Evilspeak (1981)

Director: Eric Weston.
Starring. Clint Howard, Joseph Cortese, R G Armstrong, Don Stark, Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson. USA. 1h 37m.

Part teen revenge part occult horror, Eric Weston’s Evilspeak is a venture into the unknown by a downtrodden young man looking for revenge and biting off more than he can chew. but this well worn revenge story has a much needed transfusion by stripping out the detailed build up to a justified revenge scene and instead opens it up for wild violence with a Satanic edge, showing enough gore for it to be banned in the UK in the 1980’s.

Opening with a Dark Ages sun setting on a Satanic mass on the beach, the group are approached by a church official telling them, they will be banished from Spain and denied the glory of a christian god, the naked group don’t pay much attention and the opening credits roll.

The film cuts to modern day, and focusing on Stanley Coopersmith (Howard) who’s attending a Military Academy, the poor orphaned boy is the butt of every joke and trolled daily by his classmates and even the staff don’t think he’ll amount to much and are easy to punish him for little reason, basically his face just doesn’t fit. And Clint Howard is perfectly cast in this role for his unusual features and I feel he did a brilliant job in this film.

Some of his regular punishments involved looking after some wild boars that are kept on campus, but one unusual tasks sends him into the catacombs under the school where he discovers, a diary of Father Esbat and his caverns Satanic Bible, using a programme that he devised to help translate the book from Latin he beings to crate a black mass.

It feels more satanic for not overdoing the darker influences, of the movie, young Stanley is trying to live two lives, one as the bruised school boy constantly fighting against pupils and staff, the other is a secret student of the dark arts, something he begins to dedicate his spare time in the basement. The ritual requires a few key ingredients, a few things he finds around the campus and in the vaults below, but a host and blood are two items he gets stuck on… but not for long.

One of the more memorable scenes and the beginning of the level of violence comes into play half way through the movie, a nosey secretary played by the delicious Lynn Hancock steals one of Stanley’s devilish books, while trying to pry the gems from the cover she evokes a violent Pig attack against Stanley while he’s trying to muck them out, later on she is taking a shower and the pigs magically appear in her house attacking and eating her, the scene is chilling and quite gory, but if you have the pleasure of the uncut version it’s really disgusting and worth looking for.

So much of the movie reminds me of 976 Evil (1988) which came out a few years later, the film sees a similar downtrodden character get revenge after dialing number and being given supernatural satanic powers, which transforms him into a demonic killer, but while both films have their metric, 976 Evil has a huge comedy element to it as well as

Rating 7/10

REvil 697 (1988), Christine (1983),
L – Hog Horror, A-Z of Occult Cinema, the Horror of 1981 Vol 1,
5s – Clint Howard

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