Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I remember you well York Entertainment. I remember a few years back walking through a Hollywood Video store and all of the sudden seeing all of these obscure African American themed movies that I’ve never heard of and being the adventurous sort, picked up a few and took them on home to watch. What I would see would shock and disgust me and actually change the home video industry. These movies with their fancy box covers were shot on video, not digital video mind you but by some guy with a old school RCA camcorder, used the on camera mic for sound, used the living room lamp for light and were probably edited together using a pair of VHS VCR’s. These, quite simply, were some of the worst ‘movies’ ever made with titles like Killer Kopz, Makin’ babiez and Better Dayz... notice the clever use of the letter Z. After I saw the VHS disaster ‘Shacked Up’ I declared that I have been ‘Yorked’ for the last time. But what York had started, others picked up as it became obvious to far too many film distributors, including major players like Lionsgate, that you can put just about anything in a DVD case, as long as the box cover is nice, and folks will rent it. Well since those days I have been actively avoiding movies heralding from York Entertainment, but thinking that maybe they’ve stepped up their game I decided to give them one more chance which occurred in the form of this movie called ‘The Evading’. Let’s see if I'm even dumber than I thought I was.

While little Karla (Olivia Alsept-Ellis) lies sleeping, a man burst into her home and murders her parents. This tragic event will lead to Olivia seeing ‘IT’. When we meet Josh Carter (Eric Stevens) for the first times he is reliving the moment over and over again when he kissed his wife goodbye as both were on their way to work. Usually Josh carpools with her, but today something came up at work and tragically she was killed by a junkie not paying attention to where he was going. This tragic event led to the beginning of Josh starting to see ‘IT’. Josh’s strange behavior at work gets the attention of his boss and his boss’s hot daughter / receptionist Mary (Brittany Quist)

who runs a secret society for people who can see ‘IT’. These individuals include a priest, a junkie, one of those Hale-Bopp lunatics, a geek, the aforementioned Karla and a murderous vigilante. The common thread is that all of these people have witnessed some kind of death which has caused this slippery hooded character dressed in black to hunt them down. Why is it hunting them down, I don’t think we’re ever told for sure but its appetite is voracious and it won’t stop until it gets them all. Or is it even after them at all? Who can really be sure what is exactly going on? I don’t know about you but I smell a twist coming up.

‘The Evading’ has a couple of things working in its favor that led to me actually enjoying it which had nothing to with the movie itself. On consecutive nights I had seen the movies ‘The Watermelon Heist’, ‘Dead Lenny’, ‘Death to the Supermodels’ and ‘Killer Pad’, a murderous row of shittiness if ever there was one and all ‘The Evading’ had to do was be better than those movies just a little bit and it would be like I had just watched ‘Ben Hur’ or something. Fortunately for my sanity ‘The Evading’ was far and above all of those movies and is the best movie from York Entertainment that I have ever seen. This is not to say that ‘The Evading’ is a great film but it is a watchable one and by God that was enough for me at that particular time.

Though ‘The Evading’ had a very low budget feel to it, largely due to the washed out digital video look of the print, but Director Rick L. Winters wrote a story that was really pretty interesting and very well presented. I actually enjoyed the fact that this ‘IT’ was never clearly defined as it kept things a bit mysterious and kept the viewing audience guessing. The pacing of the film was a little slow and deliberate, but it was enhanced by some very impressive special effects, particularly the IT creature which I am curious to know how he created the effect with what I am sure was a shoestring budget. The acting performances were hit and miss, as is largely the case in these low budget horror movies with star Eric Stevens being a bit bland, but his performance was picked up by the absolutely toasty Brittany Quist as well as well Jason Adkins as the murderous vigilante Goliath and little Olivia Aslept-Ellis doing her best freaky Asian girl impersonation.

Most impressive was the ‘twist’ that Winters integrated into his story. Most of the time these twists are either completely out of left field or so easy to solve it’s not even worth calling a twist, but I must admit I didn’t see the twist in ‘The Evading’ coming and it actually made a little bit of sense within the overall narrative of the story.

Despite the fact that I enjoyed ‘The Evading’ it doesn’t come close to taking York Entertainment off the hook since once doesn’t make a trend, but at least now I can stop actively avoiding their movies and only avoid them in my subconscious.

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