Movies

Rock n Roll Musical Devil’s Carnival: The Next Rocky Horror?

Photo by aweldingphoto.com

Tuesday night was a truly special evening in Pittsburgh. As a big time film buff, wishful musician, and pseudo-artist, I was very excited yet had some trepidation as to what to expect at The Devil’s Carnival film premiere held in Dormont at The Hollywood Theater. Memories of seeing movies there as a child and, many years later, the band I managed (D-76) played some shows there, I had high expectations. I am pleased to say that the theater is in good shape and The Devil’s Carnival was certainly held at the right venue. The whole experience proved to be a once in a lifetime event.

Our evening began with the film’s star Briana Evigan giving my friends at Steelesque Movement an exclusive interview. I cannot tell you how awesome Briana is in words. She was gracious, unpretentious, down to earth, and downright gorgeous. We had an awesome time talking about music and her upcoming film projects. (She was also kind enough to give my friends at East Coast Horror Group some time as well- be sure to check out J.C.’s audio interview).

Briana, Darren Bousman, and Terrance Zdunich were all on hand to answer questions from the crowd before the film and after the film. They spent quite a bit of time shaking hands, taking pictures, and signing autographs well into the wee hours of the morning. Their tour of cities is a grassroots effort to create projects without major studios and executives influencing the purity of their art.

The Devil’s Carnival could best be described as an experimental short horror film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (of Saw fame) that stars Sean Patrick Flannery, Briana Evigan, Jessica Lowndes, Paul Sorvino, and Terrance Zdunich. Bousman and writer/actor Terrance Zdunich had previously worked on the musical film Repo! The Genetic Opera; many within that cast return including Sorvino, Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley and Nivek Ogre. In the same vein as Rocky Horror (but less campy), the film contains extremely talented actors who shot the entire thing in seven days. The music by Zdunich was not only impressive but awe inspiring. His performance as Lucifer and his singing voice (thanks for the live demo!) proves fascinating and entertaining. Using Aesop’s Fables as a basis for three vignettes that intertwine at The Devil’s Carnival leaves the audience begging for episode two (apparently already written along with part of three). The basis of the side show characters at the carnival gripped the audience immediately. Dayton Callie (best known as police chief Wayne Unser of Sons of Anarchy) was mesmerizing as The Ticket Keeper and I can only hope we see more of him in the next episodes. Briana Evigan’s musical, dance and theatric talents were in full swing as Ms. Merrywood. She is truly a talented up and comer who has an extremely bright future ahead of her (We can’t say enough good things about her!). Also be on the lookout for strong performances by Ivan Moody from Five Finger Death Punch, Shawn Crahan of Slipknot as The Tamer, and the lovely Jessica Lowndes as Tamara.

This film follows a tried and true method Bousman and Zdunich developed with Repo! The Genetic Opera. I believe that with the right underground marketing this R and R musical has the ability to gain the cult like status and following of similar pieces before it such as Rocky Horror. The tunes are catchy (non “show-tuny”), the film presentation spot on, and the singing and acting top notch. If you have an appreciation for art you need to do yourself a favor and hit one of the cities that are not sold out yet:

4/26 – New York, NY @ Times Scare NYC
4/27 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Painted Bride
4/28 – South Hadley, MA @ The Tower Theater
4/29 – Boston, MA @ The Foxboro Theater
5/1 – Toronto, ON, Canada @ Toronto Underground Theater
5/2 – Toledo, OH @ Collingwood Arts Center
5/3 – Chicago, IL @ The Music Box Theater
5/4 – Des Moines, IA @ The Fluer Cinema Cafe
5/5 – Kansas City, KS @ Leawood Cinema Theater
5/6 – Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater
5/7 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Tower Theater
5/9 – Seattle, WA @ The Admiral Theater
5/10 – Portland, OR @ The Clinton St. Theater
5/11 – Sacramento, CA @ The Colonial Theater

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