976-EVIL (1988)

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976-Evil allows us to conveniently reach into the depths of hell by telephone. This 1988 film was directed by Mr. Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. It stars Stephen Geoffreys who is best known for his role in Fright Night as Evil Ed, and another familiar face Robert Picardo who you’ve probably seen as The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. The story is about two cousins, one (Geoffreys character) a nerdy introvert who gets bullied at school everyday. The other a cute, leather-clad, bad-boy who smokes cigarettes and rides a motorcycle.

The boys come across a mysterious advertisement flyer with the number 976-EVIL on it, and if dialed you are to receive your daily fortune. Little do they know that it is an evil tool used by Satan himself to communicate with and lure unsuspecting people into a dark influence. Hoax (played by Geoffreys) decides to use the line to his advantage and gets revenge on all the bullies who made his life hell on earth. He starts to slowly morph into a demon and his soul becomes consumed by the devil. It is eventually left up to his cousin to stop Hoax from terrorizing and killing people.

The movie sounds really dark, and of course when I was younger it was pretty scary. But having watched it again for the first time in over a decade I found a lot of humour in it. I like Stephen Geoffreys performance. He’s quirky, odd, funny, and was great at playing the shy vulnerable kid who all of a sudden is granted the power to destroy all the people who tormented him. He gets that first taste of revenge and spins out of control with the new found power existing within him. I kind of rooted for him for getting at the bullies because they were real assholes, but like I said his character loses it and has to be stopped.

People don’t really like this movie, but I think it’s great. It’s good for a night with friends, popcorn, and beer. It’s a cheesy story with great special effects for it’s day, and cool actors. Just don’t dial that number… things could get pretty rough for you if you do.

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