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!

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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?

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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.

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“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.

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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

8 Responses to “THE DAY OF THE BEAST (1995) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. Great review! This is one crazy ass movie,and I loved it! I was honestly expecting the worst when I watched it,but it pleasantly surprised me at every turn. Makes me want to check out more films from Alex de la Iglesia! Another gem that stands out from the many celluloid turds of the 1990’s.

    • So much fun! I left out a lot of the good stuff…that scene where the 3 men are hanging from the sign was awesome! It was actually pretty intense! Iglesia’s The Last Circus has been in my queue for ages…looks like a must see!

  2. I’ve gotta start pickin up more Foreign movies because I feel I’m missing alot of good stuff per alot of your reviews..I have seen alot but near as much as I thought I used to…more than the general public mind has I’m sure…I really wish movie theatres nationwide in the US would reserve at least one screen for foreign films….instead of just doing the remake in English to pander to the idiots who dont want or know how to read subtitles..

    • Even here in the city we only have a couple places that show foreign films. The big theatres might have a foreign language film once in a blue moon; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo showed up in theatres here, but it is rare. People who refuse to see foreign films because they are subtitled don’t know what their missing. That mindset boggles me really.

  3. this movie is on youtube !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. […] Angel Berriartua a Priest and Theology Professor has cracked the code and discovered the day on which the Antichrist will be born. With the help of Jose Maria a heavy metal loving acid head and Cavan the host of a popular occult TV show he sets out to find where the birth will take place. Will the unlikely trio discover the location of the Antichrist’s birth and save the world? The Day of the Beast is not without some drama and violence but first and foremost it is a comedy, and a damn funny one at that! The characters are a blast, the acting is great and it is packed with a ton of energetic, funny, action-packed goodness. The Day of the Beast is a seriously entertaining little nugget from Spain that is one helluva hoot! To read the full review click here. […]

  5. […] thoroughly enjoyed Álex de la Iglesia’s Day of the Beast, so the director’s name was on my radar. When his film Perdita Durango showed up on the 1997 […]

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