The nerdy outcast in a military academy finds a way to summon the powers of Satan through his computer. Yes, you read that right. Tormentors will be damned! Hogs will feast on human flesh! A set of funky, deformed titties will sear your memory!
Duane: I’m not ashamed to say I have loved this movie since I first saw it, and it still holds up today. Sure the performance of a Black Mass on an Apple II isn’t exactly optimal, but that shit was infused with HATE and a pissed off monk, so it’s all good. Evilspeak is another of those films from that ridiculous BBFC video nasties list that everyone goes on and on about; we seem to be doing a lot of those lately. That’s not to say the film is undeserved of the negative attentions of a bunch of stuck up prudish schoolmarms, but if you don’t stick it out for at least the first two thirds of the film you’d really have no idea why on earth anyone would have issue with it. It’s worth sitting through because the last 30 minutes or so are a pretty satisfying display of unabashed butchery that always makes me grin from ear to ear.
Clint Howard (Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, The Wraith) is excellent as the nerd Stanley Coopersmith and I daresay the perfect choice for this role. He’s a pathetic loser who gets pushed too far and happens to come across the means to exact revenge – with a little help of Satan and Esteban, the abolished priest. My only real gripe with the movie (other than the usual lack of titties – there’s a lot of wasted potential here) is the setting; I’m unsure why it is set at a military academy, but it makes everything feel very stuffy and bland. It would have been much better had they set it at a college – plenty of naked sluts and debauchery could have been woven into the story to hold the viewer’s interest as they attempt to build the tension before Coopersmith really gets his devil on. And really, “Cooperdick”? That’s the best these assholes could come up with?
I had never heard of this movie until you suggested it and perhaps if it were a part of my youth I may have a more sentimental attachment to it, but alas, I do not. It started out promising enough with a quality beheading at a beach-front black mass; it was mildly reminiscent of De Ossorio and my hopes were firmly in place. Unfortunately, it quickly downgraded into a puddle of poor pacing, virtually zero bloodshed and no sleaze to keep you from nodding off. I found Howard’s character to be pathetic and worthy of the torment just for repeatedly being so stupid despite supposedly having a high IQ. He routinely made bad decisions and seemed to easily get befuddled in the most ordinary of circumstances. I did like seeing so many familiar faces; most of all the fabulously diverse Lenny Montana (former wrestler, Columbo family enforcer and arsonist, actor most famous for his role as Luka Brasi in The Godfather
) but the entire cast was a cavalcade of easily recognizable character actors.
The premise is pretty fucking stupid, a Satanic priest returning from the grave through the power of a Commodore 64 to administer righteous vengeance on those who have wronged the outcast who conjured him. The fact that the movie wastes at least 40 minutes with this “above-average-IQ”-having dolt not being able to understand that he needs human blood for his sacrifice despite the endless amount of times that the computer told him exactly what to do, was infuriating. What about the fact that
It would have been awesome if it was a Commodore 64, I probably killed a good chunk of my life playing Jumpman as a lad. I like that comparison to De Ossorio, but a Blind Dead
film this certainly ain’t. The fact that Coopersmith was so infuriatingly pathetic just made me want to see his adversaries destroyed as much as I kind of wanted him to suffer at the hands of the devil, so in that respect it was pretty satisfying. Not to mention that end segment with him just levitating and looking fucking clueless as Esteban/Satan pulled the strings was pretty fucking awesome. And how can you really shit on a movie that got a thumbs-up from Anton LaVey himself? Ok so it really has nothing at all to do with the LaVeyan brand of Satanism, but still.
It’s certainly not the best film nor the most shocking, but it’s definitely worthy of repeated viewings, in my opinion. From the slutty secretary getting tub-fucked by Satan’s swine to the eventual climax that I’ve already gushed plenty over (with the return of the porcine plague of HATE!), it’s really something to witness. Production values are very high, the gore is awesome and performances all around are solid. It’s a well-made film that’s perhaps slightly hindered by location and lack of sleaze. In my opinion this is easily Clint Howard’s best film and it’s unfortunate that he’s only every really utilized for small roles because he’d had an extremely long and vibrant (albeit overlooked) career so far. Nobody should have to stoop to working for Uwe Boll.
Some of your lines are far more entertaining than the film could ever hope to be! If I just read the words “slutty secretary getting tub-fucked by Satan’s swine” I would be ALL ABOUT this movie…truth be told it’s not near as satisfying nor was she as slutty as she should’ve been. What the fuck was the deal with her only interest in the stolen Satanic tome being trying to incessantly pick at the pentagram on the cover? They could’ve made her go full-on Satanic Slut and seduce a bunch of underage cadets to the grave, but Noooooo! Let’s just waste all this potential by having her pick at the fucking Bedazzled cover. I call bullshit! The movie does manage to maintain a decidedly sinister feel and the fact that it celebrates man taking his balls out of God’s pocketbook (it’s an expression!) long enough to have his revenge, it only makes sense that it would appeal to LaVey. I did read somewhere that Clint Howard said that the director’s cut of the movie was far bloodier and sleazier than even our unrated cuts, so if that version ever gets released I might give it a whirl, but this is definitely not a candidate for repeated viewings as it stands. One thing that I didn’t care for was
While I can agree that once it got going (albeit, the last 20 min of the film) it was entertaining enough, even just to see Clint reigning satanic terror on his schoolmates while looking constipated and confused. There was some decent grue but you had to hike through a half-mile of horse shit to get to it. If you have that kinda intestinal fortitude then this is the movie for you. Myself? There was far too much wasted potential and a runtime with more padding than the shoulders of 1985.
While we can’t exactly agree on a rating I think we can both recommend this for anyone with an interest in the sub-genre of satanic horror. A few nice surprises await you and there’s always hope that a director’s cut will be released to balance the blandness.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating:
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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.