NIGHT OF EVIL *** USA 1962 Dir: Richard Galbreath 88 mins
The story of an unloved foster child and cheerleader Dixie Ann Dikes (Lisa Gaye) as her life is turned upside down after being abducted, raped and thrown out of a moving car. The result for all her trouble, the foster family want nothing to do with her so gets put in to a home for girls until she turns eighteen.
After a few years at the girls house she is set free to the world where she heads to the city to make her own way with the help of fellow alumni Linda (Lynn Berret) as her room mate. Linda’s boss sees Dixie and is wowed by her presence and sees the potential for her to become the next Miss America. After being crowned Miss Colorado at a recent beauty pageant, Dixie is soon swooned by the smooth-talking Chuck Logan (William Campbell). After only a week of dating, Chuck asks Dixie to marry her which she at first disagrees with as this will ruin her chances at the Miss America title, a bit more smooth-talking by Chuck and she soon changes her mind and marries him. Despite everything seeming to be all happy with her life right now, she is unaware that Chuck is in fact an escaped convict who whilst she waits in the car robs a local liquor store on their honeymoon. Only later is Dixie aware of all his misdeeds as he is arrested for kidnapping and the marriage comes to an end, sending her in to a seedy world of strip clubs, attempted suicide, armed robbery, a court trial and jail.
As sensational as the title seems this is less a ‘NIGHT OF EVIL’ and more a cautionary tale for teens. Easy to watch and would have surely been shown as the second film during a double bill in the 1960’s.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder’ Hopkins