This sounds dumb, but Rob and Neil Taylor's no budget horror comedy Evil Cult has heart. Rob Taylor stars as Neil Stryker, a man of mysterious origin given a ride by the head of a seemingly peaceful communion. The curious Stryker soon discovers their dirty secrets, including mangling and imprisoning unwillingly participants, with his only option total annihilation after the dangerous cult attempts to melt his brain. Heaps of dismembered bodies, an ultimate showdown with the cult's powerful leader, and a time-jumping surprise from the past ensue.
What separates Evil Cult from the homebrew shot-on-video masses is its sheer creative spirit. Taylor plays quirky badass Stryker with an infectious confidence that, paired with surprisingly balanced comedy, drives straight through the film's rough patches. Tongue-in-cheek nods to Evil Dead kick into overdrive as the character sets upon a path of destruction and it's exactly the kind of goofy movie a middle schooler who's just discovered Raimi's classic would dream up. That's not a slight, a sense of fun sure-footedness conquers Evil's Cult's extremely modest resources and its been an SOV favorite of mine for years.
Still, I never figured there'd be a follow-up. Before stumbling upon "The Mad Scientist" few days ago, I had no clue that the Taylor brothers and friend Nic Costa, who also appeared in the first film, have been chipping away at a prequel since 2005. They even staged a successful Kickstarter campaign a few years back, still up here, to help complete the project and judging by the film's group on Facebook progress is still being made. Rob Taylor also has a YouTube channel with the complete Evil Cult, trailers, and pitch videos. It already looks like a hoot and I'm excited to see what these guys have in store. Here's to hoping this obvious labor of love sees a release this year.