Eternal Evil
aka, THE BLUE MAN. 1985

Director: George Mihalka

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Eternal Evil uses the theme of lucid dreaming & astral projection as a basis for horror fiction. The Canadian telefilm seems to have been made by people who really liked horror, & did the best job they could with limited resources, as such a small inside-joke as the tragic villain's black Twilight Zone t-shirt conveys.

When it aired in 1985 it was called The Blue Man but by 1987 it had the video title Eternal Evil, to better convey that it's a horror film & not based on Betty Johnson's 1958 novelty hit:
"I wuv you! I wuv you!" said the little blue man
"I wuv you! I wuv you to bits."
"I wuv you!" He loved me said the little blue man
And scared me right out of my wits.
Paul (Winston Rekert) was once a film director but never had a commercial hit & has been reduced to shooting commercials. Disliking his life, he begins practicing out-of-body techniques of astral projection, with instructions from New Ager Amelia Lambro (Karen Black).

It was supposed to be a relaxing diversion. But he begins to haunt & harrass & even kill individuals he dislikes, mistrusts, or perceives as threats.

Having killed his shrink Dr. Meister (Tom Rack) by spiritually crushing his bones & internal organs, Paul returns to his body uncertain what percentage of his spirit-wandering was real & how much was his imagination.

When his wife Jennifer (Patty Talbot) attempts to help Paul control his powers, her assistance results only in a consciously targetable misuse of his ability to kill from a distance. His former decency has deteriorated into malice, & malice into madness, as the apparent side-effect of his soul's periodic absence from his body.

A German shepard belonging to Paul's father-in-law attacks him, though the dog had known Paul since it was a pup. His father-in-law & the dog had seen Paul in his shadowy "blue man" spirit form, & soon after Paul cannot help but pursue the man's death.

With the psychiatrist & his wife's father in the morgue, killed by inexplicable internal rupturing of organs & ribs, Sgt Detective Kauffman (John Novac) discovers the commonality between the inexplicable deaths is Paul Sharps.

The detective soon comes to the uncomfortable realization that the growing number of crimes have a supernatural basis that could never be proven by law. And he knows he has made a foe of someone who can reach out & kill anyone, without risk of being proven a killer.

Paul's small son Matthew (Andrew Bednarski) has been doing drawings of the blue man. The boy's sleep has become eratic. At one point Matthew throws a small tantrum, knocking Paul's books off a shelf one by one until his father slaps him hard.

That night the Blue Man is again wandering about the house, whispering to the boy to do something harmful. Absolutely no one can be assumed safe in the presence of Paul's disembodied spirit.

Eternal Evil One night the Blue Man wakes Matthew, but at a time when Paul is himself awake & presumedly not travelling out of body. Matthew is instructed to drink deadly cleaning chemicals. His mother finds her son in time to make him vomit, but then she suddenly looks up & says, "Paul?" just as she gets her insides ripped up. Only Matthew survives the night.

In a seemingly unrelated subplot that slowly joins the main thread of the story, Paul's business partner (Vlasta Vrana) is gay, but a woman new in the company, Helen (Joanne Cole) manages to get him to fall in love with her anyway. As soon as they're married, she creepily begins to put the moves on Paul. Her game is hard to figure out, but as Paul deteriorates, it's one more cause for his paranoia.

After Paul's wife is killed, plot complications get a bit wacky, as Helen murder's Paul's gay business partner. [SPOILER ALERT!] And the theme of demonic posessions by two body-jumping immortals amps up the plotline in a brand new direction.

The souls of a man & a woman have been astral projecting for hundreds of years, taking over new bodies as their previous ones age or become ill, reuniting as lovers in every generation.

The sexes of the bodies they take over are somewhat random, so there's presently a relationship going on between Helen & Amelia, whose real name from generations before is Janus. Apparently Helen's ability to seduce a gay man had been predicated on her having had experiences with & understanding of "all" sexualities through the centuries.

Paul has been selected for Janus's new body, as the Amelia body is tubercular & worn out. Before a resident soul can be cast out, however, that person must become isolated & in despair. It has really been Janus, & not Paul, who destroyed Paul's family. [END SPOILER ALERT]

Although the film ls cheezy, it's also entertaining, & it is just about the most horrific of several horror roles Karen Black has undertaken. She's makes an fabulous monster.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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