Saturday, 3 December 2011

Evilspeak (1981)

One of the DPP's notorious (I really need to use the word 'notorious' less, don't I?) 'Video Nasties', Evilspeak is a brilliant piece of trashy horror entertainment that his head and shoulders above most of the films that make up the 72 that were lumped in with the controversy.

This may well have something to do with the lead character being played by Clint Howard, who, dear addicts, is a god amongst men when it comes to horror movies.

He rapidly became a go-to man for the freaky/weird/oddball in many movies and TV shows, but he's more than just a distinctive face. Clint Howard is also an extremely talented actor, and he brings a great deal of pathos to the role of Stanley Coopersmith, the computer nerd at a military school who is the butt of endless jokes and pranks from his peers.

Of course, he winds up with incantations left behind by a mad Satanic cult leader from hundreds of years ago, which enable him to harness the power of the underworld in order to wreak bloody mayhem upon his enemies.

The film is a little slow to offer much in the way of horror material, but when the chaos kicks in, it's mental. I say a little slow, but the film is actually kinda painful in its build up towards the inevitable bloodshed.

Actually, at several points in the first 50 minutes of the movie, Evilspeak could be taken for a regular comedy/drama film, albeit one with satanic rituals. And demonic pigs. And flashbacks to a mad cult. In fact, forget I said it could be taken as anything other than a horror movie.

The thing is, it feels rather comic-booky in terms of tone rather than pure evil. I can understand the controversy surrounding this particular entry on the Video Nasties list to a certain extent due to the graphic gore and some of the more unsettling scenes (the simulated killing of a puppy is all wrong), but overall Evilspeak is a bit of gory fun with Clint Howard mugging for the camera with all his might.

A fun film for an evening session with beer and salty snacks. Just watch out for the rubber-faced fake pig head which is used in close-ups. You may snort your snacks up with mirth.

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