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The 100




Evilspeak
(1981)
Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 6.5 Beans

'm not sure what the biggest mistake is in "Evilspeak". Trying to combine the satanic possession angle of "The Exorcist" with the nerd-teen revenge story arc of "Carrie", or actually hiring Clint Howard to star in it.

Clint Howard, as you may know, is Ron Howard's (much) less talented brother who has since made a career of doing cameos in Ron's films. In "Evilspeak", he gets the starring role, and boy is it a case of miscasting.

Howard stars as the awkwardly named Stanley Coopersmith, a high-school student at an exclusive military school. Coopersmith, as he is called repeatedly ad nauseam throughout the movie...try saying it three times fast, is an orphan who is at the school as a charity case and is constantly picked on, bullied, and beated by his fellow students, led by the richest and bulliest of them all....Bubba! Yes, Bubba is his name.

The school, you see, was originally founded by a man named Esteban, who was persecuted by the Inquisition for being a devil-worshipper- although no one in the movie seems to know that. While cleaning out the basement of the sanctuary, Coopersmith finds one of Esteban's evil tomes, builds himself an altar, and proceeds to perform a black mass to bring Esteban to life and take revenge on his evil classmates.

Doesn't sound too silly does it? But it gets worse. Since Coopersmith used his computer to download and interpret the passages of the book written in Latin, it appears that Esteban's spirit or something is trapped inside the computer. Every time Coopersmith gets angry at someone, the computer roars to life and weird phrases and demonic symbols start appearing.

After Bubba and the baddies finally go to far and slaughter Coopersmith's puppy, Coopersmith finally becomes possessed by Esteban and unleashes all the evil, causing the sanctuary to burn while people perish, lopping off heads with an ancient broadsword...and, oh yeah, almost forgot, brings forth a herd of pigs to chomp away at helpless victims.

Yes, that's right. "Evilspeak" is the only movie I know of that uses garden-variety farm pigs as instruments of terror. But there ya go.

After the silly finale is over and everyone is dead, the end title card reads that, after the great tragedy, Coopersmith was whisked away to an asylum where he remains to this day.

Now, about Clint Howard. First off the guy looks about 10-20 years too old for this role, even aside from that, his acting is just bad. Real bad. He sleepwalks through the movie and always has an expression on his face that is reminiscent of someone with especially painful gas. And by the end, with his eyes bugging out and his hair standing on end, holding the broadsword which looks like it's too heavy to lift, it was difficult stifling the giggles.

"Evilspeak" tries so hard to be an original that it falls flat on its face around every turn.

And remember...beware of the pigs!






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