976-EVIL 2: D-
Socrates: Glaucon, I have come across a mind-bending film called 976-EVIL 2. It tells the story of Spike, a wise-cracking motorcyclist, who finds himself entangled in a battle against a haunted jerk-off hotline. Have you encountered such a narrative?
Glaucon: Socrates, I am well aware of this film, but I have no experience with actual jerk-off hotlines – haunted or otherwise. I need you to accept this fact before we converse further.
Socrates: Glaucon, I am your friend. I am perfectly willing to uphold your ridiculous jerk-off hotline denials and pretend that you are not a sick deviant so that we may discuss the film.
Glaucon (sighs): Very well, Socrates… Where shall we begin? With the villain, perhaps? The story revolves around a teacher with, shall we say, “unsavory” tendencies who uses a supernatural jerk-off hotline to project himself onto the astral plane to commit heinous acts against blonde teenagers. Quite a distasteful premise, wouldn’t you agree?
Socrates: Indeed, Glaucon. And what do you make of this teacher’s preference for targeting blonde teens? Does it not raise questions about the origin of his motives and the depths of his depravity? Targeting this group so specifically speaks to pathological behavior often present in minds that dwell in the depths of sexual fetishes, like… your friend… whom we discussed at length while exploring the philosophical depravity of 976-EVIL, the genesis for this Satanic jerk-off hotline saga.
Glaucon: Ah yes, my friend Epicurus who was ensnared in the unfortunate web of phone sex addiction back in 1988… A sad, sad tale that absolutely centered on his carnal jerk-off hotline impulses! I do not think this film is so complicated, Socrates. Perhaps the slaying of numerous young blondes is merely a cinematic choice fit for the genre, a means to generate suspense and shock value. After all, these filmmakers often rely on such cheap tactics to captivate the audience. If we suspend our disbelief to allow for an astral plane jerk-off hotline, why not suspend it further and accept the premise at face value?
Socrates: Perhaps, Glaucon. Yet, as the story unfolds, we encounter a multitude of unoriginal ideas and borrowed elements beyond the reuse of the demonic jerk-off hotline. The parallels to other films, such as Evil Dead 2 and Pleasantville, are evident and there is also a character who is a veritable carbon copy of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark with dyed blonde hair. Does this not suggest a lack of creativity and originality on the part of the filmmakers worthy of condemning this film?
Glaucon: Socrates, it is not uncommon for artists to draw inspiration from existing works; you know this. We’re talking about the filmmakers who are crafting a feature film around a magical jerk-off hotline! And besides, there are new and exciting ideas in this film: Spike is haunted by phones; they ring wherever he goes! There is a scene where they manage to blow up a truck! How did they get the money for this, Socrates? Let us not forget about when Spike kills himself so he can infiltrate the astral plane and combat the evil blonde-killing teacher.
Socrates: Indeed, Glaucon, what you speak is true. I will concede that this is the first film I have seen in which a teen suicide leads to the creation of an anti-jerk-off phone sex ghost. I am willing to give this film a D-.