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"Once you've been to hell, everything else pales in comparison!"
on 9 July 2011
976-Evil is a 1988 horror movie about a kid called Hoax, he is constantly getting bullied at school and has no friends. It's hardly surprising with a name like Hoax, surely only a crazy lady could call her kid that. It turns out that Hoax's mum is a crazy religious nut, who took in her sister's child, Spike, when she died. Spike's a bit of a rebel, a cool cat who's much more popular than Hoax. To cut a long story short, the plot is about people that dial 976-Evil and gain satanic powers. Hoax rings the number and is overcome by his new powers and seeks revenge on all those who did him wrong, can Spike stop him before it's too late for everybody?
Hoax is played by Stephen Geoffreys who is probably best known for playing "Evil Ed" in Fright Night, he also spent most of the '90s "acting" in gay porn. He's a decent likeable actor and did well in 976-Evil, but he's very one dimensional and I can't see him in anything other than these type of roles. Perhaps that's the reason he couldn't get roles and turned to gay porn, once this cheesy type of horror movie faded as the '90s arrived. This is definitely Geoffreys' movie, but the supporting cast are very decent. Patrick O'Bryan and Sandy Dennis perform well, Lezlie Deane is a nice bit of eye candy and even gets her twin peaks out in a tame love scene.
Robert Englund who is better known for being Freddy Krueger made his directorial debut with this, considering the low budget and story I think he did a pretty good job. If you listen out for it, you can hear Englund's voice on the radio and in some of the phone calls. Some of the special effects are really poor, but there's an equal amount of decent bloody effects to balance it out. Some decent gore and nudity, nothing excessive. I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a straight horror movie, but it isn't remotely scary and is actually saved by the humour whether it's intentional or not. Robert Picardo who played the doctor in Star Trek Voyager gave an amusing, dark, quirky performance in a small role.
976-Evil is by no means a good film, but it's very enjoyable and moves along at a cracking pace. If you like movies like Fright Night, Return Of The Living Dead, House or Night Of The Demons, this was filmed around the same time and has a similar look and feel. If you haven't seen any/some of those other movies, they're worth checking out before 976-Evil, but if you like those, then this is a good alternative. Robert Englund has always seemed like a cool guy with a good sense of humour, and he's directed a film that really seems to echo his personality.