FILM REVIEWS

‘Evilspeak’ (1981)

Evilspeak (1981)

Two things validate this movie in a big way. One is Anton LaVey cited it as an excellent movie about Satanism. The other is that the film was caught up in the UK’s video nasty legislation of the 1980s that attempted to regulate video sales in the UK. Violent and sexually explicit videos were censored similarly to the way parental advisory stickers were placed on rock albums in the US. The video nasty censorship efforts had a similar effect on videos as the parental advisory stickers had on rock albums: the movies became notorious. For a movie about Satanism, Evilspeak is actually pretty tame in the beginning. There are a lot scenes featuring Ron Howard’s odd-looking brother Clint looking incredulous about things. But as with most Satanism narratives, there is a guarantee of nudity and unorthodox deaths. For what it is, it is actually a pretty well executed horror film. Stanley Coopersmith (Howard) is regularly terrorized by his military school classmates.¬†When he finds an ancient tome owned by a Spanish priest who turned to Satanism, he begins dabbling in the world of the dark lord. He brings one of those awesome, 1980s looking computers into the basement and begins translating the book and essentially instant messaging the devil.

The movie is foremost worth seeing for the people watching. The film contains a really strange hodgepodge of character actors. What’s Happening’s Heywood Nelson plays Coopersmith’s only friend. Night Court’s Richard Moll, no stranger to b-horror films for some reason, portrays Father Esteban. Loren Lester who played Fritz Hansel in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School reprises his role as a nerdy looking bully, a role he seems to be born to play. However the weirdest cameo in Evilspeak has to be Lenny Montana who played Luca Brasi in the Godfather. This movie is ripe for a game of weird actor bingo. I’ll mail a free candy bar to anyone who makes a homemade bingo card featuring all these actors and sends it in. Besides all of this, Evilspeak has some great horror elements in play once it gets started. There are some cool, 1980s computer-generated effects representing Satan’s arrival through the screen. There are beheadings, an Omen-esque soundtrack, exceptional blood loss, and a soccer team eaten by evil pigs. It takes a little while to get started, but once it gets going, Evilspeak goes bananas.

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