Home

CampBlood Reviews: Senseless Rants from a Picky Sissy

 

Evilspeak Eric Weston 1981

Porky's Revenge

Okay, confirmed bachelors and spinster aunts – ready your CampBlood Hot-o-Meters, because they’re gonna get quite a workout here. After long last, the military academy witchcraft techno-shocker Evilspeak was released in its full, uncut glory last year. Naturally, the DVD sat on my shelf for about 14 months before I was sober enough to get the plastic wrapping off (why is that shit so STUBBORN?!). But when I finally popped that fucker in, I had no idea what delights were in store for me. Young Clint Howard? Hot! The next-door neighbor from That 70’s Show as a rather hunky dickhead bully? Hot! Killer pigs, talking computers, and flying, satanic military cadets? Hot, Hot, HOT!!! Seriously, kids – this movie teased me into thinking that it might be the greatest movie ever made. And then, in a stroke of sheer genius, Richie Cunningham’s retarded brother split the president of Hamburger University’s noggin open with a broadsword, and I knew that it wasn’t just an idle threat: Evilspeak fucking rocks.

A very simple revenge-of-the-nerd story that plays out like part Carrie, part The Craft, and part Reform School Girls, Evilspeak is one of those movies that is so determined to be on the questionable cutting edge of technology that it was already dated by the time it hit screens (see also: the Emilio Estevez segment of Nightmares; Wargames; Tron; Night of the Comet – for the clothes, of course). The story revolves around the endearingly homely Clint Howard, who – after growing up in the shadow of a brother who was beloved by millions – snaps and becomes a satanist bent on bloody, torturous revenge. Wait – that’s not quite right… no, Clint Howard plays Stanley Coopersmith, an endearingly homely military cadet of low social standing who is systematically ridiculed and tortured by his classmates, who apparently have nothing better to do than pick on the fat, uncoordinated slob with no parents. Yes, in an effort to make him as pathetic and vulnerable as possible, Stanley has no relatives or friends to speak of, and when this fact is thrown onto the blazing bonfire of pity (along with his lack of social or athletic skills, awkward appearance, and slovenly manners), it all fizzes up into a toxic brew that Carrie White would used in her Molotov cocktails. Commence geek revenge chaos!

Well, we kind of have to go through the motions first, don’t we… well, alright – but only if Bull from Night Court is involved. JACKPOT! Yes, in a flashback worthy of only the finest crappy British supernatural “thrillers” of the early 70s, the film opens with a prelude from the Middle Ages or some shit – all that matters is that there were Satanists hanging around the ocean, and they were led by Richard Moll, and they killed women in sacrifice. Scene. Back in the present, Cooperdick (as he is affectionately renamed by his pals) is sentenced to clean the cellar of the school, at which point he of course discovers an ancient sacrificial chamber filled with all sorts of demony goodies, including a spellbook. Stanley of course takes the book and decides to try and translate it.

In order to do this, Stanley utilizes one of the school’s high-tech Computing Devices, which looks like a toaster oven with a built-in keyboard. Remember when monitors only had the color green and no graphics to speak of? No? Then get the fuck out of here. Yes, Evilspeak treats us to a wonderful parade of early 80’s computer graphic wizardry, the likes of which have not been seen since you destroyed your Commodore 64 with a hammer back in 1985. Seriously – it’s awesome. Stanley enters the spell into the computer to have it translated (shouldn’t this be called Eviltype?) and of course that’s where he goes wrong – never let a computer do a fat smelly orphan’s work, as I always say.

Meanwhile, the meanies are closing in on Stanley, in true “innocent in the big house” movie fashion (it really is more like a women-in-prison film than anything else, which is rather amusing). Stanley has a run-in with Sarge, the campus janitor/drunk (played by R.G. Armstrong, better known as Uncle Lewis from the fabulous Friday the 13th: The Series) and he’s killed in the chamber, making a very un-janitorly mess on the floor and awakening the spell’s hunger for human blood. Even the schoolmaster’s bitch of a secretary is mean to Stanley, and she steals the spellbook from him in the hopes of prying the metal star off the cover and wearing it as a brooch (seriously – how trashy is that?). When the computer unleashes more hellish fury, the school’s stable of wild pigs (?!) is set loose, and the little hussy is devoured alive in her shower. Yes, she’s eaten by killer pigs. Indoors. No, I have no idea why – but it’s hot!!

Okay, so where were we… oh yes, the puppy! Of course, like a good women-in-prison movie (or even Jennifer, another delicious Carrie ripoff), at some point there has to be introduced something so tiny and innocent and beautiful that it may as well have KILL ME stamped in between its cute, wet little moon-pie eyes. In this case, it’s a runt puppy that does more than just symbolize Stanley’s status as the runt of the military academy litter – it represents the “last straw” when the mean teens thoughtlessly kill the puppy in a drunken vandal orgy. Sorry, Scraps – you should have read the whole script before signing on to this gig.

Anyway, Stanley eventually achieves total batshitness thanks to his maniacal translating computer, and goes on a bloody rampage in the chapel that truly must be seen to be believed. We’ve got split heads, torn limbs, decapitations, ripped-out hearts, more killer pigs, flying retards, everything – it’s pure fucking cinematic genius. Naturally, things don’t end too well for Stanley’s tormentors – much like the hilariously remedial computer that orchestrated the whole ordeal, they were destined from the start to be obsolete by the final frames. After an enormous burning cross topples to the ground, a text coda lets us know that Stanley has been committed to Sunnydale Asylum and remains there to this day – and his computer chirps in with, “I, Stanley Coopersmith, will return”. Cue cheesy poster art of Stanley’s crazed face, and roll credits.

This movie is seriously a fantastic watch. Howard strikes a great balance of pathetic and annoying, although his bullies are pure evil. There’s tons of gore to be had, particularly in the manic, blood-soaked final scene – and the remedial graphics used to represent the computer’s satanic designs are absolutely brilliant – nothing like some neon pentagrams and 8-bit animation to scare the pants off you. There are also some surprisingly hot shower scenes and a football scrimmage or two that are rather humpy – and is it just me, or is the smallest of the bullies (seriously – the guy is knee high to a midget) kind of smokin’ in a compact, drop-you-in-my-lap-and-spin-you-like-a-pinwheel sort of way? Regardless, it’s a guaranteed good time, and definitely one of the best “lost” releases of recent years..

Rating (out of 5):