Monday, March 02, 2009

976-EVIL at the Lyric (July 1989)

by Paul DeCirce

Caught this on the tail-end of a double bill at the Lyric on 42nd Street. Was sick of The Fresh Prince behind us chanting "Freddy Krueger in the house, y'all!" Kept asking if the show was ELM STREET 2. Yeah, 976-OVERACT was on a double bill with ELM STREET 5, and when it finally came on (debut directorial effort from Robert Englund of V: THE SERIES fame), we knew static was bound to start by the Freddy-hungry crowd.

"Yo, where Freddy at?" "Dis some fucked up shit, man!" "No shit…Freddy be makin' a movie with Eddie Murphy?!" "Freddy Krueger in the house, y'all!"

While the circus rolled on behind us, the screen showed us the tired story of a geek taking a beating, sick of it, so he discovers a phone number (duhhhh, which number be dat?) that gives him some ridiculous power that makes his hair 'n' nails grow. And if that wasn't bad enough for you, we get Sandy Dennis overacting into a mind-numbing stupor. Yeah, she gets it. Hoax (the nerd) whips everybody's ass then gets killed by falling into a frozen hell! There seems to be absolutely nothing holding this film together, except for a few decent effects. All cast members manage to overact, but while the film has a bit of Freddy-like atmosphere, its position as a double bill rounder seems most appropriate.

I think the guy behind us summed it up best, when twenty minutes into 976-EVIL he delivered a drunken, "Yo! Where Freddy Krueger at, man?"

He's on the wrong side of the camera, homeboy.

[Originally published in Temple of Schlock # 19, August 1989]

(Above & below: Paulie D. prowls the Deuce for some funky fresh flicks)

Chris sez: This seems like a bit of Gore Gazette inspired un-PC writing, but I was with Paul that night and I swear he's not exaggerating. It really went down like that. In fact, Paul left out what was -- for me, anyway -- the most memorable part of the night.

During the intermission, Paul got up and started for the back of the theater.

"Where are you going?" I asked.

"The bathroom."

This was obviously Paul's grindhouse maiden voyage.

"No, sit down," I told him.


"Sit. Down."

He came back to his seat, a little irritated. "What's the matter?"

"You don't go anywhere near the restrooms in these places," I informed him.

"Why not?"

The restrooms in the Lyric were down a flight of stairs at the back of the auditorium. The horrors on the screen were kid's stuff compared to what would be waiting for Paul if he ventured down there. I told him this, and he wisely took my advice and sat down.

About an hour into 976-EVIL, we heard bloodcurdling screams coming from the back of the theater, downstairs. There weren't many people in the audience that night, but every head in the place turned around. Even Mr. Freddy-Krueger-in-the-house-y'all looked uneasy.

Paul shot a nervous glance my way. "What the hell is that?"

"The last guy who went to the restroom," I answered.

Paul shifted his eyes back to the screen and said nothing. After a few more seconds, the screaming stopped.


SanzarQ said...

Hey, guys, I just stumbled across this blog a couple of days ago. I was a late comer to the print version of Temple of Schlock, but I did acquire 4 issues beore it went belly up, including #19, where this article originally appeared. Anyway, I've enjoyed plowing my way backwards thru all of the posts and look forward to checking the blog frequently!!

Tom Shumaker
Parkton, MD

Tim Mayer said...

The running comments always made the worst movie watchable.

Anonymous said...

I saw 976-EVIL on the Deuce with BASKET CASE 2. Was this before or after the ELM STREET Double feature? A bad lady started to vomit in my hair, then somebody tried to mug me outside. I kept coming back anyway.