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.
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!
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 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.
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
“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!?” Bill Gibron, DVD Verdict
“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.” Thomas Pluck, Pluck you, Too
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com
“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 as Stanley Coopersmith
- R. G. Armstrong as Sarge – Friday the 13th: The Series; The Beast Within; The Car
- Joseph Cortese as Reverend Jameson
- Claude Earl Jones as Coach
- Haywood Nelson as Kowalski
- Don Stark as Bubba
- Charles Tyner as Colonel Kincaid
- Hamilton Camp as Hauptman
- Louie Gravance as Jo Jo
- Jim Greenleaf as Ox
- Lynn Hancock as Miss Friedemeyer
- Lenny Montana as Jake
- Richard Moll as Father Estaban
The film was shot in three weeks, using locations in Santa Barbara and a condemned church in South Central Los Angeles.
Evilspeak was released on August 22, 1981 in Japan, and February 26, 1982 in the United States.
“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.” Fred Anderson, Ninja Dixon
Related: Horror High