Evilio – A Relentlessly Nasty Short Film From Spain

A Spanish slasher short that left unsuspecting TV viewers aghast in the early 1990s.

Actor Santiago Segura is best known for his work with director Alex de la Inglesia but in 1992 he took the money that he had won as a contestant on TV game shows and invested it – wisely or not will be a matter of opinion – in the short film Evilio, which he wrote and directed as well as starring in as the title character, a psychopath who kidnaps three young women and then phones each of their houses in turn, stating that he will kill them unless someone answers.

I first saw this as a filler film on a satellite TV channel, back when you could pick up European channels via the Astra satellite and so found yourself exposed to all manner of weirdness that would never be sanctioned by British broadcasters. This was certainly as weird as it got – shocking, unsettling and presented out of any sort of context. It was unsubtitled (as indeed is the version posted below) but you kind of grasped the plot – Evilio himself might rattle on incessantly, but the visuals told the story all too effectively.

As short films go, this is both very professional and very basic. The production values are impressive but the narrative is nothing more than an excuse to show brutal murders. At ten minutes long, it doesn’t hang around – and if this was a showcase for a possible feature (as it was) then you have to think that a full-length film would never be able to have the single-minded intensity of this story – things would have to be padded out considerably and so less, we might think, is definitely more here.

Still, Segura clearly saw cult potential in his character and followed up two years later with Evilio Vuelve, which rather expands the narrative but is consequently less impressive. The Evilio feature film has yet to appear.

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