Force of Evil - the first remake of Cape Fear - found after almost 30 years
28 June 2006 | by Scarletfire-1 (United States) – See all my reviews
Back in the late 1970's I saw a movie on late night TV that was really creepy. It has stuck in my mind for almost 30 years. I have been trying to find out what the name of it was and see it again for a long time. It was about a doctor that had testified in a trial years earlier and sent this creepy guy to prison. Now that he's out of prison he wants to get revenge on the doctor and proceeds to torment him and his family.
A few years later I watched a movie I'd never heard of before called Cape Fear, which was made in the early 1960's. Strangely enough it had the same exact storyline as that movie that had been haunting me. Obviously Cape Fear was the original and the one from the late 70s was a remake.
In the early 1990s I heard they were making another remake of Cape Fear. Maybe I'd finally find out something about my mystery film? With all the hoopla about the second remake, I never saw any mention of the first one from the 1970s. I realized that the film I saw was probably very obscure and was probably a made for TV movie.
Eventually I got on the internet and found out about IMDb. Surely I could finally find out about that creepy movie that I saw so many years ago. I looked up Cape Fear and only the remake from the early 1990s was listed. That seemed really strange, because Cape Fear was a well known film and I thought some movie buff would have already put a connection to the remake I saw under "Movie Connections". No such luck.
A few years ago I was looking through the catalog of a company that sold rare VHS tapes and I read the description for something called "Force of Evil". I realized at once that I'd found it! This was that movie that I had been searching for, for almost 30 years. I got on IMDb again and saw that it was a made for TV movie as I had thought. Interestingly enough it was a Quinn Martin production and was narrated by William Conrad. That made sense as I recalled the distinctive narration it had when I originally saw it. It starred Lloyd Bridges and even had one of the Brady Bunch girls in it - Eve Plumb.
I managed to get a copy on VHS and re-watch it again at last. It was as cool as I had remembered it. It does indeed have virtually the same exact storyline as Cape Fear, even down to the houseboat near the end.
So cool to know the name and see it again after all those years!