What better way to give the Devil (and more importantly, Clint Howard) his due with the double feature of Evilspeak and The Day of the Beast? (Art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138 on Twitter)
The Source of All Evil on the planet got some appreciation on the penultimate episode of Season Three-o of the Last Drive-In.
And while we had more “Hail Satan” (in two languages, no less) than Rosemary Woodhouse in this double feature, the real star of the show wasn’t Richard Moll as the evil Esteban or the upright-walking goat demon of our Spanish second feature.
That honor went to the star with just about 250 roles listed on his IMDB page, the impeccable Clint Howard, inspiration for the latest musical number put out by our Maniacal Musician John Brennan.
And yes, that was Clint’s big brother Ron doing his best at guest rhythmic percussion in the video shown at the end of the presentation of Evilspeak. We think he might have been listening to Rick Astley instead of our song, but having him take the time to show some brotherly love goes a long way around these parts.
(l mean, we have forgiven Ron for landing on the indoor bullstuff side of things during his directing career, even though he started out with some guy named Roger Corman [more on him later] by directing a flick called Grand Theft Auto.)
Anyhow, Clint at age 21 found himself in his horror lead debut playing Stanley Coopersmith and was dropped straight into Joe Bob College Movie Category Three-o, where all of the college kids get ripped to shreds by whatever psycho, creature or demonic force happens to be messing around on campus that semester.
And while Clint did some chapel basement redecorating by purloining Sarge’s crowbar, met a weird fetus-in-a-jar that invented “the dab” almost 35 years before it got popular, you really have to feel sad for him as he gets bullied and loses the underdog he adopted. (Wasn’t a good season for puppies, was it?)
But, if we learned anything from Evilspeak (and the John Wick flicks) — if you’re a bad guy, you don’t kill the dog unless you want demonic-flavored vengeance performed on your hiney.
So his dog’s demise is enough to make Coopersmith meld the power of the Encyclopedia Satanica he found down there near the tomb of evil Esteban, the Decapitating Deacon, and the Apple he stole from the computer lab to enact bloody vengeance upon his tormentors with blade and demonically possessed pork alike.
Evilspeak is JBB’s favorite performance by Clint, beating out his turn in The Wraith by a bit, according to the big guy from Grapevine. But with these totals, courtesy of Shudder Twitter, you can see why he’s partial:
And let’s have a moment of appreciation for Lynn Hancock, model-turned-actress, who played the obsessed administrative assistant drawn to the bedazzled cover of Esteban’s diary and who gave new meaning to the phrase “pig out.”
Everything turned out all vengeance-like in the end for Coopersmith, and we can also assume that John Paul Jones ended up winning that big soccer match by forfeit. Miss Heavy Artillery no doubt, couldn’t contain her disappointment.
Regrettably, the teased sequel to Evilspeak hasn’t come. Hey Shudder – Maniac Cop 4, House of Reanimator and Evilspeak 2 — let’s go!
And speaking of motivation, Clint got his portrait hung up in the cabin as seen in the video, a fitting honor for an actor who does it the Drive-In Way.
The Day of the Beast
A much-honored Spanish production (six Goya awards) about a priest trying to fight Satan and avert the end of the world was the second feature.
With elements of Buster Keaton-esque comedy, it took a circuitous route to the final showdown between the Good and the Evil — no Max von Sydow yelling and throwing holy water all over the place here.
Instead it’s more of a Quixotic quest with non-sequiturs, visits to metal concerts and rampaging minions setting folks on fire under the auspices of purifying their town, but really doing the Dark One’s dirty work.
Alex de la Iglesia’s three-star flick shows that fighting the devil is a dirty job, but as the metalhead, the priest and the reformed televangelist type guy proved, someone’s gotta do it, no matter have complicated it became, as shown here (thanks, Shudder Twitter):
And let’s not forget one more thing as we turn the page on the Satan Appreciation Night episode of the Last Drive-In — while Apples could be hacked by evil Spanish priests back in the day and Satan prefers floppies, the more technologically adept Darcy prefers hard drives.
See you for the finale and our super special guest Roger Corman, the legendary filmmaker, close personal friend of Joe Bob and a guy who, after becoming the first recipient of a lifetime achievement Drive-In Academy Award (aka the Hubbie) way back in 1982 decided he wasn’t quite done and has had a hand in producing hundreds more movies since then!
Prolific? We don’t even know…