Presented by Presented by Severin Films

The Day of the Beast

Directed by Álex De la Iglesia

Tue September 01, 2020
9:15 PM

Festival Scope



Álex De la Iglesia


Álex De la Iglesia, Jorge Guerricaechevarría


Álex Angulo, Armando De Razza, Santiago Segura


Severin Films

Spain 1995 104 mins OV Spanish Subtitles : English
Genre HorrorComedyClassique

“While the film is rife with ultra-violence and crimson goo, make no mistake, this is also a howlingly outrageous comedy and frankly as original a horror film as I've seen in some time.”

“Wickedly funny… radiates a mood of joyous blasphemy which rekindles memories of Buñuel”
Geoffrey Macnab, TIME OUT

Álex de la Iglesia’s agonizingly funny masterpiece of Esperpento audacity is a film that should need no introduction. That it often requires one – at least in this part of the world – is a testament to how pitiful North American distribution options were for European genre works in the ’90s. Even an occult blockbuster such as this, a film that turned its maker into one of the key Spanish directors of the last 25 years, won no less than six Goya awards, including Best Director and Best New Actor (for the great Santiago Segura) and continues to have legions of adoring fans across the world. Without spoiling too much, the premise involves a Basque priest (Álex Angulo, PAN’S LABYRINTH) who learns that he needs to commit as many sins as possible in order to prevent the devil from being reborn. On Christmas day. He visits a record store, encounters a self-described satanic metalhead (Segura), and together they embark on an adventure unlike anything the screen has seen.

This was de la Iglesia’s second feature, following the still unbelievable ACCION MUTANTE. It led to the astonishing PERDITA DURANGO (itself falling victim to apathetic distribution here) and he’s never slowed down, his new works continuing to be launched at the most prestigious festivals in the world. Yet THE DAY OF THE BEAST, which I brought to Montreal in my very first year programming at Fantasia, in 1997 (it won an audience award!), has remained all but a secret handshake to many North American cinephiles – present company excluded, I trust. Thankfully, this will soon change, as the good people at Severin Films have recently completed a stunning 4K restoration from the original negative, and will be making THE DAY OF THE BEAST available in a definitive release later this year. We’re thrilled to be the first to unveil it. If you’ve never seen this classic of modern Spanish cinema – truly one of the greatest horror comedies of all time – now’s your chance to correct that blasphemy and perhaps discover your new favourite Christmas movie along the way. Were we in a physical cinema this year, we’d be showing it at Volume 11. So please. Play. It. Loud. And say your prayers. – Mitch Davis


Tue September 01, 2020
9:15 PM

Festival Scope