Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Yucky Movies of October: 976-Evil

6) 976-Evil

I can't believe I'd never seen this one before. A 20-year old movie directed by Robert Englund, 976-Evil features Stephen Geoffreys ("You're so cool, Brewster!") and Sandy Dennis (she of the "post-nasal drip school of acting") in a story involving a dial-up "horrorscope" that lets the Devil into your life.

Slow to start, 976-Evil picks up some steam even as the proceedings get sillier and sillier. Some incredibly dated special effects and tortured set-dressing lends a greatly sleazy 80s air to the proceedings - the bathroom in the High School is like something from late 70's Time Square and every crew member must be chain smoking through the movie based on the smoky atmosphere. One character gets a hand cut off but seems to suffer all the pain of a clipped fingernail from it. A few cheesy kills kick things off - evil phones make cause a man to catch fire and blow up plate glass windows - but things end with hell itself coming through the floors and Geoffreys made up to look like a demon who's oddly reminiscent of Michael Jackson. With him and future Fem2Fem singer Leslie Deane, this should have all the gay subtext of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, but sadly, everything is pretty dry and dull here. Deane's Suzie has the most spark of anyone and it's a shame she didn't make more films. Sandy Dennis seems to have wandered in from a completely different movie as a blowsy, evangelical housewife. She's more interesting then the secondary leads, a reporter and teacher who barely registered with me even though they survive to the end.

All it really needed was for Robert Englund to have done the devil-voice on the phone line.

Perhaps it was the big shot of Nyquil I had to take to fight an incipient chest cold, but on the whole I enjoyed this one...

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