Evil Breed: the Legend of Samhain (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Some of the IMDB commenters and the genre-reviewing websites touted Evil Breed as a wild extravaganza of gore and T&A featuring a combination of actors and porn stars. It was utterly disappointing in that regard.

Let me take it point by point:


The gore is ultimately very impressive, but you have to wait a long time to see it. There is a gory scene before the credits, followed by about an hour of exposition before you see more. That's a long wait. After that point, however, it goes wild. At one point, the monster pulls a guy's insides out through his asshole. Jenna Jameson (with the help of her inanimate body double) gets torn apart and eaten. The coolest thing about the molded Jenna Jameson is that it includes a perfectly formed and fully exposed pussy! The Jenna death scene includes the funniest moment in the film. The cannibal monster rips her apart bit by bit and even thinks he has found a new body part to snack on - but he finds it unappealing - then we see that it is her breast implant!


Same deal as the gore. There is some nudity before the credits, then nothing for about an hour. There really isn't that much overall; much of it is done with molded stand-ins; the lighting is not good; and the DVD transfer is grainy. Chasey Lain and her mannequin show breasts, Jenna shows her breasts, Jenna's mannequin shows the full monty, Gillian Leigh is nude in a shower scene which is filmed in such a way that it avoids any worthwhile still images, and Taylor Hayes shows her breasts as a woman held captive by a monster.


It's a very routine slasher/cannibal horror film, with dialogue in the general self-referential mold of Scream. The characters watch horror films, discuss horror films, and talk about their own predicaments in terms of what horror film characters should or shouldn't do. The premise is the usual one: a bunch of students and their teacher are on an educational trip to Ireland, where they end up staying in a remote mansion within a spooky woods, and that forest is home to the unthinkable ...

Excluding the shocking pre-credits segment, the first hour of the film is just the usual set-up and foreshadowing, entirely predictable and not at all sensational. It will bore anyone from hard-gore aficionados to mainstream audiences. The only real strength of the film's first two-thirds is the ghoulish visual backdrop supplied by the twisted, gnarled trees of a swampy, isolated forest.

The denouement of the film, however, is creative, and is as grisly and over-the-top as advertised, and will satisfy the gorehounds among you. The monster cannibal race supposedly comes from an ancient Scots/Irish legend. It appears that legendary Irish monsters are pretty much like any other kind, except they take a break from their maniacal killing duties whenever Notre Dame is on.


The quality of the actual transfer does not come up to DVD snuff. I feel quite certain that the poor visual quality of the DVD is the fault of the DVD producers, not the director and DP. The image quality on the tiny director's cut trailer is actually better than on the DVD itself.

The extras section contains the best material. There is only one feature, but it's a good one. There is a beautiful photo gallery which includes alternate angles of movie scenes as well as many "behind the scenes" photos which demonstrate the best special effects. There is also plenty of nudity, and it is both clearer and more copious than the nudity portrayed in the film itself. (NOTE: This feature was on the Region 2 DVD. I have not seen the North American version.)

The film was saddled with problems from the outset. After the filming was completed, the problems got worse rather than better. The film was supposed to have been released for Halloween in October of 2002, then October of 2003 ... it finally came out in the U.K. for Halloween 2005. I think it is best to let the director cover these details, so his own words follow. I don't believe I have ever included a very long quotation from another site in one of my reviews, probably nothing more than a couple of punchy sentences, certainly not a citation longer than the review itself. I've made an exception. This statement by director Christian Viel, as posted on IMDb, is certainly worth quoting in its entirety, not just for what it says about this film, but also for what it illustrates about the perils of independent filmmaking in general. I think you will agree that it is worthwhile. Here is the director's own explanation for the disappointingly tame film which had been released on DVD:

"With the imminent release of Samhain (the original title. I have nothing to do with the stupid new title this movie is afflicted with) in the UK, which will apparently be even more cut down that the already watered down version I finally managed to see as part of the ongoing legal *beep* that surrounds this film, I would like to apologize to fans everywhere (and even to people who don't like the film anyways) for what you will see has very little to do with me.

When I saw the final version of the film, I must admit that I was somewhat relieved that it wasn't as bad as I expected. Some of the editorial choices made it better. Some are just plain stupid and/or atrocious. The music and sound work are stellar however. The color timing is uneven: great at times, *beep* at others. But in the end, this is not the movie I intended to make despite the fact that my name remains splattered (literally) all over it.

I get the rap for writing this film but truly, many people had their fingers in it, from the distributors (including their receptionist, I kid you not!) on to Mariani1, who should claim credit for all the Screamish references. He is the horror trivia buff that wanted those in, not me. In the end, I was mostly a typist who tried to fit in a semicoherent structure all the mumbo jumbo they wanted packed in as exposition in this flick, except for most of the gore scenes. Mariani did come up with the Grieco one.

I also get the rap in the credits along with Francois DeLorimier Millette for the editing of the film, but I did not edit this version. Granted, they took whole chunks of what I and Francois did and either tightened it up or changed the order, but this is not MY CUT of the film. Neither was the rough cut, as it was an assembly of the film, still far from its completion.

The ending in this release was not shot by me but by another director, Roger Cardinal, and with a (rumor has it) drunken DP - which would explain the abondant display of film equipment in some shots as well as why half the scene is out of focus. The script for the ending was written by Warehouse Productions' gopher boy, and that alone shows you how much care was given to this film by its producer, William Mariani and its distributors, Oasis International. The intended version of this film, which was never shot thanks to union problems caused by ACTRA, can be read on my website, www.movieseals.biz2, in the Samhain section of the Films Menu.

Ironically enough, Cardinal did not get paid either for his Samhain contribution, a trend that we experienced throughout the film. It took over a year to get the entire crew and suppliers on this film paid (with the notable exception of little old me) and I had to be witness for numerous lawsuits. Mariani tried to have my girlfriend deported (as revenge for testifying against him in court) and tried also unsuccessfully to put the RCMP on my ass for putting MY film on the web (for which I DID NOT get paid for the rights) for my efforts... As pointed out to the RCMP, the film had been online for quite a while before me (with so much as five different versions circulating!)... Maybe paying your crew and lab bills would help keeping the film out of the net, Mariani... Just a thought.

For all the claims about the budget on this film, it has been recently unearthed thanks to all the legalities than more than half of the film's budget made its way inside Mariani's pockets, leaving us with very little to fend off on the screen. He should be the one investigated by the RCMP...

Interestingly enough, most of the losers who ruined this film had enough sense to not claim credit for their job, except Mariani who pushes the audacity as claiming a post-production supervisor credit (which is ironic considering is tech skills are pretty much limited to surf porn on his laptop - but it does come in handy for him when it's time to cast!).

I was hired to do the goriest slasher flick I could do. This is not what will be on display on October 24. There was a lot more gore in my version, more humor, more nudity. I tried to make a film for fans of the genre, being a fan of the genre. They sanitized it as much as they could - and somehow removed the humor and much nudity, which I do not understand - and try to cheaply MTVize it, which is amongst the weakest parts of this edit. The film was simply not shot for this.

I fought long and hard for this film to be what I thought would be what fans would want to see but I failed in the end and for that, I sincerely apologize to gorehounds and horror film fans everywhere. No matter if you love or loathe the film, you deserved to at least see what I had in mind, failure or not. The film that is being released is an OK film I think but it is not mine, and it is certainly not what it is being advertised as being... "



1- This refers to William Mariani, the executive producer.

2- I couldn't find his entire script, but here is the ending.



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The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online. Several genre sites are linked from IMDb.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description. The first two-thirds of the film is a D -, boring genre formula, all promise, no delivery. The set-up goes on way too long. The last third of the film shows what the film might have been. It's a C+, - an insane orgy of over-the-top lunacy. I call Samhain a C- overall. It's not for mainstream audiences, who will find the first part boring, the second part sickening. Extreme splatter lovers will be no less bored than mainstream viewers for about the first 50 minutes after the opening credits. After that, however, they should find it entertaining. Given that a portion of the film is kind of a must-see for genre lovers, the score can be no lower than C-. With a better cut and a good DVD, it might even have been a genre classic.

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