The Day of the Beast (1995)

   

Directed by: Álex de la Iglesia

Written by: Jorge Guerricaechevarría & Álex de la Iglesia

Starring:

Álex Angulo .... Cura
Armando De Razza .... Cavan
Santiago Segura .... José María
Terele Pávez .... Rosario
Nathalie Seseña .... Mina
Maria Grazia Cucinotta .... Susana

Release Date: Toronto International Film Festival: September 15, 1995; Theatrical: October 20, 1995 (Spain); Fantasporto Film Festival: February 10, 1997; Theatrical: February 20, 1997 (Portugal); Theatrical: July 23, 1997 (France); Philadelphia International Film Festival: April 5, 2003

*Images courtesy at: www.outnow.ch

 

Rating:

 

A priest named Cura (Alex Angulo) discovers that the antichrist will be born on Christmas Day in which he tries to summon it up in order to kill it to save the world of an apocalypse with the help of a headbanger at a heavy metal record shop named Jose Maria (Santiago Segura) who offers him room and board at his family's hostel in which he meets the strict and itimidating family woman Rosario (Terele Pavez) as well as an innconcet looking young lady who helps care for the place as well named Susana (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) who is a possible virgin to use her blood for the ceremony as well he kidnaps a host of an astral TV show named Cavan (Armando De Razza) to know what to do in order to raise this demon before it's too late.

 

The film seems to have a nice start to it with two preachers in their cathedral having a discussion on a mission and discussing the anti christ about to be born and fearing that Satan will hear them discussing this which does really make you cringe at wondering what will happen there. We do spot a towering crucifix falling on one of them which offers a good slapstick dark comedy as well as it seeming to be shocking here. This moment was well done.
Then we spot some shocking moments in the city like a bad car accident with an injured policeman as we spot our main priest Cura telling him he hopes he rots in hell which is a nice shocking situation wondering why a priest would say such an evil thing. This was well put in.
More shocking slapstick black comedy as we spot a store owner on a heavy metal record place named José María beating up a shoplifter since we often don't spot this in your every day life as this moment looked pretty powerful here as well as Cura asking him for some records that have backwards messages involved as it makes you cringe wondering if heavy metal is really the devil's music but this was all written in for fun as you can tell here.
Things looked good and still when Cura has a discussion with Susana on renting a hostel which seemed peaceful and quiet while watching this. You can tell the makers did a good job by shooting this piece alltogether.
Then we spot the next morning when the family woman Rosario preparing to make rabbit stew from scratch which doesn't look pretty at all while watching all of this being done which shows more shock value here. Also there's some nice comedic one liners when she scolds Susana on letting a stranger into their hostel until she shows her how much money he paid for it. There's even alot of twisted moments when Cura comes to the table greeted by José when he is taking acid as well as entering a half naked grandfather of his who is not all there. Plus there's good slapstick moments on Rosario whacking him in the head with her elbow for cursing at her. The timing looked pretty good in that spot.
There's even a nice dark situation on a TV host Caven discussing an exorcism to a child who claimed he was possessed as well as showing him having the evil spirit cleaned out of him in which the makers made it look obvious that this was phony offering the slapstick situations in this film. While watching all of this you kinda wonder if the horror will reveal at all or is it a plain black comedy.
Well there's a situation when Caven is tied up by both Cura and José kidnapping Caven and tying him up demanding him to help them raise the devil in which offers slapstick but yet things turn a bit dark and serious which seems to work in well here.
However things look a little cheesy when they chase after Caven's girlfriend Mina down some stairs in which this seemed all too rough and plotted out here lacking a good suspenseful moment big time.
There's a freaky situation with Rosario using a shotgun towards Cura down a stiarcase acting menacing as this offers both the black comedy and the horror plot conbining it in one marvellously and looking very powerful too.
We spot a good cheesy moment when the try to summon up the devil and then spot a black goat approaching and then standing on it's hind legs with a sneering expression towards Cura as this was for sure going in a horror direction with some dark wit added to it too. I found this moment pretty impressive, mysterious and a bit freaky too.
What's more freaky is that we spot Cura, Caven and José climbing out of a building and one a light advertisement in which we spot camera shots on a long way down as well as José acting like he's intoxicated laughing hysterically falling down and the others helping him to get up in which this moment looked truly scary to watch this was very well done imagining if you're in the spot here big time.
Also we spot a moment when Cura is in a rough death metal concert and a bunch of goons beat the crap out of him in a grungy washroom in which this looked believeably intense.
A perfect dark horror moment is when Cura spots a street gang burning someone alive and we spot this victim running towards him which is another well written in moment for this flick as the horror piles up more so here and driving away the comedy with this situation especially.
The powerful horror really draws into all of this when we spot Cura, José and Caven battling away some goons in a building that seems to have Satan residing there as well as the big battle against this demon himself in which we spot a great thunderstorm as well as cheesy outdoor effects and powerful forces. Yes folks this becomes a horror as well as a black comedy so you may get a kick out of this.
Bottom line is that this was a flick shot in Spain and has alot of shocking and disturbing situations and categorised as mainly a black comedy but a horror flick as mentioned too. It's just a bit goofy when we spot discussions and situations. Yet we spot these moments in other flicks like Evil Dead 2, Re-Animator and even Shaun of the Dead. The story is very clever but yet it is a little overly long and tiresome.

The acting is spoken in Spanish language with english subtitles when I saw this but will do my best here but could tell it was well performed by the main cast here. Lead actor Álex Angulo (Cura) really hammed up his performance here as a preacher trying to stop the antichrist from being born as he studied this part in very well offering alot of slapstick moments with his anxious and aggressive behavior. He also does well with his blocking when acting forceful or choked up. He brings everything to life with what he does here. Also shows good anxious expressions too as well as knowing on acting twisted too making this seem believeable.
Armando De Razza (Cavan) knew his stuff very well as someone who hosts a show on the apocalypse with his great seriousness as well as having the perfect dark looks to his portrayal. He was great by acting anxious while tied in a chair or trying to struggle against situations. Plus was good in a spot when acting obnoxious later on with his show by trying to find out some information. He rolled in with the punches greatly with whatever he had to do here.
Santiago Segura (José María) was a natural ham playing a headbanging idiot who is into acid in which he knew on how to portray someone who is violent and dysfunctional. He shows alot of great energy when acting forceful or intimidating. Plus does a good job with his hyperactive behavior too. He also was great by acting incredibly annoying too and not taking stuff seriously coming across as a believeable flake. Plus had the perfect burly looks for this. He lived to portray this part as you can tell.
Terele Pávez (Rosario) was perfect as someone who is strict about stuff but yet seeming a little twisted on her lifestyle as she was very sharp in her speaking and personality in which you could tell that she studied this role perfectly here. She had the right looks too to portray this part. Plus she was excellent by portraying a larger than life situation using a shotgun on someone just acting believeably menacing with her insane attitude in which her performance here looked incredibly powerful.
Nathalie Seseña (Mina) seemed to have the right looks as a Marilyn Monroe type of appeal to what she does here but yet seemed a bit over the top with her scared reactions. However she seemed to do her best in what she portrayed here so she wasn't all that bad. She comes across nicely onto the camera which is a good pointer.
Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Susana) really came off smoothly in her performance as she shows a nice calm and mellow behavior in the beginning of what she does while doing business at a hostel which she focused well on this. She also knew on how to act a bit ditzy too which she came off nicely doing too. Does nicely while acting drugged out and paranoid about a situation in a scene in which she shows off some nice excitement here. She seemed to come off nicely as a key role to the story as the innocent virgin type here.

A person is fully naked just wearing an unbuttoned shirt and penis revealed

A rabbit is chopped up for a stew
Side of a guys ear is blown off
A person is burned alive
Bloodsheds here and there

We hear some perfect guitar riffs and heavy beats along with some snakecharmer type playing for the opening credits of the film which totally sounds demonic and horror like suiting the story big time. You couldn't have it any more darker than this. Also there's alot of smooth and strong classical violin and trombone playing throughout most of the storyline here along with the odd string plucking too, It sounded very professional and mainstream like. Plus there's the odd chiming sounds especially in a scene when someone is burned alive by a streetgang sounding terrifying like. Also nice dark bonging sounds during a battle against Satan himself as this was superbly done too. All of this was terrifically put together by Battista Lena