Evilspeak (1981) review

You have to remember sometimes that during the early 1980s that there was plenty of horror and genre films being released that weren’t slashers.

Amongst these releases was Evilspeak, directed by Eric Weston, and notoriously added to the infamous ‘Video Nasties’ list.

Looking at the film in 2022, you can see why it may have gotten some conservative voices a bit tetchy given the satanic overtones and some of the (superb) practical effects. Let’s face it, it’s not every day you see hogs hunt down and kill a bully.

The plot centres around Clint Howard’s Stanley, who is part of a military school and is constantly picked on. When he finds a book which harks back to a previous satanic ritual set out in the prologue, he unwittingly opens a gate to hell that he may not be able to close.

Howard plays Stanley as a lonely outsider who finds solace when he is gifted a puppy (less said about its fate the better). There are winks and nods to Carrie here but it also feels like the ideal satanic panic film, with our oppressed Stanley looking to slay his bullies once and for all, but at what cost?

The more Evilspeak progresses the more twisted it gets and it is not afraid of letting the blood fly. The finale is truly insane and even though it ends slightly abruptly, it definitely feels like a worthwhile ride.

This was a fun trip back to the ’80s, with some gory effects, twisted kills and a truly bonkers plot; what’s not to love?

Evilspeak was released on blu ray most recently by 88 Films.

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