Film: 976-EVIL

"Out of the darkness and into light, comes your horrorscope on this dark and stormy night."
976-EVIL's greeeting message

976-EVIL is a 1988 horror film directed by Robert Englund.

Spike (the bad boy) and Hoax (the introverted nerd) are cousins who live with Hoaxís overly religious mother. They stumble across a mysterious premium-line phone number, 976-EVIL, which appears at first to be just a fun novelty hotline that offers creepy fortunes to those who call, but they soon discover that itís a direct line to hell—literally. Spike loses interest, but Hoax uses the powers the number gives him to exact revenge against everyone who has wronged him, inadvertently allowing his soul to be slowly taken over by Satan. Spike must race to stem the tide of destruction Hoax is perpetrating, hoping like hell that he can save his cousinís soul.

Tropes associated with 976-EVIL:

  • And Show It to You: Possessed Hoax kills two bullies offscreean, and returns to the poker game they were part of with their still-beating hearts in his hands.
    Hoax: Would it be possible to enter the game with a pair of hearts?
  • Big Bad: Hoax eventuallt turn into one due to his reliance to he eponymous phone number.
  • Big "NO!": This is Hoax's reaction when he's supernatural spider-prank against Suzie end up killing her.
  • Dead Man's Hand: Marcus gets a pair of aces and eights in a poker game before he ends up being killed by possessed Hoax, but not before getting his hand cut off.
    Hoax: That's a dead man's hand.
  • Evil Phone: Spike and others who declined the phone line's offerings of power, get evil calls that mock and try to kill them.
  • Evil Sounds Deep
  • Fingerless Gloves: The evil phone number tries to persade Spike to steal a pair of these, but he proves to be tter person than that. Because of that, supernatural forces ty to have him killed.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Hoax uses the powers granted by the phone line to get back at everyone who's wronged him.
  • Greater Scope Villain: The 976-EVIL phone number. It gives the demonic powers to Hoax, who becomes the main antagonist of the film; but while he is stopped, the number goes on existing.
  • Haunted Technology: When Spike won't comply to evil phone line's demands, an unmanned car starts up and tries to run him over.
  • Man on Fire: When the man in the opening finally caves in and answers a demonically ringing phone, he is set on fire and the phone booth that he's in exlplodes.
  • Number of the Beast: To get their "horrorscope", the person calling the eponymous phone line must punch in the number 666.
  • Sinister Shades: When Hoax starts to embrace being possessed, he also starts wearing rounded sunglasses.
  • Title by Number: By phone number, to be exact.