Reviews & Counting
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Robert Englund

Stephen Geoffrey/Hoax
Patrick O’Bryan/Spike
Sandy Dennis/Lucie
Jim Metzer/Marty
6 10
Picked-on nerd boy (Geoffrey) gets possessed by old scratch through a demonic horoscope phone service. He then proceeds to get even with everybody that ever messed with his skinny arse.
It's time for another "Arrow" phone call! I’m in a phone booth right now in the heart of Campton. I pick up the phone and dial: 9-7-6-E-V-I-L. It’s ringing. A sexy female voice answers.

LADY: Robert Englund's office.

ARROW: Can I speak to Bobby?

LADY: Bobby?

ARROW: Robert Englund honey, ya know...Freddy!

LADY: Mr. Englund is out right now, may I take a message?

ARROW: Yeah, sure. Can you tell him that The Arrow just watched 976-EVIL and thought that it was flawed, but still enjoyable in a tacky way.

LADY: Sir, I don’t really have the time to…

ARROW: Clam up hun, I’m not done. I loved the premise and I appreciated the character buildup. The big kicker was Stephen Geoffrey who hit all the right emotional notes and surprisingly brought lots of humor/sympathy to the first half of the film…

LADY: He played the freaky friend in "Fright Night", right?

ARROW: Hum…yeah…write this shit down I got ways to go, babe. The chemistry between Geoffrey and O'Bryan (very kool dude, by the way) was on, the pace of the film was effortless but…

LADY: But?

ARROW: The second half doesn’t go far enough considering the kool set up! The religious broad didn't get near to the pain she deserved (she should’ve been tortured for at least half an hour with "Milli Vanelli" songs for what she put me through), the school principal gal should’ve gotten it up the "fu-bar", the stalk sequences were not scary since they mostly involved two characters we didn’t care about (what were that cop and lady principal doing in this flick anyways?). And why did they get rid of that hot broad (Lezlie Deane) so early on? I wanted at least two more tit shots from her.

LADY: Will that be all?

ARROW: No, that’s not all! Don't rush me, it's impolite.

LADY: Sorry...

ARROW: I also hated the ending. The first half of the movie underplays it, relying on the characters and the situation to tell the story. Then it ends in a big (low budget) way with bad stunts, lousy blue screen effects and not enough R.I.P. folks. They should have ended it in a low key manner (keeping with the rest of the movie) instead of that fire and ice garbage. At least the emotional connection between Geoffrey and O’Bryan was still given a bit of time to shine through. The ending should have been all about the bond between the two.

LADY: Anything else?

ARROW: Yeah, tell Bobby that when a guy gets his hand cut off, he bleeds like a beeyatch and would feel SOME pain…maybe even pass out! From what I saw in this film...I know for a fact that Bob wasn’t aware of that.

LADY: Will do.

ARROW: And what are you wearing?

LADY: Uhhm...a red dress…

ARROW: Red…mmm…any underwear?


ARROW: I dig, wanna hook up later and wrestle in Jello?

LADY: Sure.

ARROW: Kool, now go on the net (www.joblo.com/arrow/) and read what I did with this phone call.
The kills are disappointing. They have great buildup but bad cap-offs. We still get some minor blood, some claw attacks, a cut-off hand and two bloody ripped out beating hearts. Geoffrey’s demon makeup is kickarse!
Stephen Geoffrey (Hoax) is perfect casting as the alienated youth. His kooky performance warmed my heart and his demonic ways warmed my blood. Patrick O’Bryan (Spike) is way kool. His acting consists of touching his face a lot (acting tick) and smoking like Mickey Rourke at the gym. SLICK! Sandy Dennis (Lucie) goes overboard as the religious nut and I wanted to shove a bible up her…I can’t wait for a film to portray a religious fanatic in a subtle way. Jim Metzer (Marty) is okay as the cop but his character is a snore. Lezlie Deane (Suzie) has that rough charm thang going on and she’s very natural. What happened to her career? She wuz so annoying in "Freddy’s Dead" though. Maria Rubell (Angela) also does okay as the principal but her part is a throwaway and her top stays on.
T & A
Lezlie Deane looks great in a leather jacket with her tangerines popping out. Patrick O’Bryan goes shirtless…
Englund learned a few tricks on the Elm Street sets. Some of the stylish shots are very reminiscent of the Elm Street movies and so is the colorful lighting. He also handles his actors very well and injects lots of mood into the picture. Too bad he delivers overlong stalk sequences, no scares and let down murders.
Forget the score and be creeped out by those satanic phone rings…brrrrrrr.
IMAGE: The full screen transfer is decent. It is a tad grainy and lacks definition but I for one have never seen this flick look this good. It sure beats the used up VHS copies that are out there.

SOUND: The digitally mastered Audio sound is underwhelming and for a film that relies so much on sound, it's a damn shame. The DVD and the box don't mention what "type" of transfer they did but if I had to guess I'd say its in "MONO". The fact that they don't state it on the box or the DVD is usually a bad sign.

EXTRAS: We get TRAILERS for Fright Night and Hollow Man. Where's the trailer for 976-Evil, you may ask? NOT HERE!

I can't say that I'm very impressed with this bare bones DVD, but then again the flick was a flop so I didn't expect the "royal- treatment". Personally, just the fact that I own it on DVD makes me feel all tingly inside. Even with all of its flaws, the flick is still a fun, cheesy ride and it sure beats owning it on a used VHS.
976-EVIL could’ve been great stuff. It has a gnarly premise, the main cast is awesome and the lead characters are endearing. The film loses its touch in its second half, relying on unsatisfying murders and "ho-hum" effects to pad it up though. I don’t say this often but this demon should’ve concentrated more on the drama. They really had something slick going between Hoax and Spike. But all in all, I was never bored, Geoffrey rocks the canoe and the film is a treat to look at from a visual standpoint. Rent it on that boring Friday night when you crave some cheap fun and the "phone sex" lines are busy.

And what ever happened to the girl in the red dress, you may ask? Last I heard she was pregnant with triplets. It wasn’t me though…talk to Englund.
This film was written by Brian Helgeland (NOES 4, LA Confidential, Payback) and Rhet Topham ("Trick or Treat").

AVOID THE DREADFUL SEQUEL 976 EVIL 2: The Astral Factor. It sucks harder than my last date.