‘The Devil’s Carnival’ Review

The Devil’s Carnival
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Filmmakers Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III and IV) and Terrance Zdunich (Repo: The Genetic Opera) just finished shooting their next movie, The Devil’s Carnival: Alleluia! For those who don’t know, this is actually a sequel to the duo’s 2012 feature film, The Devil’s Carnival. If you haven’t heard of that earlier movie, don’t feel too bad because it didn’t get a theatrical release – exactly – but it probably did show in a theater close to you.

Zdunich and Bousman learned their lesson when they made Repo: The Genetic Opera and saw almost nothing from that film’s release. For those who haven’t seen that movie, it starred Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as a Repo Man who repossessed organs sold to people who fell behind on payments. The movie also starred Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Paul Sorvino (GoodFellas), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects) and Paris Hilton – yes, that Paris Hilton.

The studio had no idea how to sell this rock opera and it was buried. It has since come back to life as a huge cult favorite, with screenings not unlike The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where fans come dressed as their favorite characters and sing along with the movie. Well, that brought a lot of fame to the filmmakers, and they took advantage of it for their next movie together, The Devil’s Carnival.

Zdunich and Bousman set out after making the movie and toured the country, showing it on their own at midnight screenings all across the United States and into Europe. It was a huge success, and they made their money back plus more, meaning they got to make the sequel which will hit in 2015.

The Devil’s Carnival stars Zdunich as The Devil, who is holding his carnival in Hell just as three recently deceased people arrive and have to face their punishment for their sins that they committed. They do this at the Devil’s Carnival, which looks a lot more fun than Hell is supposed to be – unless you are one of the recently deceased.

The three deceased sinners are Sean Patrick Flanery (Boondock Saints) as a man named John who commits suicide when he can’t get past the death of his young son, a thief named Ms. Merrywood (Step Up’s Briana Evigan) who dies in a shootout with the police, and 90210’s Jessica Lowndes, who plays Tamara, a teenager who is killed by her boyfriend. In Hell, all three of these face trials and tribulations based on their sins.

Terrance Zdunich wrote the script for the movie based on the Aesop’s Fables, with each of the three sinners representing a different fable. John is from The Devil and His Due, Merrywood is from The Dog and Its Reflection and Tamara is from The Scorpion and the Frog. The character that remains the most sympathetic is Flanery’s John, especially since his sin was born out of despair, and it is thanks to him that the table is set for the second movie in the series.

Much like Repo: The Genetic Opera, The Devil’s Carnival is a musical. Unlike Repo, which is a rock opera, Devil’s Carnival uses mostly carnie music, which perfectly fits the mood. It is also important to note that the actors chosen for the denizens of Hell are also perfectly cast. Outside of Zdunich as The Devil, Dayton Callie (Police Chief Unser on Sons of Anarchy) is the Ticket Keeper, Bill Moseley is back as The Magician, Slipknot’s Clown is The Tamer and Five Finger Death Punch’s Ghost is The Hobo Clown. It is an eclectic cast who are perfect in their roles.

The next movie takes the action to Heaven, where Paul Sorvino plays God, and the scenes there are supposed to be darker and more horrific than anything saw in Hell. Zdunich has hinted that they will release the movie the same way they did this first one, which is fantastic news for hardcore fans, and if it comes to a city near you, I have to recommend you attend the screening. The Devil’s Carnival was a blast to attend, and even if you missed it, the movie is still great on home video.

Filmmakers Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III and IV) and Terrance Zdunich (Repo: The Genetic Opera) just finished shooting their next movie, The Devil’s Carnival: Alleluia! For those who don’t know, this is actually a sequel to the duo’s 2012 feature film, The Devil’s Carnival. If you haven’t heard of that earlier movie, don’t feel too bad because it didn’t get a theatrical release – exactly – but it probably did show in a theater close to you. Zdunich and Bousman learned their lesson when they made Repo: The Genetic Opera and saw almost nothing from that film’s release. For those who haven’t seen that movie, it starred Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as a Repo Man who repossessed organs sold to people who fell behind on payments. The movie also starred Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Paul Sorvino (GoodFellas), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects) and Paris Hilton – yes, that Paris Hilton. The studio had no idea how to sell this rock opera and it was buried. It has since come back to life as a huge cult favorite, with screenings not unlike The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where fans come dressed as their favorite characters and sing along with the movie. Well, that brought a lot of fame to the filmmakers, and they took advantage of it for their next movie together, The Devil’s Carnival. Zdunich and Bousman set out after making the movie and toured the country, showing it on their own at midnight screenings all across the United States and into Europe. It was a huge success, and they made their money back plus more, meaning they got to make the sequel which will hit in 2015. The Devil’s Carnival stars Zdunich as The Devil, who is holding his carnival in Hell just as three recently deceased people arrive and have to face their punishment for their sins that they committed. They do this at the Devil’s Carnival, which looks a lot more fun than Hell is supposed to be – unless you are one of the recently deceased. The three deceased sinners are Sean Patrick Flanery (Boondock Saints) as a man named John who commits suicide when he can’t get past the death of his young son, a thief named Ms. Merrywood (Step Up’s Briana Evigan) who dies in a shootout with the police, and 90210’s Jessica Lowndes, who plays Tamara, a teenager who is killed by her boyfriend. In Hell, all three of these face trials and tribulations based on their sins. Terrance Zdunich wrote the script for the movie based on the Aesop’s Fables, with each of the three sinners representing a different fable. John is from The Devil and His Due, Merrywood is from The Dog and Its Reflection and Tamara is from The Scorpion and the Frog. The character that remains the most sympathetic is Flanery’s John, especially since his sin was born out of despair, and it is thanks to him that the table is set for the…
Movie Score - 8

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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