The Day of the Beast (Spanish: El día de la bestia) is a 1995 Spanish black comedy horror film co-written and directed by Álex de la Iglesia and starring Álex Angulo, Armando De Razza and Santiago Segura. Both Maria Grazia Cucinotta and El Gran Wyoming have small roles in the film as well. The film was well received by critics and audiences in its country, and sparked interest in de la Iglesia’s filmography and style of directing.
Angel, a Basque 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. When the other priest agrees to help him, a large cross falls and crushes him.
Angel goes into downtown Madrid, committing various sins and crimes such as taking money from a homeless man, pushing a street performer over, and telling a dying man to go to Hell and stealing his wallet. He goes to a record store and meets Jose Maria, a self-described Satanist and heavy metal fan from the popular neighborhood of Carabanchel, 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, a woman he is attracted to that helps his mother with the business. Angel then attempts to steal a book from a book store written by occult TV show host Professor Cavan, who he believes can tell him how to sell his soul to Satan. He tries to explain to the store manager his theory: a secret code in the Bible says that the Antichrist will be born at midnight on Christmas Eve, and he intends to sell his soul before the night is out to get into the birth ceremony and kill the Antichrist. The store manager does not believe him and he flees.
In a retrospective review of the film for Popoptiq, reviewer Ricky D. wrote, “Delirious, demented and diabolically funny, The Day of the Beast is essential viewing.”
The Day of the Beast is currently available for viewing on Shudder, in Season 3, Week 9, of The Last Drive-in With Joe Bob Briggs.