Where Evil Dwells

1985, 31:16 min, b&w, sound, Super 8mm film on HD video

Where Evil Dwells originated as a scripted project based on the sensational story of teen killer Ricky Kasso, self-described “Acid King” of Northport, Long Island, who sparked a panic over heavy metal, drugs, and Satanism after the pseudo-ritualistic murder of a fellow teen in the woods. The widespread media attention generated by the case struck a chord with Tommy Turner and David Wojnarowicz, who interviewed several of Kasso’s friends as material for an intended Super 8 feature film. After a fire destroyed much of what they shot, Turner and Wojnarowicz ultimately edited their footage into a 30-minute “trailer” that represents an anarchic, assaultive, and wildly expressionistic take on what Wojnarowicz described as “the imposed Hell of the suburbs.” The result — something of a cross between Flaming Creatures, a proto-Jackass stunt performance piece, and a no-budget horror film — is recognized as one of the key films of the “Cinema of Transgression.” Where Evil Dwells also includes a title track by J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus) and Roli Mosimann (Swans) and appearances by Rockets Redglare as Jesus and Joe Coleman as Satan.

With: Joe Coleman, Nancy Coleman, Baby Gregor, Lung Leg, Natz, Rockets Redglare, Tommy Turner, Scott Werner, David Wojnarowicz.