The Day of the Beast (aKa El día de la bestia) is a 1995 black comedy horror film written and directed by Álex de la Iglesia (Perdita Durango, 800 Bullets, The Last Circus. and 30 Coins). It was co-written by Jorge Guerricaechevarría (Witching and Bitching, Perdita Durango, 800 Bullets, 30 Coins, and The Oxford Murders). It was produced by Andrés Vicente Gómez (Perdita Durango, The 7th Day, Rain, Soldiers of Salamina, House of the Damned, Black Venus, Bloodbath, Killer Tongue, and The Naked Eye). The budget was $1,500,000.
Angel (played by: Álex Angulo from Pan’s Labyrinth, The Backwoods, Live Flesh, and Mutant Action), a priest and professor of theology confesses to another priest that he intends to commit as much evil as he can. The other priest is shocked until Angel whispers his reasoning. Angel goes into downtown Madrid, committing various sins and crimes. He goes to a record store and meets Jose Maria (played by: Santiago Segura from Perdita Durango, Blade II, Hell Boy 1/2, Mutant Action, and Killer Barbys) who gives him a tape of the most “evil” band he can think of. Jose puts Angel up in his mother’s boarding house where he lives with his mother, grandfather, and Mina (played by: Nathalie Seseña from La que se avecina, De moda, Scarred Soul, and Palace). Angel then attempts to steal a book from a book store written by occult TV show host Professor Cavan (played by: Armando De Razza from Stressati, Un inverno freddo freddo, Olé, and Hannover). He tells his theory and crazy reasoning for doing all this. Things start to get weirder and more dangerous for Angel as he continues his demented journey into hell!!!
The Day of the Beast starts out a little slow at first but it’s worth the wait! It has a fantastic blend of dark comedy and horror. The script is very interesting here and it keeps your eyes glued to the screen once everything picks up. Álex de la Iglesia has a great visual style and this is one of the best looking Spanish horror productions out there. Álex Angulo, Santiago Segura, and Armando De Razza all give their career best performances in The Day of the Beast. This one is full of wacky and unique characters. The supporting cast is solid here which includes Nathalie Seseña, Terele Pávez (Witching and Bitching), and Maria Grazia Cucinotta (The World Is Not Enough). The slapstick humor really vibes with the gruesome and gory moments in this. The production design, special fx, cinematography, and music are great here. Horror won’t be disappointed with the kills, chaos, and bloodshed for The Day of the Beast. This one is beyond under-rated and it doesn’t get mentioned enough when it comes to independent features. Severin Films gives this one proper treatment after all these years on home video, this is a must own when it comes to your collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Severin Films! This 2160p (1.85:1) transfer with HDR10 is from a brand new 4K restoration from the original negative. Severin is getting much better with their transfers and restorations lately, this one is no different. The Day of the Beast looks way better than expected here, it’s never looked like this before. I don’t see anyone else topping this home video release, it’s the best it’s ever going to look anywhere and it’s like watching it for the very first time because this UHD is a major upgrade compared to the past. It has a few different audio options which includes Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 on this UHD. It’s a huge improvement just like it’s video quality, the audio here sounds great in your home set up. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, all the madness is elevated, and the music has a killer boost to it. It has English subtitles. This is one of the best technical releases from Severin so far!!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Severin Films! There’s no extras on the actual UHD, they are all located on the blu ray. Everything is in Spanish with English subtitles. “Heirs of the Beast” is almost an hour and 21 minutes. It’s a full length documentary from Diego Lopez and David Pizarro. It has interviews with the cast, crew, and various important Spanish movie related individuals. It has all kinds of behind the scenes material here. They go into great detail about the production of The Day of the Beast. Lots of information about the Spanish horror feature here. They talk about the legacy and the life it’s had after it’s original release. They go over Spain in the 80’s and 90’s which made it harder to put together stuff like this when it comes to cinema there. They cover features that were made around the same time as this in the documentary. “Antichrist Superstar” is a little over 28 minute brand new interview with director Álex de la Iglesia. He chats about this one following up Accion Mutante and the differences between those two productions. He goes over his influences for this. He brings up shooting on location for it. He mentions the music for the feature and his love for heavy metal. “The Man Who Saved the World” is an almost 20 minute interview with actor Armando de Razza. He goes over his career during the time that he made this movie. He chats about working in Spain and how he met Álex de la Iglesia. He talks about his music career and his character from this. He goes over his experience on this including working with the cast and the special fx for it. “Beauty and the Beast” is a little over 17 minute interview with actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta. She talks about how she got the part. She chats about moving after having some previous success with other work. She brings up her role and how The Day of the Beast did good for it’s original release. “Shooting the Beast” is almost 3 minute interview with director of photography Flavio Martinez Labiano. This quick chats mainly covers working with the director and the shooting locations for the film. “Mirindas Asesinas” is a little over 12 minute 1990 short film directed by Alex de la Iglesia. It comes with a slipcover, reversible artwork, and a blu ray copy of the release. This is also available on DVD and blu ray. This is a must own if you are into Spanish horror or just independent film in general. Don’t forget Severin’s big sale starts on Friday. This is available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!