THE DAY OF THE BEAST (1995) – The Dungeon Review!
The best thing about doing these top ten lists is discovering the hidden treasures. For all my (mostly justified) whining every year of the 1990s has had at least one previously undiscovered nugget of gold. One of my favourite new discoveries so far has been The Day of the Beast, an action/comedy/horror hybrid from Spain. The Day of the Beast is about the end times; you know, when the Antichrist will be born upon this earth and will reign supreme over all mankind. I have no idea why there are not more comedies on the subject because personally I think that shit has such enormous humorous potential!
Angel Berriartua a Priest and Theology Professor has cracked the code and discovered the day on which the Antichrist will be born. Angel travels to Madrid committing as much sin as possible in an attempt to invoke the devil. He has figured out the birth will take place in Madrid, but the problem is he has no idea where in Madrid. Angel meets Jose Maria a dedicated fan of heavy metal working in a small record store. Jose gives him the address of a boarding house his mother runs and recommends he check out a club called Hell. Angel is getting desperate as the time ticks away and decides a television personality calling himself Cavan can help. Angel and Jose Maria follow Cavan home where Angel knocks him out and ties him up. Cavan of course, is nothing more than a television personality and admits to Angel that he is a fraud. Angel refuses to hear it, and gives Cavan a good beating and insists he guide him through an invocation ritual. Much to Cavan’s surprise the ritual works but will they discover the location of the Antichrist’s birth before it is too late?
Whether Angel has indeed cracked the code and discovered the true birth date of the Antichrist is left ambiguous right up to the finale. The Day of the Beast’s opening scene starts out with a monstrous sized cross falling and crushing a priest to death. A bad sign perhaps, but a sign of the impending birth of the Antichrist? Not necessarily. During the ritual performed by Angel, Cavan and Jose Maria they see some trippy weird shit, but as part of the ritual they mix acid into the blood. Could be tripping out right? Considering their mission is to locate some pregnant woman somewhere and kill her baby, one would like to be 100% sure. Of course Angel believes it completely and utterly. No one can sway Angel from his mission and he does some pretty crazy things with such utter conviction. Watching Angel sinning up a storm was hysterical. He steals money from a beggar, keys some cars, steals a book, swipes a guy’s luggage and listens to death metal among other naughtiness. Angel is a fantastic character; his actions cracked me up regularly.
Jose Maria is the last person you would expect to hook up with a priest. Jose Maria is a dedicated metal fan, part time record store clerk and a full time acid head. When we first meet Jose he is handling a shoplifter by shoving the guy’s head through a glass display case. An intimidating few seconds but Jose is really a pussycat. He lives in the boarding house with his grandfather who walks around in the nude and his mother who is one tough broad. He gives his grandpa half a hit of acid every day to give him some pep. He is also a big fan of Jesus Christ Superstar. He is not exactly the brightest light bulb but he does end up being quite helpful and even a hero by the time the film is over. Mina is the young woman he loves. Not really, but he’s been trying to bang her for a while and she just isn’t giving in. Mina helps out at the boarding house and is the only twenty-something virgin in Madrid; she becomes important.
“I can help you achieve the impossible” Cavan
Cavan is a hugely popular television star loved by wives and mothers all over Madrid. He can tell you your future, he can perform exorcisms and he can even invoke the devil. Cavan arrives home to a message from his girlfriend saying that she is on her way over. Cavan doesn’t hesitate when the door bell rings. Unfortunately for Cavan it is Angel and he is about to give him a good whack to the head. Cavan is a rather good sport about all of it if you ask me. He takes a pretty freaking good beating from Angel. Of course no one is more surprised when the invocation appears to have worked than him. Cavan is the perfect arrogant showman, just the sort of character you would expect to be hosting an occult television show. Cavan is alright man.
The Day of the Beast does have a few serious moments, and a few violent ones too but let’s face it, the coming of the Antichrist can’t be all fun and games! The Day of the Beast is a ton of energetic, funny, action-packed goodness. The characters are a blast and the acting is great. The Day of the Beast is seriously entertaining! Highly recommended!
Dungeon Rating: 4.5/5
Directed By: Álex de la Iglesia
Starring: Álex Angulo, Armando De Razza, Santiago Segura, José María, Terele Pávez, Nathalie Seseña, Maria Grazia Cucinotta
This entry was posted on January 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm and is filed under horror, movies, Spain with tags antichrist, Armando De Razza, Álex Angulo, Álex de la Iglesia, comedy, death metal, end of days, end times, José María, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Nathalie Seseña, Santiago Segura, Terele Pávez. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.