Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Clint Howard, R.G. Armstrong, Joseph Cortese, Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson
Director: Eric Weston
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Keith A. (Keefer522)
Reviewed on 5/24/2013...
Clint "Ron's Brother" Howard is a nerdy, picked-on military academy cadet who gets revenge on his torturers with a little help from Satan... and a computer.
This early '80s cable favorite starts slow but the last 20 minutes, featuring a possessed, levitating Howard loppin' off heads with a sword, a horde of man-eating pigs, and a chapel in flames, is an absolute freakin' hoot. Loved the vintage "video game" style computer effects too. Worth a look if '80s cheez, or movies about Satan, are your thang.
Legend has it that the makers of this flick kept Anton LaVey of the Church of Satan on the payroll (in an advisory role) and there are also blink and you'll miss'em roles for a pre-"Night Court" Richard Moll and Don "Bob Pinciotti from That 70s Show" Stark as one of Howard's tormentors.
Clint Howard dances with the devil...
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 08/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Evilspeak (1982), written and directed by Eric Weston, features Ron Howard's lesser known, but more prolific brother Clint Howard (both started out on the classic television series The Andy Griffith Show, as Opie and Leon, respectively). During the 70's, both brothers starred in a spate of schlocky B movies like Eat My Dust! (1976) and Grand Theft Auto (1977), (most likely due to the fact that they probably had great difficulty in breaking out of the roles they played as children) to name a couple, and while brother Ron used the opportunity to get into directing (he directed the latter of the two films mentioned), his brother Clint seemed content to keep working in front of the cameras, enjoying his status of forever the character actor dwelling on the Hollywood fringe, managing to develop a long, successful career out of it, even making supporting appearances in some of his brothers films (ahhh, sweet nepotism), like Far and Away (1992), Apollo 13 (1995), and Edtv (1999), but his destiny seems to lie in the world of the B movie, and it seems to fit him perfectly.
In this film, Clint plays Stanley Coopersmith, a cadet at a military school. Stanley possesses an above average IQ, is odd looking, an orphan, a loner, and is highly uncoordinated (his fumbling of the ball during the school's soccer matches leads to much angering of the other players along with the coach). All of these things add up to incessant picking on by a popular clique led by Bubba (played by Don Stark, whom I recognized but couldn't place until I read that he currently appears on the TV show That 70's Show as the goofy neighbor Bob Pinciotti...man, he's really changed, and not for the better). They harass Stanley constantly, playing all sorts of pranks on him and just making his life miserable. Stanley is also harassed by others, like his soccer coach, the school's commandant, and even the school's priest, to some degree. What's a nerd to do? Well, the answer comes one day while Stanley is cleaning the basement of the school's church as punishment, which happens to have some secret catacombs as the current church sits atop a much older church erected by people cast out of their homeland so many hundreds of years ago and left on the shores of America for their heresy in following religions darker path. Stanley finds a secret room, which contains many things, including a dark tome, spelling out rituals of evil and instructions on performing black mass. With the help of an Apple computer borrowed from the school's library, Stanley intends on calling up dark powers to aid him in dealing with his tormentors, but will he get more than he bargained for? You bet he will...
Clint is always fun to watch, and he doesn't disappoint here. Turning to the dark side to gain supernatural powers to use against my enemies wouldn't have been my first choice, but to each his own. The story itself is pretty solid, despite various plot holes, and moves along at a steady pace, keeping the viewer's interest throughout until the film's end. There is a pretty good heaping of gore and nastiness, specifically near the end of the film, along with a couple of scenes with nekkid women (the scene with the secretary taking a shower seemed a bit odd, as she appeared to have a problem with one of her milk glands, as if it was partially deflated somehow, but I digress). One thing I found interesting was the level of revenge exacted on Stanley's tormentors seemed proportional to the amount of harassment they inflicted on him. Decapitations, death by possessed pig, removal of vital organs, etc., it's here and more. Clint is backed up by a rich supporting cast, including veteran film and television actors R.G. Armstrong (Race with the Devil), Joseph Cortese (American History X), Claude Earl Jones (Used Cars), Heywood Nelson (Dwayne from the TV show What's Happening!), and Charles Tyner (The Outlaw Josey Wales). Probably the element that will put people off most is the exceptionally cheap looking animated graphics supposed to simulate on screen computer graphics, but I found it kind of charming, in its' own cheesy way. The film's not really scary, but it does get pretty graphic, and those with a weak stomach would probably do well to avoid this film.
This release from Anchor Bay Entertainment boasts a restored and uncut version of the film, which means some of the more gory and graphic scenes of bloody carnage removed due to the MPAA's (Motion Picture Association of America) ever changing archaic rules and regulations (this is the group that gave the film Midnight Cowboy, which later won the Oscar for best picture, an unnecessary X rating at the time of its' release) have been put back in...this is one of my favorite aspects about the DVD format, being the opportunity to see movies as they were originally intended to be seen, before they were hacked up in an effort to satisfy some pain in the rear censorship board. The special features contained on this release include a good-looking wide screen format (some scratches are present), an entertaining audio commentary by writer/producer/director Eric Weston, a production cast member named Warren Lewis, and star Clint Howard, a original theatrical trailer, biographies, a photo gallery, and booklet insert with liner notes. If I learned anything from this film, it's that it's not unusual for a military academy to keep a stall of pigs on premises. It certainly serves a purpose as you can have your underachieving cadets clean the pen as a form of punishment, allowing for a less than surefooted victim to slip and fall into all sorts of nastiness...pig guano...ewwwww...overall, this is a three star film with an extra star for the special features.
PS...look for Richard Moll, Bull on TV's Night Court, as Father Esteban...
Clint kills 'em all
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 02/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All successful actors have a role or a film that defines them for the rest of their careers. Tom Cruise has "Risky Business." Robert De Niro has "Taxi Driver." Marlon Brando had a lot of them, including "On the Waterfront," "The Godfather," and "Apocalypse Now." Who can watch Jimmy Stewart and not think of "It's a Wonderful Life"? See what I mean? The list could on and on indefinitely. The lesser known actors, while not as visible to the majority of moviegoers, are critical to the success of Hollywood because they often take supporting roles that make the leads look good. They are recognizable faces to niche film fans, however. Enter Clint Howard, brother of the better known director and actor Ron Howard. Horror movie fans will forever pay homage to Clint--he of the perpetually balding pate, goofy visage, and lumbering gait--for his seminal role of Stanley Coopersmith in the 1982 gorefest "Evilspeak." They will just as likely hold a grudge against him for appearing in Uwe Boll's atrocious "House of the Dead," but that's another story for another time. Clint has appeared in dozens of films, as well as most of the films lensed by his brother, but "Evilspeak" is his defining moment.
"Evilspeak" opens in the distant past by showing a group of Spaniards excommunicating Esteban (Richard Moll) and his followers from the Church for blasphemous activities. What sorts of activities? The movie doesn't spend much time explaining what these folks are doing, but we do see Esteban performing some sort of bizarre ritual on the beach immediately before sacrificing a young lady to his dark deities. Flash forward to the present--meaning 1981 or 1982--to a soccer game at the West Andover Military Academy. Stanley Coopersmith (Howard) trips at a critical moment and loses the game for the team. The abuse heaped upon this poor lad is extreme. Coach (Claude Earl Jones) initially sticks up for Coopersmith by telling his teammates that every boy at the academy gets a shot at playing for the school. Within seconds of this exclamation, the coach helpfully makes a "suggestion" to Bubba (Don Stark) and his pals that if an injury sidelined Stanley, there wouldn't be much anyone could do about it. Wow, what a bunch of jerks! This is only the beginning, however, as we soon learn that the entire school seems to have it in for this poor kid. Colonel Kincaid (Charles Tyner), the commandant of the academy, can't stand him either. Neither can Reverend Jameson (Joseph Cortese) or the alcoholic caretaker Sarge (R.G. Armstrong).
Things start to look up for Coopersmith when he discovers a labyrinth of corridors underneath the school. Wouldn't you just know it? It turns out that the academy sits on the very site where Esteban and his followers established a church devoted to Satan. Stanley's discovery is in actuality Esteban's old haunt. Our hero finds a book written in Latin containing many conjurations and dark prayers, and it isn't too long before he's entering all of this stuff into his computer in an effort to discover what it means. Meanwhile, the torment continues. Bubba and his fellow goons destroy Stanley's class project, and physically assault him in the corridors every chance they get. Kincaid administers a whipping, and Jameson can barely look at the boy without cringing. Coopersmith's dark discoveries soon take on a vengeful tone as he begins actively collecting the necessary materials to cast a spell against his tormenters. The final straw occurs when Bubba and his friends perform an act so despicable against the only thing Coopersmith cares about in the entire world. From this point forward the gloves are off as "Evilspeak" turns into an unmitigated gorefest of epic proportions. Note to self: never pick on anyone again. EVER.
"Evilspeak" never lets us forget that Clint Howard is the star of the film. The camera rarely leaves him, which is a good thing because we see what a fine actor he is. Howard gives his put upon character great depth, makes us believe totally that he's a rather inept kid with a penchant for clumsiness yet deep inside is a good guy just looking to improve his lot in life. Stanley Coopersmith is so harassed that you can't help but root for him. Perhaps I should compliment the other actors at this point as well because they come across as the most unlikable bunch of cretins in B movie history, and that is exactly what the script called for them to do. I cheered at the end as Coopersmith took gory revenge against his oppressors. Speaking of the gore, "Evilspeak" contains several scenes of carnage and general mayhem rarely witnessed in American horror films. The pigs paying a visit to the secretary at her home should win some sort of award, but the real gooey stuff appears at the end. Imagine an airborne Clint Howard in devilish makeup slicing through heads and limbs with an enormous sword. Yep, it's gory, it's gluey, and it's great.
A huge thanks goes out to Anchor Bay for releasing such a fine DVD version of the film. Extras include a commentary with Howard and director Eric Weston, poster stills, and a trailer. The commentary is a lot of fun due to Clint Howard's observations. He tells lots of great stories, including one about some problems he encountered with law enforcement when he wore his military uniform from the film to a Las Vegas casino several years later. Clint seems like a great guy and his enthusiasm for the film appears genuine. Weston and Howard even discuss the idea of making a sequel! It probably won't happen, but if it matches this film in the gore department I'll be the first one in line to see it.
"Remember the Little Kid You Used to Pick On? Well, He's a B
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 09/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1981's EVILSPEAK is the story of Coopersmith (Clint Howard, brother of acclaimed director Ron Howard), a nerdy student in a military academy who suffers relentless harassment at the hands of the school's more popular students. When he inadvertently discovers that the school chapel has been erected atop the former lair of a medieval Satanist, Coopersmith invokes the spirit of the deceased devil-worshipper and enlists the ghost's aid in exacting revenge on his tormentors.
The underdog-gets-the-upperhand-via-the-supernatural plot of EVILSPEAK is cliche, but Clint Howard's affecting performance and Eric Weston's capable direction elevate the film above its formulaic roots. Gore fans won't be disappointed, as included in the blood-and-guts scenes are a decapitation, a nail through the forehead, an evisceration, and lots more. The flick is a bit sparse on the requisite T&A, though skin-seekers should find beautiful Lynn Hancock's shower scene quite enjoyable. Fans will recognize genre regular R.G. Armstrong--here playing the besotted Sarge--from such genre films as RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975), CHILDREN OF THE CORN (1984), and the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle PREDATOR (1987), among others.
The DVD from Anchor Bay is well worth the price of admission, featuring the uncut, unrated version of EVILSPEAK for the first time in the US. The digital transfer is very crisp and clean, offered the film in its original 1.77:1 aspect ratio (enhanced for widescreen TVs) with a clear Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtrack. Extras include a feature commentary with director Eric Weston and star Clint Howard, as well as the original theatrical trailer."