El Dia de la Bestia (1995)

Alex de la Iglesia met Jose Guerricaechevarria in the early 90’s, which led to their first short film,Mirindas Asesinas, in which a normal man becomes a killer. They’ve worked together ever since, particularly on the Pedro Almodovar produced Accion Mutante, a story of handicapped people fighting back in a post-apocalyptic future. He followed thet movie with this one, which won 6 Goyas — think Oscar in Spanish — including Best Director.

Father Angel Berriartua (Alaex Angulo, Pan’s Labyrinth), a priest and professor of theology, confesses to another priest that he is about to commit as much evil as possible. The other priest is shocked until he explains why, but before he can help, a large cross crushes him.

His mission takes him to Madrid, where he meets heavy metal fan, record shop clerk and Satanist Jose Maria (Santiago Segura, who has made the Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley film series that parodies Stallone’ Cobra). Jose helps Angel find a place in his mother’s boarding house and continue his path toward evil, which guides him to steal a book by occult TV show host Professor Cavan.

Jose and Angel decide to kidnap the Professor and force him to teach them how to sell their souls to the devil. Why? Angel has decoded that Bible and learned that the Antichrist will be born at midnight on Christmas Eve. If he sells his soul, the Devil will trust him and allow him to witness the birth, which will allow him to sneak in and kill the Antichrist, saving the world.

The ritual will need the blood of a virgin, which is no easy feat in modern Madrid. Luckily, Mina, who lives in Jose’s mother’s boarding house, is one. As Angel draws her blood, he’s surprised by Jose’s mother, who ends up killing herself with a shotgun by accident. No matter — the threesome instead burns a piece of paper chaos magic style, takes LSD and finishes the ritual. Cavan jokes that it’s all a farce until a goat appears and the devil taunts them in a message, saying that he knows Angel’s plan.

Do they find the devil? You bet. A movie this insane totally needs a nearly nude gigantic Satan wandering the rooftops, ready to chuck people off to their doom. Even crazier, most rituals showed in the films are real Satanist rituals and weren’t altered at all. Or so they say.

After the movie’s moderate success in the US, de la Iglesia sold the rights for an American remake, which he was goign to direct. It never happened, nor did his opportunity to direct Alien: Resurrection. However, he did direct his next movie, Perdita Durango, in the U.S.

Man, we totally missed this in our Christmas movies and in our heavy metal movie spotlights, but I’m so happy that this movie is finally on our site.

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