Gorehounds trapped in an early 80s time warp should rejoice as genre stalwarts Anchor Bay give a double-disc make-over to ex-video nasty Evilspeak.
Scarily predictive of Bill Gates ascension to world domination, Evilspeak is the story of a misfit who destroys his enemies through the ingenious combination of computers and demonology. The freak in question is Coopersmith (a suitably chubby and greasy Clint Howard), a charity case at an exclusive military school where he is sneered at by everyone from pupils to staff. Whilst clearing the crypt beneath the school as punishment detail, Coopersmith ressurects the powers of a renegade monk who was buried there after being banished from Spain for chopping heads off naked ladies. Using the computer as a conduit for these evil powers, a possessed Coopersmith bursts through a church-floor and flies around on a sword-wielding rampage during the school Mass.
Basically a low-budget cash-in combining the 'Devil's spawn at military school' theme of the second Omen film and the 'high-school nerd is driven to bloody retribution' climax of Carrie, the film still boasts great production values thanks to the technical mastery of its creators and canny use of character actors. However the story-line is devoid of any real tension and logic, merely playing a waiting game for the final scenes of death and destruction, which certainly do deliver in terms of head-lopping and intestine-devouring killer pigs.
To stretch the presentation across two discs is slightly over-ambitious, as the extras are restricted to biographies of two of the actors and a commentary by Clint Howard and Eric Weston. The second disc offers an alternative version of the film, being the 100-minute version that originally appeared on Canadian video, missing all of the blood and guts present in the (surprisingly) shorter version on the first disc. Without the gore, the film is totally worthless so this longer but bloodless version is nothing more than a curio. The commentary is entertaining, with Howards and Westons enthusiasm for the film shining through, although their blindness to its faults is annoying. Some sort of trash bulimic in reverse, Evilspeak looks in the mirror and sees a worthy drama. Most tantalisingly for gore-hounds, the commentary mentions that much of the original footage of crimson mayhem that was removed by the American Ratings Board was destroyed, so a truly uncut version will never be seen. Oh the delicious yet bitter irony of it all.