The Day of the Beast

The Day of the Beast ★★★½

I decided to watch this for the first time in 20 years, and it holds up well. If you haven't seen it, it's about a theology professor in Madrid who discovers a code in ancient scripture that tells him the Antichrist will be born on Christmas Eve (the devil's way of parodying the birth of Jesus). He decides that the only way to find the location and stop it from happening is to do all the evil he can and pledge his soul to Satan.

So you have this dorky priest going around very intently doing "evil," from telling a dying car accident victim to rot in Hell to stealing a virgin's blood. I love whenever he casually does some petty crime like keying cars as he walks down the sidewalk or pushing over a robot dancer on the street. Or when he shoplifts a book about the occult, gets caught by mall security, suddenly hits the head of security over the head with an iron, and *then* exits out a door that says not to enter. Evil!

Part of the fun is that he goes into a record shop looking for a Napalm Death album someone recommended to him and leaves with a death metal fan sidekick (Santiago Segura, who I also know from BLADE II) and a tape of a band called "Satannica" that he thinks will help him be evil.

I just really like the deadpan humor, the ominous atmosphere, the driving rock soundtrack and the brief glimpses of the devil as some kind of upright horse man. I don't know how to find much Christmas spirit in there, but it's a good movie.

Vern liked this review