Day Of The Beast is a black comedy/horror film . Father Angel Beriartua (Alex Angulo), a Basque Catholic priest, has been studying the texts of the Apocolypse. He has discovered, through deciphering codes and hidden meanings, that the Antichrist is to be born in Madrid on Christmas day. As he reveals this to a superior, the huge cross in the church falls and crushes said superior. Father Angel decides to go to Madrid to stop the Antichrist from destroying the world. He decides that to get close to ultimate evil, he must commit acts of evil himself, and enlist the help of those close to evil. He ends up going into a record shop specializing in Heavy metal and makes frinds with Jose Maria (Santiago Segura), the manager, a somewhat brain-fried Metalhead. They then go to TV occultist Professor Cavan (Armando De Razza) for more help in finding the Beast ( not me, the other Beast...anyway...). Will our intrepid trio stop ultimate evil from coming into our world, or will the world come to and end on Christmas day?
Day Of The Beast is one of those rare films, like Dead Alive ( see my October entry on this film) , that successfully combines humor and horror. Much of the humor comes from Father Angel, whose quaint country ways give him a unique view on what is "evil". Among the acts he commits to try to attract the attention of the Devil are stealing luggage and, my personal favorite, pushing a street mime off a stairway railing down the subway steps ( I don't consider mime violence evil, it's more of a public service).
The goof-ass Metalhead played by Segura is pretty funny as well...usually I don't like the stereotypical Metalhead -as-dumbass portryal, but this one is funny . Cavan is an interesting character as well, since he is basically a non-believing charlatan at first, who then discovers that there is a very real Supernatural world out there.
There are also some very scary moments of horror to be had as well in this film. The one that immediately comes to mind is when our trio holds a ceremony to summon the Devil. At first nothing happens, but then , from the other room, a black goat walks in, stands up on its hind legs, walks the rest of the way in, and snarls at Father Angel with a mouthful of fangs, and our good Padre looks as if he's about to poop his pants.
Day Of The Beast hardly made a sound in the rest of the world, but in its naitive Spain it was nominated for 14 Goya awards( the Spanish Oscar) and won 6 ( an appropriate number, I suppose). It's currently unavailable on DVD , but some online stores have copies available. I plan on securing a copy soon, as it's a film I've liked a lot since I saw it years ago. If you like your movies funny and scary, check out Day Of The Beast, if you can find it. I give it 5 clawmarks. Happy Holidays!