“Roots of Evil” is an 80’s holdover featuring big hair, terrible sax music, a serial killer with mommy issues, and neon clothes. It may have been shot in ’91 and released in ’92 but could easily pass as a late 80’s slasher/thriller.
“Roots of Evil” follows a mustachioed detective as he tracks a serial killer with mommy issues who is dispatching prostitutes. There’s also a second case involving the murder of a known criminal and the suspicion of his cheating wife’s involvement.
“Roots of Evil” is a B-movie thriller with slasher elements that features a good helping of T&A and an intense killer. It’s an entertaining blend of genres including action, horror, softcore erotica, and cop drama. The film exists in two cuts…an R-rated version and an unrated version. Both versions run 95 minutes according to the VHS boxes but the uncut film features way more gore. All the kills in the R-rated version are off screen and I highly recommend the much more bloody unrated tape.
The acting is pretty good all around…Alex Cord is serviceable as the lead detective who all the ladies in the film want to bang.
And B-movie veteran Gregory Scott Cummins is solid as usual as a vice detective. But the real star of the film is Delia (Deal-ya) Sheppard as the stripper Monica. Sheppard is a Penthouse Pet known for her roles in “Witchcraft 2” and the softcore classic “Mirror Images”. She offers up hall of fame T&A in the film and even has a slow motion sex scene. If you’re a T&A fan, “Roots of Evil” is worth viewing for her “assets” alone. Although be warned, the R-rated version also edited out a good portion of Delia Sheppard sex scene where she is teasing a guy with a whip and lingerie. So once again, the unrated version is the way to go.
The film was directed by ex-porn director Gary Graver and is a remake of a hardcore flick called “Trinity Brown”. The plot is nothing new or interesting but the film features enough sleaze and slasher-esque killings that it will keep you watching.
The kills are pretty straight-forward but brutal…as well as a bit misogynistic….the killer has a penchant for stripping his victims topless before murdering them. Charles Dierkop is pretty entertaining as the whacked out and sweaty slasher with mommy issues.
The biggest negative I have for “Roots of Evil” is that the police procedural aspect of the film tends to bog it down. And the second investigation involving the murder of a mob guy just isn’t as interesting or entertaining as the serial killer case.
Scream Queen Brinke Stevens co-stars as a B-movie actress and Jewel Shepard from “Return of the living dead” pops out a titty and takes part in one of the least convincing struggles in movie history.
“Roots of Evil” is a sleazy and cheesy thriller that delivers what you want…boobs, blood, and bullets. This is B-movie gold featuring drive by shootings, a bullet proof sweater, a Michael Berryman look alike, and a crotch shot roundhouse kick.