Video Nasties: Evilspeak (1981)

Video Nasties: Evilspeak (1981)

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 little piggy sure got him some.

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.

What's wrong, Clint, is there something troubling you?

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.

Required Reading:
Human Blood Required: The Making of Evilspeak by Christian Sellers

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Author's Quick Review
Maybe watching a half naked chick being devoured by satanic devil-pigs in her own bathtub is entertaining, but you sure have to sit through a lot of slop to get there.

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Rondal is a full-fledged horror fan and die hard "strange kid" who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced vigor with a side of unadulterated violence. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club, a virtual clubhouse of adolescent enthusiasm in addition to being Co-Editor of Fuel Your Illustration and an occasional contributor to the video game blog, StartFrag.

2 Responses to “Video Nasties: Evilspeak (1981)”

  1. I actually liked this one, watched it upon a reader’s recommendation last year. Clint Howard is such a pitiful presence that I was really on his side, especially when those jerks killed his ADORABLE puppy. The final scene of carnage isn’t the most intense thing ever put to screen, but it does have some wacky gore that entertained me. Plus, I love the opening prologue where a kicked head is immediately cut into a scene of a flying soccer ball. But that’s just me.

    • It really had it’s moments… I suppose it could be compared to another obscure Howard flick, Ticks in that when things get crazy the movie gets good.

      I’m glad you mentioned the prologue, I left that bit out, but that was a nice transition. Maybe someday I’ll give this one another chance, but it’s definitely not on my “must-buy” list. πŸ˜€

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