckless teenage female, who is a victim of a cold society. It’s directed by Richard Galbreath; the screenplay is by Louis Perino. It’s introduced by noted syndicated columnist Earl Wilson as a true story.
Dixie Ann Dikes (Lisa Gaye) is a sweet and obedient 16-year-old high school student residing in a small Colorado town with her strict foster parents, who took her in only to receive money from the state. When Dixie is viciously raped one night by two thugs on the high school football team where she’s a cheerleader, her foster parents throw her out. The judge has no choice but to place her in the Holland Home orphanage until she turns 18, as no other foster parents come forward. When she gains her freedom, a former alum of the orphanage, Linda Dietrich, takes her in as a roommate. Linda works as the boss’s secretary in an ad agency and is dating one of the hotshot employees. When Linda’s boss spots the beautiful Dixie Ann, he convinces her to enter the local beauty pageant and promises to sponsor her efforts to win the Miss America crown. After Dixie wins the initial contest, she is taken to a nightclub to celebrate and is picked up by smoothie Chuck Long (William Campbell). After a week of dating, he convinces the naive girl to secretly marry him even though she knows nothing about him. This turns out to be another big mistake in her life, as he turns out to be a psychopathic escaped convict who gets caught after he’s involved in a kidnap for ransom. When the pageant committee learns she’s married, they dismiss her from the contest. Embarrassed to face those who helped her, she splits town and ends up living in skid row as a stripper. Scrapped for cash, she purchases a gun in a pawnshop to kill herself. When she can’t pull the trigger, in desperation robs a drugstore. She’s caught and can face ten years for armed robbery, but at last catches a lucky break when it’s learned that the gun she used had no gun pin. After serving 10 months, she’s released in 1960 and the now twenty year old has a new start on life.
This badly acted and conceived exploitation film is strictly a drive-in staple.
REVIEWED ON 4/5/2005 GRADE: C