The Merits of Sin: Evil Ever After (2006) (USA)

“Hey! Do you remember that film with Joe Bob Briggs as a sleazy father and he’s married to a constantly drunk Brinke Stevens? Oh and there’s a cannibalistic midget and a bunch of butt violence. You know? The one narrated by Joe Esteves?” If I was in the lucky position of never having sat through Evil Ever After and hearing someone ask this question, I would immediately call 911 because I’d be worried that the poor son of a bitch asking me this question was having a stroke. I am not in the fortunate position of being blissfully unaware of Evil Ever After and because I’m a selfish prick, neither are you.

So evil

Everybody’s favorite Esteves fills us in on the history of some sap named Bernie Grisso. Bernie has a loving family with the only friction being his refusal to eat meat. One day he gets home from school early and finds his folks chowing down on some long pig in the basement and he’s forced to join in. Turns out, he digs that yummy human beef.

Chow down

Running the town mortuary, Bernie’s folks have a good amount of meat already at their greasy fingertips but they also clean up the neighborhood criminals and as long as they make hush money payments to the local police, they are free to eat whomever they like. The problem is they fall behind on their payments. An unhinged police officer shows up at their house and murders Bernie’s parents right in front of him. He leaves Bernie alive for some reason and time marches on.

Extortion blues

Now an adult, Bernie is a model citizen. Charitable, peaceful and full of love for his fellow man. He’s still living at his parent’s house and running the mortuary but he no longer kills. He takes care of a cannibalistic midget, he calls his son and tries to mind his own business. Guess how well that goes.

Bend it like Bernie

Unfortunately Bernie’s neighbors put the holy fuck in dysfunctional. Mama is the least fucked up of the trio. She’s constantly drunk and played by Brinke Stevens. You can sympathize with why she drinks after meeting her husband. Joe Bob Briggs is the sleazy papa who is constantly horny and is not above making out with his own daughter. His daughter, Ashley, is supremely fucked in the head and caters to all the neighborhood creeps by taking payment to perform any sexual kinks they have. She’s also conniving and just downright nasty to other humans.

Scumbag trio

Following a harsh dismissal from a dude she likes, Ashley mopes around town and comes across Bernie. He comforts her but when she attempts to do what she does best with him, he turns her down and asks her to leave. She makes her exit but she does not take it well. She tells her shitty friends that Bernie raped her and, because he was snooping and jerking off to his daughter, papa hears about it. Well it just so happens he is the chief of police and he sends a couple officers (one of ’em being the same man that killed Bernie’s parents) to pay a visit to the man who was accused of molesting his baby girl. This the point where things get really uncomfortable.

Oh Bernie….your poor poor butt

What has been an undoubtedly sleazy offering turns damn near unwatchable at this point. The two cops make Bernie dress up like an elegant lady and dance for them. This is soon followed by rape and the insertion of sharp objects into poor Bernie’s backdoor. But it ain’t over. When the cops are finished with the falsely accused big boy, Ashley’s asshole boyfriend and his idiot friends pay Bernie a visit. They drive him out to the middle of nowhere and (along with Ashley’s gal pals) beat the ever loving shit out of him. A knife up the backside and a piece of wood bludgeoning end Bernie’s tortures and the brain melting endurance test the film has become.

The spiral never ends

Billy (that despicable BF of Ashley) lets her know what he’s done for his boo and she feigns disgust at first but it actually turns her on. To celebrate they decide to throw a party in the now deceased man’s home. Luckily for us, the viewer at home, this will save a resurrected and pissed off Bernie a whole bunch of time when he heads down the path of vengeance. The voice of Joe Esteves returns to let us know all good has washed away from Bernie and now, much like an out of shape Ghost Rider, he’s a pure force of vengeance.

Feel the Bern

Bernie does away with the perverted cops who robbed him of his dignity and butt virginity and then he heads over to his old homestead. He picks off a few folks along the way (drug dealer, piece of crap kid in a wheelchair, etc….) and even releases his “son” to help him up the bodycount. Julie Strain shows up as a stripper and more things are shoved up butts. The movie ends and I’m left with a strange emptiness in my soul.

Wheelchair wounds

There’s a whole bunch here that should have worked in Evil Ever After’s favor but it rarely is anything remotely enjoyable. The few golden moments only work to make the viewer regret the shit tinged tedium that’s already sucked the breath out of everything. Felissa Rose cameos, an impromptu striptease performed by a pissed off midget and Joe Bob’s sleaziest of sleazebags may bring a smile to your face but it’ll only be temporary. Bipolar mood swings kill the tone and levels of titilation akin to watching your great-aunt grind on the dance floor with your homely cousin lead to more disappointed shrugs than genuine forehead smacking weirdness. Just file this one under “what could have been” and go along with your day. 4/10

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