976-EVIL Movie Review

Release: 1988, Rating: R, Run time: 92 min.

It’s been FOREVER since I’ve seen 976-EVIL, but I remember two things about it: one, it was directed by Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund and two, it had to do with a haunted phone line and someone transforming into a weird creature. Well, my memory served me well after I popped in 976-EVIL the other night. So, how was it you ask? Well, to get the answer, you need to pick up the phone and dial in…

Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: People who dial 976-EVIL receive supernatural powers and turn into satanic killers.

Hoax (Stephen Geoffreys) is feeling better than ever.

The plot for 976-EVIL is a little all over the place, for pretty much the entire film. We start off seeing people getting terrorized by ringing phones and blowing up all over the place. After getting introduced to who you think is the lead star, but really isn’t, as he disappears for a good portion of the latter half of the movie, Spike (Patrick O’Bryan), gets a hold of the number for 976-EVIL, which can predict your horrorscope and decides to give it a ring. The horrorscope is not so much a prediction of the future, as it is a warning to do what it says, or else die.

It’s best to not even dial the number, or else you’ll be doomed forever!

Next, we are introduced to Hoax (Stephen Geoffreys), who I guess could be called the star of the movie. He’s a nerdy guy, who is more annoying than charming. He too get’s a hold of the phone number and dials it and easily follows through with the advice, which requires pretty much sacrificing his entire soul. Of course, anything is better than hanging out one more minute with his overtly religious mother, Aunt Lucy

(Sandy Dennis), who is down right crazy and should be sitting along side “Mother”, in the Bates house. Finally, we have another guy introduced into the plot, Marty (Jim Metzler), who is either a private investigator, or works for a miracle magazine. I don’t know, but he too could be considered the star of the movie. (See what I am getting at here? Con-fus-ing!)

Spike (Patrick O’Bryan) and girlfriend, Suzie (Lezlie Deane, who was also in Freddy’s Dead)

Without spoiling anything more of the confusing plot, I’ll stop right there, as even if I tried to explain it, I would probably have a brain seizure and collapse. It’s not that 976-EVIL is awful, it’s just kinda… weird and doesn’t know what the hell to do with itself. It’s introducing characters left and right and getting rid of others and bringing in different ones and killing off people, much to my enjoyment, as some kills are pretty funny, although a few are off screen and not that gory. BOOO! HISSS! I should mention that the acting from pretty much everyone involved, is what I would call, in it for the paycheck. The only person really having any real fun, is Stephen Geoffreys, who is pretty damn grating, which is what you should be feeling for his character, so, bravo!

Aunt Lucy (Sandy Dennis), praying to the heavens.

976-EVIL is a standard 80’s horror film through and through. It’s got cheese, terrible acting, a confusing plot and a few fun kills. Thankfully it doesn’t feel like a terribly long movie, so you won’t be sitting there checking out the back of your eyelids. With that said, I borderline recommend the movie to anyone that hasn’t seen it before, as I think it’s worth at least one phone call, oops, I mean watch.


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