What starts as a promising spoof of the vast chasm between Europe’s art film past and the corruption of cinema as practiced by U.S. splatter pic specialists like Sam Raimi, John Carpenter and their ilk, slowly runs out of creative gas and becomes victim to the excesses of the gore genre. “Evil Ed” is a low-budget goof crafted by a team of Swedes who were diligent and determined enough to cobble together a budget, and savvy enough to shoot in English, giving this unpretentious, bestial little film a shot at some video life outside their native shores.
Pic opens with tidy, mild-mannered film editor Edward Svensson (Johan Rudeback), hard at work on a typical Euro art project filled with domestic Sturm und Drang and filmed in Bergmanesque grayish black-and-white. His orderly world is turned upside down when his boss (Per Lofberg) shifts him from the sedate pics he’s accustomed to cutting to a series of “Chainsaw Massacre” horror and schlock beauties called “Loose Limbs — I-VII.”
Stuck behind a movieola in his boss’ summer cottage, endlessly witnessing mutilations and violations of the worst order, Ed devolves into “Evil Ed,” a wicked, maniacal killer.
Only sporadically funny or involving after the first half-hour, “Evil Ed” lapses into an extended bloody skit that is neither shocking or stylish enough to compensate for its zero-budget limitations and its thinness of premise. The filmmakers’ zeal for the horror genre clearly exceeds their grasp of dramatics or satirical wit, but “Evil Ed” might manage to creep onto the vid shelves of international gore fans whose curiosity about Swedish splatter might overwhelm their ability to separate the meat from the mush.