The Day of the Beast (1995)

The Day of the Beast Story

The Day of the BeastAfter trying for many years to decipher an ancient code that will unlock the secrets to the end of the world, Father Angel (Alex Angulo) finally succeeded in pinpointing the exact date of the apocalypse. Awhile later in a dark and empty church, he confesses to his fellow brother (Saturnino Garcia), his intention to commit “all the evil he can” in his crusade against the Devil. At first questioning, the Father’s findings, the priest agrees to help, but just then a large stone crucifix falls crushing him. Father angel now knows that evil forces have already begun to work against him and that time is of the essence.

Before long the Father is committing sin with an unchristian-like zeal. He steals the luggage of a tourist, robs a beggar blind, pushes a mime off his perch, shoplifts from a store, and pinches the wallet from a dying man while telling him to “rot in hell“. The Priest hopes his evil ways will lead him down the path of forming a pack with Satanists, so that he may be present when the Beast reveals himself on Christmas day.

He develops an instant friendship with an acid-dropping, heavy metal record store clerk named Jos Mara (Santiago Segura), who offers him a sanctuary in his family’s boarding house. After comfortably settling into his new lodging, he seeks some penance for his transgressions by burning the bottom of his feet with a hot cigarette.

While clicking through the stale air of late-night TV, Father angel realizes that only with the help of famed anti-evangelist Ennio Lombard (Armando De Razza) and his book “The Magic World of Professor Cavan” can he determine the birthplace of the demon. With the assistance of Jos Mara and Ennio, the padre prepares for a battle of revelational proportions with the salvation of humanity at stake.

This film was released in 1995 and received 6 Goya awards (the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Award) with Alex de la Iglesia receiving one for best director. The reasons why “The Day of the Beast” succeeds are numerous, but the most apparent is de la Iglesia and Jorge Guerricaechevarra witty script that plays on many of cinematic traditions of the antichrist balanced with a blasphemous dark approach.

I was lucky enough to first stumble upon the genius of de la Iglesia a few years back when I watched “Accin mutant“. That film will its stylish view of the future, is equally entertaining and highly recommend as well. De la Iglesia is definitely a force to watch for within the genre and maybe someone who could help resurrect it.