Seeds of Evil (1974)

Written & Directed by: James H. Kay


Katharine Houghton .... Ellen Bennett
Joe Dallesandro .... Carl, the Gardener
Rita Gam .... Helena Boardman
James Congdon .... John Bennett
Anne Meacham .... Mrs. Garcia
Teordina Bello .... Liza the Maid

Release Date: Theatrical: October, 1974





A rich woman named Ellen Bennett (Katharine Houghton) hires a gardener named Carl (Joe Dallesandro) as he does wonders by what he plants in her area but yet they have a life of their own causing to kill the people there since he was hired before and people have dropped like flies due to a certain flower that he plants for his clients.


The beginning reveals a woman waking up in some sort of a hospital and spotting a plant as well as freaking out as it looked quite cheesy in today's standards to be suspenseful as it was supposed to have been.
In many spots of the film we spot alot of pointless discussions mainly between Ellen Bennett wwith her husband John or her friend Helena as this slows the story down alot and wondering if this was actually a horror film by what we spot here. Yet they discuss on their garden as well as hiring the new gardener Carl as well as his aggressions to an elderly one who worked there making him not work with him which leaves a clue that terrors will unveil. Later on by how this was done. Some of these moments looked a bit rough though.
Some nicely focused moments with Carl carefully setting out his plants and the garden area with good camera shots on all of this which looked perfectly peaceful while watching all of this.
A mild effective moment with one of the maids not liking the flowers towards Ellen and asking not to have it around and making excuses as to why which is supposed to leave you a clue that she knows something about what is going on as well as suspecting that these plants are deadly.
A perfect dark shot on Carl swimming in a pool as well as good focused shots with Ellen staring at him and likewise which leaves a mysterious feeling to everything.
A carefully focused discussion between Ellen and Carl when he invites her to his green house along with neat special effects shots on him waving his hand and making flowers bloom which looked amusing. Also a carefully focused moment on him leaning towards her ready to kiss her which makes you watch carefully wondering or not if she will give in.
Interesting glowing effects with Ellen sleeping and flowers blooming around her which are shown in different takes.
Cheesy dark shot on Ellen going into a trance and Carl approaching towards him by kissing her near the swimming pool as this was supposed to draw you in but seems to fail to do so and needed more inspiration with the mysterious moments here.
However there's a real effective moment with Ellen insisting towards one of her maids Liza hesitant but then shows her the glowing flowers as she gets frightened about seeing them yet Ellen likes them as this draws in well to the story and knowing the horror will soon come out. One of the only effective scene's in the film worth watching.
A nice close up shot on what seems too be a nude woman's feet approaching towards Carl and a good close up shot with him staring at her which draws your attention big time.
There's another moment with Liza trying to warn her about Carl and his communication with the garden which was supposed to be serious and suspenseful like but it comes off as quite funny by how this was all done. Yet good moments on a thunderstorm happening.
An effective moment with Ellen driving by a town and spotting people in costumes swarming around her vehicle and staring at her which looked truly mysterious.
Also a good moment when Ellen is in her room in her costume at a party and a reflection on a mirror with the garden being revealed and being in a trance which looked perfectly mysterious to watch all of this.
A perfect situation with Helena talking to Ellen when she is scared about Carl and wanting him to be gone as the conversation flows well and looked realistic with a friend talking towards another one as this looked sharp. Also a good strong moment when Ellen confronts Carl as this makes you cringe a bit since things seem pretty still which was well done.
The best moments are quarter way through the story as we spot Ellen outside and finding that Helena is turing into a plant but yet the shots looked very dark as you'd exxpect some neat effects but this was probably the excuse due to a lack of a bigger budget to make this look entertaining for the horror inn the story. However a perfect dark moment. On the discussion and great intense moments with a nice camera shot looking up on Ellen raising a dagger and plunging down to try and tear the roots out of Helena and unpretty results. Yes a moment to please horror fans.
Also a nice still moment with Ellen cautiously approaching towards Carl with a gun and ready to fire which is an attention grabber wondering on what will happen here.
Interesting moments with Carl running into his garden and using his magic with good shots on him changing and raising his arms with the plants forming which adds to the interesting suspense and fantasy happening here.
Bottom line is that this film is very slow and pretty bland with pointless discussions mainly to kill time in the film as well as not so many scary moments. It needed alot of inspiration and a disappointment for what I expected it to be. The story is better than watching the film.

Most of the performances were pretty decent as lead actress Katharine Houghton (Ellen Bennett) seemed to do quite well as the woman on her wealthy mansion in which she draws in a strong innocence but yet a powerful minded woman. Really does well with her speaking drawing everything in. Also does well with her upsetting attitude and does a nice job acting confused as well. Plus does an okay job by being in a trance. Draws in strongly when firing a weapon or trying to end the madness.
Joe Dallesandro (Carl) just graduated from performing in Andy Warhol's flicks while doing this one and boy is he still out of it and acting like a robot which you can tell he is still drugged out here. He is a line reader but still comes off onto the camera well with his mysterious features. Of course he is topless throughout his whole performance as I'm guessing the makers liked his beefcake image and thought he'd be good for this part.
Rita Gam (Helena Boardman) was probably the best out of the whole cast in which she shows a perfect sharp behavior along with acting perfectly bubbly and full of life.  Was convincing with this outgoing personality. Does well by acting uplifting and getting into a discussion as well as acting believeable by trying to talk and help someone. Also does well with her gravelly speaking near the end of her performance adding a nice versatality along with screaming in pain which isn't too shabbily done either.
James Congdon (John Bennett) seemed to act sharp himself as well. As being convincingly outgoing with his performance along with showing a good lighthearted and sarcastic behavior. Plus was convincingly charming in his performance too. Also offers a nice sterness here and there which he showed decent timing within this too. Had the perfect nice guy looks which was a great plus for his role.
Teodorina Bello (Liza) seemed to have a fairly effective supporting role as she shows off a good and strong accent as a maid and showed some good scared and worried behavior too. Tries to be serious whenn stressing something yet she is a bit too funny while doing this yet works in well as she gave me a few chuckles. Shows some nice energy within everything.

Joe Dallesandro reveals his butt by going in a swimming pool or running into his garden which were both night shots.

Some mild bloody stabbings by a dagger.

The music was wonderfully put together having a perfect unique type of composing compared to any other film that you'd normally hear in a soundtrack as there's alot of perfect peaceful harmonising and chanting with alot of pleasant trumpet playing which suits the scene's revealing the beautiful garden that we spot in the film which blends in nicely. However alot of this was a bit overbearing when we continue to to watch the film. Alot of good original violin playing when the suspense piles up. All of this was put together by Marc Fredericks.