Evilspeak appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t a bad image given its age, but it came with more problems than I’d like.
Print flaws became the dominant issue. From start to finish, I saw a mix of specks and marks. These didn’t overwhelm, but they showed up on a frequent basis and created distractions.
Sharpness remained decent. Most of the movie showed acceptable delineation; while matters never became particularly precise, they seemed reasonably well-defined. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes.
Colors were adequate. Though the hues lacked great vivacity, they showed passable clarity. Blacks were reasonably dark, and shadows presented acceptable smoothness. The print flaws were the biggest concern, but even without them, this would’ve remained an average image.
When we moved to the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural 2.0 soundtrack, it showed its age but usually sounded decent. Dialogue was acceptable, as only occasional edginess affected the lines. Speech could’ve been more natural, but the lines seemed okay.
Music wasn’t particularly bold, but the score and songs showed reasonable clarity and vivacity. Effects seemed clean and without substantial distortion; though they didn’t have much kick, they reproduced the material well. While nothing here dazzled, the mix held up fine for a 33-year-old mono track.
We get a decent mix of extras here, and we open with an audio commentary from producer/director Eric Weston. Accompanied by moderator Bill Olson, we get a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, sets and locations, effects and stunts, editing and ratings concerns, and other areas.
At times, the commentary gives us a good look at the production, but unfortunately, the track often hits snags. In particular, Weston spends a lot of time on an overview of computer technology circa 1981, little of which bears relevance as a topic related to the creation of the film.
This eventually leads to a long discussion of changes in movie effects and capabilities since 1981, which means a lot of criticism of modern-day reliance on computer graphics. Hey, I’m not a big fan of CG myself, but I don’t think a commentary that whines about those elements for minutes and minutes bears much appeal.
I also feel Olson becomes too active a participant. I think a moderator should be there to facilitate the filmmaker’s comments, whereas Olson takes over the track too much of the time – especially during his diatribes against computer effects. The commentary still manages to provide some movie-related insights, but it can be a tough listen due to its many off-topic moments.
Next comes a documentary called Satan’s Pigs and Severed Heads: The Making of Evilspeak. It goes for 27 minutes, 48 seconds and features actors Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson, Richard Moll, Loren Lester and Lynn Hancock. The show looks at how various participants came to the project, working with Weston, experiences during the shoot, and the film’s legacy. I’m surprised only performers show up here – especially because another area of the disc offers “Cast Interviews”, so I’m not sure why these clips weren’t just part of that section.
Despite the limited scope of the piece, the actors offer some nice thoughts about the flick. We get some nice insights into their experiences and learn a bit along the way. This doesn’t become a detailed examination of the film, but it’s pretty good.
In the 14-minute, 37-second Effects Speak, we hear from special effects makeup artist Allan A. Apone. He chats about his work for the film and challenges that he encountered. Apone provides a lively, informative look at his creations.
In addition to the movie’s trailer, we locate Cast Interviews. We get sequences with Clint Howard (11:39), Don Stark (10:09) and Joe Cortese (6:55). Across these, we find notes about how they came to the project, thoughts about actors and performances, and other experiences related to the movie. The conversations usually work pretty well, though Cortese talks more about other projects, which makes his piece the weakest.
Evilspeak shows promise and it occasionally becomes an effective horror film, but it lacks consistency. Still, even with its ups and downs, it’s better than many of its peers. The Blu-ray provides average picture and audio and a decent set of supplements. Nothing here excels, but I suspect fans will like this rendition of the film.