Saturday, November 10, 2012

Movie Review: The Devil's Carnival

From the makers of Repo: The Genetic Opera comes another colorful journey into the world of musical horror. The Devil's Carnival is the latest from the collaborative team of Terrance Zdunich (writer) and Darren Lynn Bousman (director) and it features many of those who starred in their previous effort, such as Bill Moseley, Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, and Nivek Ogre. Along for the ride this time are newcomers Emilie Autumn, Dayton Callie, Sean Patrick Flanery, Briana Evigan, Jessica Lowndes, and a host of others.

"What did you say about my chin?"
The film plays like a live-action musical adaption of three of Aesop's Fables. Three poor souls, a kleptomaniac, a gullible teenager, and an obsessed father, each die only to wake up on the doorstep of the Devil's Carnival. Once inside, they are subjected to many of the temptations and tribulations that marred their real lives. Will they be doomed to repeat their past discretion or will they be redeemed? At the controls of their destinies is the devil himself.

With this being a musical, music played a large role in how the stories were conveyed. The film's songs fit comfortably within the design of the sets and the carnival backdrop. Often haphazard and sometimes hard to understand, the rhythms and lyrics of the songs aren't as straightforward as they were in Repo, so listening to them outside of the film probably wouldn't be as enjoyable, but overall, they weren't bad. As far as the film itself goes, Zdunich steals the show as the devil. Sporting some really great makeup, his devil character is brilliant. The other actors don't quite match his enthusiasm, especially blubbering old Sean Patrick Flanery, who kind of started grating on my nerves after a while.
Damn you, Norman Reedus!
Clocking in at a mere 55 minutes, The Devil's Carnival is not your usual movie, but it is enjoyable just the same. On a minimal budget, the creative team did a great job of designing the sets and as crazy as the tunes were, they were impeccably arranged.

From what I hear, this might be the first in a series of these short musicals from Zdunich and Bousman, and I wouldn't mind that at all. Overall, I liked their takes on the fables and the carnival theme, with all of the odd characters, is just great.

I give The Devil's Carnival **** out of *****.

Check out the trailer for The Devil's Carnival below!