"Charles Bronson passed away recently, and to remember him I decided to view once again one of his most bizarre films, "The Evil That Men Do." Returning to this film at least ten years after I last watched it was quite the trip down memory lane, back to the invigorating 1980s when low budget films like this played on cable every night. Some of the best B-movie action flicks in that era starred Bronson, who worked closely with companies like Cannon in order to bring us numerous sequels in his "Death Wish" franchise, the gruesome "10 to Midnight," and the immensely unentertaining "Assassination." Of course, Bronson was much more than a string of cheesy actioners in the 1980s; he also appeared in some of the best known films of all time, like "The Dirty Dozen," "Once Upon a Time in the West," and "Chino." Bronson's death at the age of eighty-one means we will never see a new Charles Bronson film, but at least we have plenty of great films to remember him by. I will miss him."The Evil That Men Do" may not be one of Bronson's best roles, but it certainly ranks as one of his seediest. In this sleazy production, Bronson plays a retired assassin named Holland living out his days on the Cayman Islands. Life looks good until an old friend arrives on the island looking to lure Holland back into business again. This friend, Hector Lomelin (played by Jose Ferrer) brings with him a mountain of videotaped testimony in which an endless string of people relate personal accounts of the most repulsive tortures inflicted upon them and their families. One name repeatedly appears in these accounts: The Doctor, specifically Dr. Clement Molloch, a demented physician who dedicates his life to instructing petty despots in desolate Central American countries about the intricacies of mental and physical torture. In fact, the movie begins with a lengthy scene of the doctor's work, as he teaches a group of military officials in Surinam how to put out the lights on those pesky political opponents who always complain about such irritating things as elections, civil rights, and due process of law. Holland eventually agrees to exterminate the doctor in the name of human decency; he even refuses to accept a fee for hunting down this aberrant creature.Holland heads to Central America to track down Molloch, but in order to allay any suspicions from the doctor and his gang of bodyguards, he brings along Rhiana Hildalgo (Theresa Saldana) and her daughter to pose as his wife and child. Hildalgo's husband died at the hands of Clement Molloch, so she ostensibly wants to see his memory avenged. Holland and his "family" meet up with Max Ortiz, a guy who hates despotic regimes and their reliance on Molloch as a political weapon. With Ortiz supplying the information on the doctor's whereabouts, Holland starts knocking off the hired help. He kills one of the bodyguards by flinging a knife into his throat, hangs another one with a fire hose, shotguns a couple of baddies, and kidnaps Molloch's seamy sister in order to lure the doctor into the line of fire. Along the way, Holland runs into problems with Paul Briggs, a U.S. embassy official who kowtows to Molloch and his goons. In a film loaded with atrocity piled on atrocity, the ending is nauseating to watch, as Molloch gets his comeuppance at the hands of a group of peasants who remember him only too well."The Evil That Men Do" is one sick puppy of a movie. It's difficult to picture Bronson starring in such a tacky movie, but nearly all of Bronson's efforts in the 1980s depicted him as a vengeful entity mowing down the bad guys in increasingly sadistic ways. This film is no different, except that nearly every character (even the supposed good guys) leaves a bad taste in your mouth. To make matters worse, the script is so full of holes that you could sail a fleet of battleships through it. How could Molloch's bodyguard think Holland was anything but trouble after spotting him glaring at Molloch during that sporting event? And what was up with the weird recognition between Cannell and Holland in the village café? Maybe I slipped into a coma while watching the movie, but I don't remember any background about these two characters knowing each other from some other place and time. I also never grasped the reasons why Holland decided to accept the mission after some initial reluctance. He watched several of Lomelin's tapes without batting an eye, and adamantly refuses to assassinate the doctor. Then suddenly he decides to lend a hand. Why? I don't know because it's never explained clearly. It's problems like these that handicap "The Evil That Men Do." The DVD version does contain the uncut version of the film, or at least it appears so. The first segment is really a doozy, and it sets the tone for the monstrous activities to follow. Unfortunately, the only extras on the disc are three trailers: one for this film, one for "The Replacement Killers," and one for "The Big Hit." At least the picture quality is quite good for such an old, low budget film. Maybe watching this slightly above average Bronson film isn't the best way to pay homage to the man, but it is a good representation of the movies Chuck churned out in the 1980s. After you work your way through the "Death Wish" films, you will need to see "The Evil That Men Do" in order to attain the rank of a Bronson completist."
........Lives On And Ooooooooooon!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 07/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bronson's back, kids! This time his sights are set on a sadistic doctor of torture(as opposed to unsadistic doctors of torture) in South America. Bronson's an ex-hitman who's comes out of retirement(naturally) to take out an evil brute known as "The Doctor." Scared yet? You will be when you see Bronson and his "wife" try to pass themselves off as swingers to one of The Doctor's goons. Bronson may be old, but he kicks some butt in this one(as usual) and kills anyone who gets in his way. This is what entertainment is about."
Bodyartist | 01/29/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Every version of the movie (DVD or VHS) I've seen in the past 20 years contains the _cut_ version. It only shows the torture of the male prisoner, and the doctor's opening scene starts with the bloody corpse of the female. The original version started with a monologue to the audience about the differences in terror/torture of male vs female prisoners, and showed the torture of the female prisoner (which is how she ended up on the gurney).
Without this opening, the comments about the movie failing to explore the horrors of the theme are pretty on-target. Without this opening, most of the movie makes no sense. It was the opening that set the stage, and ingrained itself in my memory for the past 20 years.
Does the truly UNCUT version exist anywhere? I can only think it wasn't politically correct to show the torture/murder of the female prisoner, and it was cut, and never put back in any version. But, it was this cold, horrible, contrasts in torture that made this movie memorable, and took it out of the realm of just a gore-fest into something that gave insight into the atrocities still going on in the world.
ONE OF THE BETTER "BRONSON"FILMS OF THE EIGHTIES
Gus Mauro | Brandon,mb | 05/10/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THIS FILM MAY BE ABSURD BY TODAY'S STANDARDS BUT ITS SURE BETTER THAN THE "DEATH WISH" SEQUALS. IN THIS 1984 THRILLER CHARLES BRONSON ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVERITE ACTORS PLAYS A RETIRED PROFESSINAL KILLER LIVING ON A REMOTE ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC WHEN ONE DAY HE IS SUMMONED OUT OF RETIRMENT TO AVENGE THE BRUTAL DEATH OF A FRIEND AT THE HANDS OF A SADISTIC TORTURER. WHEN BRONSON SYSTMATCALLYS KILLS EVERYONE ASSOICIATED WITH THE DOCTOR, THE DOCTOR FEARS FOR HIS LIFE AND GOES INTO HIDING. BUT BRONSON DRAWS HIM OUT BY HOLDING THE DOCTOR'S SISTER HOSTAGE WHO'S ALREADY DEAD. AND THIS LEADS TO THE DRAMATIC SCENE IN A ABANDON TEMPLE MINE WHERE BRONSON HAS HIS MISSION DONE FOR HIM WHEN THE LOCALS TRAP THE DOCTOR INSIDE HIS CAR AND START HACKING AND CHOPING AT THE DOCTOR UNTIL HE'S A BLOODY MESS. LIKE I SAID BEFORE IT'S A ABSURD FILM BUT I LIKE IT."
Birthe Jrgensen | Odense, Denmark | 06/09/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie has a very nasty feel to it, starting off with a gruesome torture-scene. Never the less, it's the movie that made me aware of the brilliant Joseph Maher. He plays a ruthless doctor, doing the ugly work for corrupt governments. Charles Bronson is the guy on his tail. Does he get his man ?. -Let's just say, the ending is right out of Tod Browning's "Freaks"(MGM,1932.) The whole cast is actually way too good for this kind of violent film. I think the opening scene is a bit too much, but typical of the brutal stuff Bronson appeared in during the 80's. -Not exactly a pleasure-cruise."