976-EVIL Directed By Robert Englund, starring Stephen Geoffreys (1988).
Alright, here we go for the 2nd year in a row of this awesome celebration of all things Rhonda & Gottfried! For the beginning of May, we take a break from Deep Red or Chas Balun and delve into the nostalgia of this raunchy short lived show on a network that currently spews out Law and Order reruns and Mr. Robot (lame). We're gonna have special guest reviewers joining in and it'll be a blast! If that doesn't get your attention, hopefully this nudie shot of Rhonda's tokhis will draw in more fans, I mean it worked on 4-chan when we reviewed The Ladies Club. I'd also like to mention that I'm hooked on GG's Amazing Colossal Podcast, check it out!
|I call this bowling trick, the mooseknuckle shuffle.|
In the late 80's to early 90's on the USA Network, this was one of the first ways horror nerds (those that dug Troma especially) got their nocturnal trash movie fix. They showed everything from beach party flicks, horny Teensploitations or Porky-sploitations to mostly censored slashers (sad trumpet). But, Hey that's the kind of shit we had to endure back then in the pre-internet world of flipping a squiggled Playboy channel back and forth in order to possibly catch a glimpse of titty. They were served up by two hosts, the very attractive bubbly Rhonda Shear and the ear punishing perpetually squinting Gilbert Gottfried. Before that we had Commander USA (who played the same flicks but on his own separate show). There was also one host named Caroline Schlitt, who I'm still not sure or not if it wasn't just a pre-bleach blonded Rhonda Shear incognito. All of these guys were influenced by Ghoulardi, Svengoolie, Elvira, Ron "The Ghoul" Swede and Zacherely. Modern day horror hosts sort of continue on in an underground level like Creepy Kofy Movie Time and Nashville's Dr. Gangrene. It's a grand tradition that's sort of bit the dust and is strictly a product of nostalgia just like everything on this site, get why we're suspending the usual pap for this special interruption, good let's move onto the review.
|you people make me wanna Potrzebie my guts out!|
It's hard to believe but I've only seen this Freddy Krueger directed cheese-tacular classic once. It stars everyone's favorite vampiric gay porn actor Stephen Geoffrey's and some of the most dated fashion victim looking street toughs available. 976 is teeming with the kind of 80's bleach blonde dyed rat tailed dweebs you've seen murdered by the corpses of "Back From The Grave" album covers.
|that'll learn ya to stray from anything not approved by Crypt Records!|
Hoax (Geoffrey's character) looks and acts like a retarded man child and dresses in baby jammies. He gets busted by his mom for sneaking a peek at "Nat Geo" boobs, how sad can u get!
His next door neighbor and cousin Spike, who he's enamored/ infatuated with is a greasy pony tailed mook. Patrick O'Bryan has got a repulsive Stephen Dorf, but more inbred vibe and after appearing in the sequel never acted again. I'd imagine he's picking up litter on the side of the highway, busted for peddling angel dust to minors.
One of the punks who wears a Blossom hat actually sports an I Drink Your Blood/ I Eat Your Skin shirt! I mean he racks up gore nerd points for that alone, why doesn't Hoax try to get along with him?
Patrick O'Bryan, the main actor is pretty terrible and has zero presence, no wonder he left the acting world. I don't think you're supposed to like him, but he sure chews up a lot of film stock.
Suzie, Spike's girlfriend has a fun time with his dorky Stephen Geoffreys at a pizza parlor.
He kind of blows his chances with her by being nice to a spider and creeping her out, oh yeah and he carries her dirty underwear in his pocket! Way to go bonehead! This guy is hard to root for and slowly he gets obsessively addicted to the two bit fortunes of the 976 "horror-scope" hot line. He then builds a satanic alter, lays in the middle of a pentagram surrounded by phones and conducts a spell against Suzie (Lezlie Deane). Man, this dude is going about this all wrong! This scene seems inspired by the Shaw Brothers Black Magic sequels as tons of tarantulas spew out of her TV dinner and she dies.
|I got game Evil Ed, you got blue balls!|
A Fake Gary Sinise investigates the 976 building, which is run by Mark Dark, played by Bob Picardo with the sniffles, you may know him from every other Joe Dante film and as Meg Mucklebones from Legend, I love that actor! He doesn't stick around for long and mentions how the satanic hotline is operating on its own. Sadly, they hardly use this actor and it's kind of a wasted role.
Hoax starts becoming more demonic and sprouts razor claws (did he borrow them from the director)?
He rapidly turns more possessed and is on the prowl out for revenge. The transformation makeup by Kevin Yagher is top notch and he starts to resemble a vicious possum or a feral cat with cracking skin and a bloody cheek.
|Don't be peanut butter jealous|
It seems like the punks are constantly gambling, maybe they're in some kind of "light weight hell".
Once Hoax gets more demonified, he wears cheesy John Lennon or maybe Peter Murphy glasses and of course makes stupid Krueger wisecracks. He needs a brick wall and a blazer like a comedian from the 80s. They play this Evil Dead 2 style noise when the evil powers consume his body. I wonder if anyone else noticed this, it may possibly be an extension of the Wes Craven versus Sam Raimi of who's scarier continued on by Englund himself. I almost wish Freddy Krueger was behind this whole satanic conspiracy (in the film not only behind the director megaphone). The most hokey scene, which I still enjoyed anyway for it's bold ineptitude is when the pits of Dante-esque icy Hell on earth begins to emerge and the production values are on par with a vocational school. It just falls flat and needed a few rewrites but it's OK for what it is, just a bizarre film from that loveable weirdo of Fright Night and Fraternity Vacation fame. If you're a Freddy or even a Stephen Geoffreys completist (including the gay porn), you gotta see it.