EVILSPEAK (1981) Reviews and overview

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Evilspeak is a 1981 American supernatural horror film directed by Eric Weston from a screenplay co-written with Joseph Garofalo. The movie stars Clint Howard, R.G. Armstrong, Joseph Cortese and Claude Earl Jones.

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Plot:

Life is not good for Stanley Coopersmith (Clint Howard), a teenage outcast who’s bullied by everybody at the strict military academy he was sent to after his parents died.

However, when Stanley discovers the crypt of a sixteenth-century satanist beneath the school’s chapel, he creates a computerised Black Mass that unleashes unholy revenge upon his tormenters. Now, all Hell is breaking loose… and Stanley’s flesh-eating demon-pigs are only the beginning!

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In the UK, the film was cited as a so-called video nasty following its VHS release on the Videospace label. It remained banned for a number of years as part of the Video Recordings Act 1984, thanks to its gory climax and themes of satanism.

The film was reclassified and re-released in 1999 but with over three minutes of cuts which included the removal of most of the gore from the climax. It was then subsequently passed complete by the BBFC in 2004 and is now available in both an uncut form and a version re-edited by the distributors to tighten up the dialogue.

Actor Clint Howard has said that director Eric Weston’s original version of the film that was submitted to the MPAA was longer, and contained more blood, gore, and nudity than the unrated version of the film, especially during the shower/pig attack scene, and the final confrontation.

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On 25 January 2016, 88 Films released Evilspeak on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK with the following extras:

Audio Commentary with Producer / Director Eric Weston
Interview with Cast Members Joseph Cortese, Clint Howard, Haywood Nelson, Claude Earl Jones, Richard Moll and Don Stark
Theatrical Trailer
Intro by Eric Weston
Stills Gallery
Newly Commissioned Artwork by Graham Humphreys
Reversible incorporating original artwork

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“There is a lot of padding in this paranormal davenport, but if you stick with it long enough, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful torrents of red spurting torment. After all, how can you dismiss outright a film featuring satanic pigs of hate!?” DVD Verdict

“What I always forget is how damn gory Evilspeak is. First of all, the decapitations – these must be the uncleanest and most brutal ever filmed. Good old Coopersmith have a hard time aiming them right and often ending it all with destroying the heads completely. Everything shot in glorious slow-mo and tons of blood.” Ninja Dixon

Evilspeak is definitely classic ’80s trash, and worth your time if you’re in a nostalgic mood for silly horror, or want to remember when we thought our Apple’s were magix boxes that could do anything, if we could only program it (and give it human blood.” Pluck you, Too

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“The directorial debut of Eric Weston, Evilspeak is remarkably engaging, imaginative and well-crafted. It contains a strong performance from Howard, plus a deliciously over-the-top nasty turn by veteran character actor R.G. Armstrong.” TV Guide

Cast and characters:

Clint Howard … Stanley Coopersmith
R. G. Armstrong … Sarge – Friday the 13th: The SeriesThe Beast Within; The Car
Joe Cortese … Reverend Jameson (as Joseph Cortese)
Claude Earl Jones … Coach
Haywood Nelson … Kowalski
Don Stark … Bubba Caldwell
Charles Tyner … Colonel Kincaid
Hamilton Camp … Hauptman
Louie Gravance … Jo Jo
Jim Greenleaf … Ox
Lynn Hancock … Miss Friedemeyer
Loren Lester … Charlie Boy
Kathy McCullen … Kelly
Lenny Montana … Jake
Leonard D’John … Tony
Bennett Liss … Captain Merrill
Katherine Kelly Lang … Susie Baker
Richard Moll … Father Esteban
Robert Tafur … Old Priest
Sue Casey … Mrs Caldwell
Kristine Alskog … Teacher
Thomas Hilliard … Teacher
Nadine Reimers … Peasant Girl
Deborah Dawes … Attendant
DeForest Covan … Janitor
Jane Bartelme … Girl Student
Alan Harris … Cadet
Dana Kopetzky … Cadet (uncredited)

Filming locations:

The film was shot in three weeks using locations in Santa Barbara and a condemned church in South Central Los Angeles.

Technical details:

97 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Dolby

Release:

Evilspeak was released on August 22, 1981, in Japan, and February 26, 1982, in the United States.

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3 Comments on “EVILSPEAK (1981) Reviews and overview”

  1. The new bluray of EVILSPEAK (1981), does it contain the longer and more blood, gore and nudity than the unrated version of the film, especially during the shower/pig attack scene and the final confrontation?? please let me know: wellendowedpaul@yahoo.com. Thank you. IF YES, what is extra? Especially doing the shower/pig attack scene?

  2. I don’t know. This is one that for some reason, I never got into. I think a lot may have to do with the fact that I’m not much of a Clint Howard. Do love the late, great, RG Armstrong though.

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