976-EVIL (1988)

Starring: Stephen Geoffreys, Jim Metzler, Maria Rubell, Pat O’Bryan and Sandy Dennis

Directed by Robert Englund

Format: DVD

Tagline: “Revenge is on the line.”

“Director Robert ‘Freddy Kruger’ Englund dials up a contemporary gothic tale of  high tech horror in 976-EVIL.

High school underdog Hoax Wilmoth (Stephen Geoffreys), fills up the idle hours in his seedy little hometown fending off the local leather-jacketed thugs, avoiding his overbearing, religious fanatic mother (Sandy Dennis) and dreaming of a date with trailer park temptress Suzie (Lezlie Deane). But his quietly desperate life takes a terrifying turn when his cousin Spike introduces him to an unusual new hobby – phoning in for his ‘horrorscope.’ Instead of the slightly kinky astrological he’s expecting, Hoaz is hooked up with a compellingly hideous demonic force that slowly begins to overtake his entire life.  Now there’s more than just a phone bill to pay for anyone and everyone who ever dared cross the neighborhood nerd.”

My Story:

This was pretty recently purchased actually, but I’ve been excited to watch it.  I found out about the movie by looking through Fright-Rags t-shirts.  I thought by the shirt design it looked interesting enough and that I wanted to watch it.  Then I found out that Robert Englund directed it, so that should be interesting.  And by the synopsis, it sounds like it’s going to be Trick or Treat-ish.  At least, that’s what I have in my head.  We’ll see if it’s similar.

My Thoughts:

  • Jesus mural on a brick wall! Great way to start out the movie.  Along with some creepy phones ringing.
  • …What? I feel like the movie Phonebooth should’ve ended like this movie began; with a phone booth spontaneously combusting.
  • Crazy cat lady? Not…crazy cat BOY in pajamas! Oh, nevermind…there she is.
  • The crazy televangelist character seems to come up a lot in horror movies.
  • Any character named Spike is bad news bears.
  • OH MY GOD, I wish I had a bank tube in my room! Except, I really wouldn’t want it attached to my neighbors house…
  • I can’t believe Spike is breaking into his own Aunt’s house to chug some milk. Oh, he’s stealing money too.
  • …Why is it raining fish? And why are they alive? Call PETA.
  • Someone tell me, were high school bathrooms incredibly vandalized in the 80s, and were swirlies common?
  • How is his hair well kept and slightly wet?
  • Hoax’s scooter is probably the coolest thing in the world.
  • Never make a deal with Horrorscope operators.
  • Holy crap, I wish there was a Phone-Mart in my town!
  • If the Horrorscope says look both ways before you cross the street…you look both ways damn it.
  • Ha, he ordered a deviled egg, get it?
  • Motorcycle in a skirt just doesn’t seem like a good idea.
  • Hoax is creeping like no one’s business.
  • Horror Marathon all seats $1.99! Oh my god, I wish that was still around.
  • Hey Hoax, I like your sweater vest.
  • You know, this movie is going kinda slow…unless, this is the changing point.
  • You should really start a gas oven with a fishnet arm warmer and a match.
  • Did the Horrorscope really tell Hoax to build a pentagram with candles on his floor?
  • Horrors of Spider Island?
  • Sandy Dennis is phenomenal.
  • The principal is really giving a private investigator only 5 minutes to talk to him.
  • The tables have turned!
  • Why is there fog in the locker room?
  • “I hate the heavy breathing crap” says the constantly sniffling phone solicitation manager.
  • That one bully said, “man” 9 times in about a minute and a half.
  • I hate when my eyes glaze over, AND THEN turn into cat like eyes.
  • There would be a Fright Night poster in here.  Actually, they have a pretty good poster collection. I respect that.
  • Is that a straight up mullet? I think a rattail would’ve been cooler for Hoax.
  • He just wrecked some awesome bowling shoes.
  • Why is every single bathroom in this film trashed?
  • Hoax no, don’t kill your parrot!
  • Doesn’t this woman wonder WHY the house is so trashed, cold, and blue?
  • I bet there will be a “when Hell freezes over” joke.
  • Do the cats always end up eating the cat lady in the end?
  • Where did Spike end up? Oh, found him.
  • YES, I FINALLY CALLED AN UPCOMING SCENE. Hell frozen over, I win.
  • No, Spike you can’t talk down a demon like this, it doesn’t work. Even if he once was your cousin.
  • …I can’t believe they green-screened those people onto a porch…that’s all that was.

The Verdict:

I enjoyed this movie.  Right when it was about to loose my interest, it picked right back up again.  I liked all the characters and how they acted, even if the setting was kind of far-fetched.  The story was somewhat predictable (especially since I called some bad jokes), but I thought it was a funny concept and made for a good film.  It wasn’t great but wasn’t awful. 976-EVIL is one of those movies that you watch, enjoy it while it’s there, and then it will just sit until you’re looking for something to pass the time. Stephen Geoffrey was fantastic and I feel like I need to see more stuff with him since he’s considered a horror icon.  He was great. All the acting was good, and it could’ve been really bad with a story like this.  Well done, Robert Englund.  I’m ready for the sequel.


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