The Seeds of Evil (1974)

aka The Gardener
Article 4351 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-29-2013
Directed by James H. Kay
Featuring Katherine Houghton, Joe Dallesandro, Rita Gam
Country: USA
What it is: Mysterious doings with plants.

A young wife hires a gardener who loses his job when his former employer dies. The gardener proves to have an amazing talent with raising plants as well as a hypnotic effect on the women he meets… and some of the plants may not be safe.

Early on in the movie, I found myself checking the credits for the director on this movie on IMDB under the suspicion that I would discover that this was first directorial effort, and sure enough, it was. It is, in fact, his sole directorial credit, and given the fact that a number of IMDB reviews trot this one out as one of the worst movies ever made, I’m not entirely surprised. I don’t rate it that low myself, though I don’t really think it’s a success; it has an interesting premise and a definite sexual subtext, and it has a strange dreaminess around the edges. It’s also somewhat underdeveloped in the script department, with the result that there’s a fair amount of dead time in the movie where nothing much is happening. There’s also some strange, awkward editing, which was the thing that made me check the director’s credits; there’s a number of times where one scene cuts to another when the previous scene doesn’t seem to have properly ended. I think the director had a real vision, but lacked the expertise to really pull it off; it looks like he never got the chance or the desire to try again. Ultimately, it’s an oddity with some points of interest.


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