4K Ultra HD Review: The Day of the Beast (1995)

March 20, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

After deciphering an ancient text, a priest (Álex Angulo) sets about to avert the birth of the antichrist on Christmas Day of 1995 in Madrid, but there’s just one problem… he must summon the devil to accomplish his goal, and he has no fuckin’ clue on how to pull off that unholy miracle!
After blowin’ into town, our pugnacious padre decides to commit as many sins as possible so that when Big D does make the scene, he’ll think him a staunch ally. He also sets about enlisting some assistance in his upcoming infernal summoning by way of local violence prone (and often drug addled) metal head José María (Santiago Segura of Guillermo Del Toro’s Blade II & Hellboy films, and Beyond Re-Animator to name but a few), and the man that dynamite duo kidnap; TV Psychic and Occultist Professor Cavan (Armando De Razza).
Amazingly enough, these absolutely absurd individuals manage a level of success, and soon they are off on an epic night of bullets, bloodshed, and the Beast… possibly… if they can find him…
Co-writer (along with Jorge Guerricaechevarría)/director Álex de la Iglesia (who’s follow up feature, Perdita Durango, I reviewed right here) delivers a whole mess of blissfully blasphemous fun, and it truly takes no prisoners as it attempts to offend, while offering up a cast of characters that are unhinged as they are engaging with their deft blend of naivete, denseness, and sheer bravado (some qualities all in one character)!
Speaking of characters, while Álex Angulo is absolutely incredible as our driven hero, the real stand out for me is Santiago Segura’s portrayal of José María; a wicked whirlwind of violent, drug fueled insanity all wrapped up in a bear of a man that you just can’t help but love!
Now while The Day of the Beast is a comedy, and a damn funny and pitch black one to be sure, it never shies away from the carnage. We get people set on fire (and fuckin’ kudos to the stuntmen who did these burns… they are on fire for a truly ungodly amount of time), beaten to a pulp, shot and mutilated… all with wild abandon… and it should be noted, there’s a rabbit that I don’t think made it out of this project intact.
While the above mentioned cinematic carnage is spectacular for sure, there are some other choice effects on hand here including a demonic goat, an impressive end creature (no spoilers), and crude if inventive and effective optical work.
So you get cool shit to look at while enjoyable characters navigate a batshit story… a true win!
As with he aforementioned release of Perdita Durango, this is a two disc affair from Severin, with the first disc containing a 4K Ultra HD presentation of the film with no extras present… but disc two, featuring a Blu-ray version of the main event contains plenty of bonus content to help fans of the film live deliciously!
Kicking things off we have a feature length documentary covering every aspect of the film’s creation as well as it’s legacy that is worth the price of admission alone if you ask yours cruelly!
Also included are interviews with Álex de la Iglesia, Armando De Razza, actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta, and cinematographer Flavio Martínez Labiano.
Following those we get  Mirindas Asesinas a 1990 short film by Álex de la Iglesia, and trailers for the film.
The Day of the Beast is one hell of a ghoulish good time; packed with all of the wrong… okay, some of the wrong… a “good amount” of it let’s say; and you cats n’ creeps will doubtless eat this shit up with a spectral spoon!


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