Warning: this review contains scenes of nudity.
In a decade full of computer-obsessed films like WarGames, Deadly Friend, and Tron; director Eric Weston’s Evilspeak has seemingly become one of the less remembered (except by genre fans) due in no small part to the overbearing mass censorship of the British Board of Film Censors early 80s embargo of indecency. The real tradegy, however, is that Evilspeak really isn’t that bad of a film, at least not in terms of gore, nudity, or violence. Sure, the film has its share of R-rated moments (mostly towards the end), but nothing that granted it to be on the same level as Evil Dead or Cannibal Holocaust.
Set in a military school, Evilspeak follows an orphaned cadet named Stanley Coopersmith (Clint Howard) who is plagued by the school’s top bully (named Bubba, what else?) and his brainless buddies at every turn. To add even more grief to his already tormented existence, Coopersmith is also the only one to get punished for “getting into trouble” by just about every authority figure at the school.
This leads Coopersmith to discover an ancient book that once belonged to an evil monk named Esteban (Richard Moll playing much the same role he would in Dungeonmaster four years later). In a “futuristic” spin on Evil Dead, Coopersmith attempts to translate the book’s content using his computer (at least what passed for one in the early 80s) and inadvertantly unleashes Esteban’s spirit which then possesses the computer. One thing leads to another, an evil pact is made for the sake of revenge, and Coopersmith gets his best Carrie on.
It’s a pretty predictable sequence of events, which ultimately makes the film seem to drag on much longer than it needs to at points. In all honesty there’s not a lot that I could find which would make this film worthy of the title Video Nasty at all until perhaps the ending when Hell “ascends” and some pretty large pigs (“Satan’s Savage Swine” perhaps?) begin eating people (it’s cool, but not quite as crazy as it sounds). There’s also a few scenes of nudity (mostly topless women) and the whole Santanist angle, but otherwise Evilspeak is far less offensive than most of the other films that made the BBFC hit list.
For those seeking Weston and Howard’s intended Evilspeak experience the film was restored to its original “uncut” form on DVD in 2004 and you know what… maybe watching a half naked chick being devoured by satanic devil-pigs in her own bathtub isn’t such a bad way to spend an evening after all. Just be sure you keep something on stand-by for everything the monotony leading up to the film’s finale.
Human Blood Required: The Making of Evilspeak by Christian Sellers