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Evil Ambitions   B-

Independent Edge Releasing

Year Released: 1996
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Directors: Mark Burchett, Michael D. Fox
Writers: Mark Burchett, Michael D. Fox
Cast: Paul Morris, Amber Newman, David Levy, Bill Hinzman, Lucy Frashure, Kindra Laub, Rob Calvert, Renae Raos, Randy Rupp, Cari Minster, Amy Ballard, Stacey Sparks, Debbie Rochon.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

Evil Ambitions is a campy little low-budget flick featuring a Satanic yuppie cult, sexy young women being sacrificed to the Devil, beautiful femme fatales, and a goofy newspaper reporter as the hero. It's even got former Playboy lingerie model Lucy Frashure kicking ass in her underwear. Now tell me, how can anyone dislike this movie?

Reporter Pete McGavin (Paul Morris) has just stumbled upon the story of a lifetime. He's investigating a string of recent murders in which pretty young girls are found with their hearts ripped out. His detective friend, Leslie Kellog (Renae Raos), thinks it's the work of your run-of-the-mill serial killer, but McGavin has other ideas. It just may be the work of a cult of Satan-worshipping yuppies, and City Councilman Gideon Jessup (David Levy) and his beautiful Public Relations consultant Brittany Drake (Amber Newman) are surely involved. McGavin is determined to get to the bottom of this...but can he save a beautiful young model (played by the lovely Lucy Frashure) before the cult delivers her to Satan as his virginal bride?

While there's not too much gore or violence in Evil Ambitions (which, surprisingly, seems to be a good thing here), many of the attractive female cast members are allowed to bare their most impressive assets for the camera. That's always a plus for B-movie fans, but this isn't really a T&A flick, either. It's more like a tongue-in-cheek pseudo-thriller: the film's original title, Satanic Yuppies, might give you a better idea of its sarcastic tone. It's also a bit of a humorous homage to the cult classic TV show Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Note that the hero's name, McGavin, is taken from the actor who played Kolchak (Darren McGavin).

Evil Ambitions has its flaws, of course, but most of them are almost forgivable considering the low budget. The sound is pretty bad in places, the movie could have been tightened up a bit more in the editing room, and lead actor Paul Morris can occasionally be overly obnoxious. The voice-over narration often outstays its welcome, and it will surely be too talky for rabid horror fans (though I'm not knocking it for that, since I would hesitate to call this a horror film).

Written and directed by Mark Burchett and Michael D. Fox, Evil Ambitions is often clever and lightly amusing, with a few great gags. The cell phone ringing during a sacrificial ceremony is classic. Finally, I must mention that Satan, played by the wonderful Randy Rupp, is imminently likable here.

Review published 07.21.2000.

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