A put-upon nerd uses computers and Satan to seek revenge on his tormentors; what could be more '80s than that?
Give it a rental.
The devil is in the details in this inconsistently filmed, choppily edited, yet surprisingly coherent horror film with only few scares, but not entirely devoid of entertainment overall.
There is many unlikeable characters in this movie, who deverses to die greatly. Don Stark (That`s 70 Show) as the leader as the bullies. Richard Moll (Night Court) as a sanatic leader! and he is certainly an important plot point in the movie, his character. Since the movie does remain you of "Carrie" but the movie did have one original idea is not really talked about in most reviews. When Howard character decided to translate the book of Moll`s chatracter in English into a computer and then use it for black magic! It sounds silly to say the least but it works!
Howard in a rare lead role makes this fascinating horror movie work. The script does have some serious story holes. It is loaded with some nasty black comedy and a few moments of memorable gore. The 2-Disc Region 2 Set does have an alternative version with more than 10 minutes of additional footage. Mostly character developement and while the director's cut is unrated with additional gore with remastered soundtrack. The region 1 DVD stayed true to the original mono track. Which the region 1 is already out of print. Horror fans, who loves 1980's movies should check this out.
It takes itself seriously, a features a likable and empathetic lead performance by Clint Howard in his first starring role. The satanic angle is something we don't see a lot, and even though it's kind of watered-down, it's still pretty convincing. Ultimately, the film is too ordinary to be anything really special, but it tries something new. And for that alone, I am eternally grateful.
Besides, you have to give some props to any movie that features characters being killed by wild boars. The special effects are convincing, but there's so much story that they are pretty much confined to the final half hour. The direction by first-timer Eric Weston is sluggish, making for a slow first hour. There's almost too much plot, and as much as you feel for the Howard character, the revenge is strangely unsatisfying. His tormentors aren't really as despicable as Carrie White's were.
"Evilspeak" isn't an entirely successful movie, but it's a lot better than what you're expecting. It's a curious film that defied an era, but ultimately, it's just too dull. Howard is a likable guy, the gore is kind of cool but not much happens for a good portion of the film's running time. And in this case, that's kind of a shame.
[b][i][size=3]Battle Royale[/size][/i][/b] is a Japanese film from a few years back. Apparently, all the little obedient Japenese school children stop going to school sometime in the future and become ruffians, and the only way for Japan to collectively solve the problem is to put them all on a deserted island to whack each other. So each year a class of students is chosen to fight to the death, and this year it's a freshman class.
The movie is gory and fun, with a satirical vibe reminscent of [i]Starship[/i] [i]Troopers[/i], but the subtitles left something to be desired. A character would scream in anguish for over a minute, talking and talking, and the subtitles would give you, "Shut up dammit!" and that's all. There were many different subplots going on as the student's killed each other. Two students would gang up to kill a third, and I could tell there was a backstory, but the subtitles just weren't letting it happen.
[i]Battle Royale[/i] is full of gore and mayhem: throat spoutings, gaping gunshot wounds, crotch stabbings. Each student is given a random weapon, and they vary widely in effectiveness and sophistication, as do the death scenes. A truly inventive and fascinating film that was heavily, heavily marred by some of the worst subtitles I have ever seen in a foreign release. I suppose if you spoke the native language this would be a must see.
[i][b][size=3]The Toolbox Murders[/size][/b][/i] (1978) is supposed to be one of those great down and dirty exploitation pictures that is vile and awful and repellant, and for the first 30 minutes it was all that, and more. A man wearing an overcoat and a mask, without rhyme or reason, begins to methodically butcher the women in an apartment complex with the tools he carries in his heavy metal toolbox. There isn't really any dialogue at first; it's just this man, walking through a few apartments, slowly amd methodically murdering chicks with tools. Sounds cool, eh? Well, it is.
The circuitous route the filmmakers take in order to get to the murders, winding through nudity and false scares, is inept in the most endearing way. Case in point, the events of one protracted scene: a woman (early 20s, pretty hot) goes into the bathroom, fully clothed, turns on the shower, and puts a showercap on her head. She looks herself over in the mirror (fully clothed, remember) and then turns to look into the shower, which is actually a bath with a transluscent shower curtain. There is a dark shape behind the shower curtain and the soundtrack makes one of those sounds that scary movies make when they are from the 1970s. The woman opens the shower curtain to find a black dress hanging from a hanger around the shower head, she gives this wistful sigh of bemusement, and then proceeds to CLIMB INTO THE SHOWER to retrieve the dress. She is still fully clothed. After removing the dress, she turns off the shower and removes her shower cap. She is now soaking wet and her clothes are see through. She removes her clothes and puts on a dress shirt and then goes into the living room so the guy with the ski mask can finally kill her.
I thought long and hard about that sequence of nonsensical events, and here is what I have deduced: the filmmakers, overjoyed at having signed a hot actess willing to do nudity, were given four stipulations to the scene. Throw in a red herring scare and then get her wet, get her naked, get her killed. Although it makes no sense why she would get into the shower fully clothed only to abandon the shower altogether moments later, all three of these objectives were definitely accomplished, although at the expense of plot, continuity, and logical character development. But that's what makes the opening third of this movie so great. Seriously, have a few friends over and watch the first 30 minutes, and then turn it off. It's all downhill from there.
What starts as a mildly offensive and fascinating exploitation piece disintigrates into a boring-as-all-hell Cameron Mitchell blabberfest in the final half. Cameron Mitchell (the headliner, believe it or not) is the killer (hope I didn't give anything away there) and he kidnaps a girl halfway through the film. He then proceeds to (loosely) tie her up and subdue her with hours and hours of crazy talk, absolutely smothering her in worthless exposition. I found myself thinking, [i]What happened to this movie[/i]?
The end is supposed to be this big kicker as far as brutality goes, but it ends up being a cop out. The real treat at the end of the film comes with the closing credits placard claiming the events of the film are, in fact, based on TRUE EVENTS. I call bullsh**, but oh well.
[i][b][size=3]Evilspeak[/size][/b][/i] is another movie I recently enjoyed, a Clint Howard opus from 1981 (I think). Its kind of in the "possessed computer" subgenre that is also occupied by the Emilio Estevez portion of [i]Nightmares[/i] (1980), that awesome horror anthology that has Emilio being hunted by a killer video game.
Evilspeak begins with a lengthy and awkward prologue featuring a Spanish satanist named Escaban getting banished from his native land for sacrificing people and other demonic type actions. Then we cut to the present (or 1981, whichever you'd prefer) and Clint Howard is playing a kid named Coopersmith (who the other kids in the film refer to affectionately as "Coopersdick") who is picked on so much that sometimes he's late for class or wakes to finds his clothes tied in knots.
Coopersmith finds a Satanic book in the basement of the military academy he attends and starts entering phrases into his computer, which he then attempts to translate. The computer doesn't get very good Satanic Reception up in the bright sunlight, however, so Coopersmith has to move it into the dank dark basement where candles are always burning (keep in mind, this is the early 80s, so that thing must have weighed a ton.) Finally, Escaban is able to communicate with Coopersmith through the damnable Commodore 64 or whatever and his first demand is, unerringly, "Human Blood".
This sends Coopersmith on a revenge rampage against his tormentors, and this mayhem is orchestrated by makeup master Tom Savini. A woman gets eaten by hogs while nude in the shower in one priceless scene. Also, a man's beating heart is pulled from his chest. Good, early 80s stuff.
This is early work by Howard, so he's not the grizzled, scary, beaverish man he is in [i]The Ice Cream Man[/i] or [i]Far and Away[/i]. He looks almost cherubic here, with a sweet countenance, and he managed to invoke much audience sympathy. His tranformation into evil is supposed to be dramatic, but really it's just Clint Howard making scary faces. (In one hysterically overplayed scene, a priest sneaks up on Howard at his compuyter and Howard turns to reveal...a scary face; the priest grabs his cheeks and screams "No! Nooooooo!" as if unable to stomach the horror of Howard's grisly transformation). Not a must see, but a good film for Savini completists (he also did [i]The Toolbox Murders[/i], by the way). If you like Savini's work in this film, check out [i]The Prowler[/i], an underrated slasher, also from '81.