Review: ALLELUIA! THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL

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Being a horror fan is usually the easiest way to earn a raised eyebrow from “normal” society, but being a jazz-squaring, belt singing, musical theatre fan in the horror community will almost always send you off to the isolated Island of Misfit Fandom. Luckily, for the proud and passionate citizens of this island, Darren Lynn Bousman is our proverbial king thanks to creating films like REPO! THE GENETIC OPERATHE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, and its sequel, ALLELUIA! THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL.

Darren Lynn Bousman teams up again with collaborator Terrance Zdunich for the second installment of their dark fantasy/musical world with ALLELUIA!. Bousman served as director, while Zdunich reprised his role as Lucifer as well as writing the script and lyrics (with the help of co-composer Saar Hendleman).  Set in the same glamorous, colorful, and mystical world, ALLELUIA! follows a feud between God (Paul Sorvino) and Lucifer, with God’s most faithful servant (Adam Pascal’s “The Agent”) tasked with seducing one of the newest recruits before an impending war between Heaven and Hell.

In short, ALLELUIA! is a terminally delightful experiment in golden age musicals. While the tunes aren’t as catchy as say, REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, for fans of musicals, Zdunich and Hendleman completely nailed it. All of the songs are presented in true musical theatre fashion, heightening the emotions of the actors and progressing the storyline when merely speaking isn’t strong enough to help convey the message. Adam Pascal absolutely shines as The Agent, and the brilliant character design from Vincent Guastini ensured that any shred of RENT was scrubbed from his image. Every frame of the film is highly stylized and provides an overwhelming amount of spectacle to titillate the senses. Familiar faces like Marc Senter’s psychotically sexy “The Scorpion” and Emilie Autumn’s “The Painted Doll” make a return, but the musical theatre appreciation part of the brain will kick into overdrive once we’re introduced to David Hasselhoff, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW‘s Barry Bostwick, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR himself, Ted Neely.

Musicals can easily be dismissed as camp trash, but ALLELUIA! is absolutely dedicated to its message. There’s nothing sarcastic or gimmicky about the film at all, and each moment is delivered with the utmost sincerity. The best example of this is rapper Tech N9ne donning a glittery beard, but still delivering some scene stealing moments as The Librarian. Everything about ALLELUIA! is dripping with passion and an appreciation for the art form, and it’s seemingly impossible not to crave more of this wacky afterlife. Bousman and Zdunich prove more than ever that they are true forces in cult filmmaking, creating a film with their own visions and on their own terms. ALLELUIA! is a prime example of punk-rock filmmaking, and a truly unique psychedelic clash of styles.

ALLELUIA! isn’t going to appeal to the masses, and that’s okay. The underlying message of how we interpret good and evil will touch the hearts of those that truly “get it” the way “Don’t dream it, be it” captured the hearts of THE ROCKY HORROR audiences. Bousman isn’t trying to speak for everyone, but his story is going to resonate with a very passionate and often forgotten subculture of people. While it’s hard to predict the staying power of any film, ALLELUIA! is a frenetic and fun piece of cinema that will be appreciated for generations.

ALLELUIA! THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL is going on tour and you can find ticket information and locations by clicking HERE!

 

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One Response to “Review: ALLELUIA! THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL”
  1. DeathMetal says:

    I can’t wait for this to get a DVD release!

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