Return of 31 Days of Our Favorite Horror: Day of the Beast a.k.a. El Dia de la Bestia

day of the beast

The Day of the Beast a.k.a. El Dia de la Bestia  (1995)  Dir. Alex de la Iglesia

I came to this movie through a friend who basically said, “I have a movie that I think you’ll love.” Whenever that kind of statement is made, I have a tendency to see a challenge for me to find ways to dislike a movie. However, with this friend I had a good sense of trust for her taste in movies, and this movie ultimately proved that I was right to trust her tastes.

Starting off a movie with a credit sequence showing a man doing some relatively abhorrent actions is a tricky notion. The movie opens with a former priest committing some transgressive acts against God, ostensibly out of the blue. We come to find out that that on Christmas of that year, a prophecy has foretold the coming of the Antichrist, and the only way to stop it is to purposefully conjure the beast. The beast must be conjured by a holy man who has perverted his title and become on par with the beast.

I hadn’t had so much fun with a movie in a long time. And this movie is a product of mid-90s irreverence and wacky horror sequences that were found in movies like Cemetery Man and others. Day of the Beast has three main characters, the Wise Men if you will, who are charged with preventing the coming of the Antichrist. One is a heavy metal record shop owner, the other is the former priest committing various criminal acts, and the other is a paranormal talk show host. And with this group, there is a very distinct Three Stooges type of vibe throughout their interactions.

One of the best and most darkly comedic scenes that I’ve seen in a long time is found in this movie, in the form of a failed ritual murder. I usually don’t type that type of sentence, involving the phrase, “my favorite….failed ritual murder.” But you have to see this scene to believe it. The scene effectively bring the stooges together in a unique way and pretty much bonds them together and sanctifies their mission to stop the arrival of the Antichrist.

All of this dark comedy and action culminates into a brutal confrontation with an esoteric cult bent on ushering the arrival of the Antichrist. People are set on fire and impaled, and another Baphomet appearance rounds out the climax. And until you’ve seen a seven foot Baphomet rampage through downtown Madrid, you ain’t really lived, my friend.

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