The Devil’s Carnival has begun it’s trek across the country and it is an event you will not want to miss. Taking it’s cues from cult favorites such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and even Repo! The Genetic Opera (also directed by Darren Lynn Bousman), it is a full experience offering a live burlesque, a costume contest, sing-a-long, shadowcasting and even a q&a.
The movie itself tells the story of 3 new entrants into Hell (a suicidal father, a kleptomaniac, and a heartbroken teenager) who now face the consequences of their actions under the guise of a twisted carnival headed up by Lucifer himself. The storytelling is simple, yet effective in getting the point across and introducing the characters. However, the main focus would be the visual wonder the movie is. Many of the characters are fun yet menacing to watch while the whole film feels like you are stuck in a twisted dream that will never leave your mind. The music also adds to the fun feeling of imminent doom. Taking it’s cues for what feel like nursery rhymes, the songs are catchy enough to suck you into the story and not let go.
Emilie Autumn’s character “The Painted Doll” really stuck out for me. While her dialog was mainly a musical number, her quiet charisma really came across on the screen along with the characters sense of twisted mischief. Fellow musicians Ogre (Skinny Puppy) and M Shawn Crahan/Clown (Slipknot) also play menacing and intimidating roles. Ogre plays the devious “Twin” while Crahan, in his first acting role, plays the vicious “Tamer” who regulates Hell and makes sure all adhere to the 666 rules of The Devil’s Carnival. Ivan Moody (Five Finger Death Punch) is also featured as “The Hobo Clown” singing a memorable song called “A Penny For a Tale” Also, putting Paul Sorvino in the role of God was a very nice touch by the creators.
Outside of the movie was also a great experience. The idea was to create a memorable experience for the fans, and Bousman & Zdunich have succeeded. It really felt like more of a concert atmosphere or even a gathering of friends since a lot of attendees were fans of Repo. The night began with two burlesque numbers. One with a contortionist and the second with a dancer who loves to play with sparks (we’ll just keep it at that). After that was a costume contest where fans could win prizes. Also included was a special look at Repo! The Genetic Opera that included never before seen behind the scenes footage and a sing-a-long. Following the movie there was an impromptu q&a with members of the cast and crew who were in attendance for the premier. However, some fans who purchased the “ringmaster” ticket also got an intimate q&a/meet and greet with creators Darren Lynn Bousman and Terry Zdunich (who also plays Lucifer and co-wrote and helped compose the soundtrack)
One great aspect of this whole project is that funding for it came out of the creators’ own pockets. It was truly a passion project for them and it shows when they are in front of their audience at each and every screening. This film is also just the first chapter in what promises to be a fun ride for its fans. The Devil’s Carnival tour runs through mid-May all across the country. So do yourself a favor and check out and support a truly unique and fun movie experience.
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