Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Evilspeak (1981)


I'm not a religious man, but if I was one I would turn Christian only to convert to Satan directly. Just to make it feel right, because there's something seducing with the religious form of Satanism, something... out of the ordinary. Plus cool clothes, goatees, FUN supernatural powers, limitless sex and so on. Christianity gave us one fine thing, and that's Satan and the creation of Satanic horror movies. Eric Weston's Evilspeak is one of my favourites. It might not be the most "realistic" one, but it takes the Satanic rituals into the... hrmf... "computer-age" and this wonderful, wonderful sleeper-hit.

Clint Howard is Coopersmith, a nerd who's forces to join a strictly religious military school after his parents died in a car accident. Soon he's the number 1 bullied boy in the school, and the pranks on him becomes more and more serious. One day he finds a secret chamber in the basement. It's a sacrificial temple belonging to the famous (and since long dead) Spanish Satanist Father Esteban (played by the always cool Richard Moll) and now he wants back to the world, and Coopersmith will help him - with his computer! Soon everyone's life is at stake at the school, but hey - who cares, it's only fascist military men and Christian hypocrites that will suffer!

Evilspeak may take some time to get going, but compared to many other horror movies from the eighties this also has a story to tell, and maybe even a message. First of all, the stance against Christianity and military is so strong that I hardly thing it's a coincidence. There's more or less not one single sympathetic character (except one student, but he dies to I think...) among the "enemy", they're all religious wackos, crazy fascists or homophobic students. We really root for Clint Howard, aka "Cooperdick" - as his bullies call him, and when the final punishment comes there's only glory to Coopersmith, Esteban and Satan.

The scale of Evilspeak is very ambitious, from the beginning set a few hundred years back when Esteban sacrifices a woman to the sea (and hey, I always imagine it's Paul Naschy playing the Esteban part - it would have been a perfect role for him!) to the tough life at the academy and the cool underground temple...and the final scene of gore, fire and mayhem. I have no idea what the budget was, but everything looks big and impressive - but doesn't loose the trashier parts, the violence and nudity. It's a big budget b-movie, and one of the best of its kind.

What I always forget is how damn gory Evilspeak is. First of all, the decapitations - these must be the uncleanest and most brutal ever filmed. Good old Coopersmith have a hard time aiming them right and often ending it all with destroying the heads completely. Everything shot in glorious slow-mo and tons of blood. The scenes of drama leading up to this final has a couple of very fine and gory kills spliced in-between, for example the infamous pig-scene. MPAA, those child-molesting sunuvabitches, demanded some trims - but it's still gory and nasty.

I really like - maybe love - Evilspeak, but it's one of those movies that demands a re-watch from time to time, because it's hard to forget how good it actually is. I always remember the slow-moving parts, but they belong there and they are good.

Give me a couple of millions and I will fund a sequel - because Coopersmith MUST RETURN!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Clint Howard is Coopersmith"

Always liked him....prefer him over his brother.


"First of all, the stance against Christianity and military is so strong that I hardly thing it's a coincidence."

I don´t think so either....the 80´s had some films that went against the mainstream.



"I really like - maybe love - Evilspeak, but it's one of those movies that demands a re-watch from time to time, because it's hard to forget how good it actually is."

Haven´t seen it yet...thanks Ninja.

Megatron

Thomas T. Simmons said...

Oh man, one of my all time favorites. I'm not sure how it was released in Sweden, but in the US it was heavily cut. We've only seen the graphic gore since the invention of DVD. I know it was cut in Japan as well. Back in the day, the only version I could find that was uncut on videotape was a French SECAM tape.
Nice write-up, let me know when you're ready to get the sequel rolling. I'm in! :)

Ninja Dixon said...

Richard, I'm not even sure it was release here in Sweden, and if it was it would probably been cut to ribbons! I never seen it cut actually, bought some old x-rental (can't remember which release) and I loved it from the beginning. It seemed uncut anyway, but it was many years since I saw that version.

Megatron, you should give it a try. Excellent 80's horror, bloody and fun! :D

And I'll get back to you when I have the money for the sequel! ;)