I was a fan of Repo! The Genetic Opera from the first time I viewed it. I’ve since watched it at least 10 more times and have grown to love it more with every viewing. While his second horror musical may not be as memorable, Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Devil’s Carnival is still quite entertaining and highly creative.
Told in the form of three separate, but still intertwined, ‘Aesop’s Fables,’ The Devil’s Carnival is about three individuals who have committed some sort of sin in their lives and are now paying for it, in the depths of hell.
Darren Lynn Bousman has once again teamed up with writer/actor Terrance Zdunich to bring another highly original, frightening film filled with musical numbers to the horror audience. The Devil’s Carnival sees the return of some of my favorites from Repo! — Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley, and Nivek Ogre — while introducing some great newcomers into the mix. I was extremely excited to see [and hear] some of the amazing artists who were included in the cast. The likes of Ivan Moody, lead singer of metal band Five Finger Death Punch, and Shawn Crahan, also known as Clown from metal outfit Slipknot, were perfect additions to a film of this stature and I think they did wonderfully in their respective roles.
The soundtrack to Bousman’s first musical feature film was on heavy rotation for a good while in my house, when it was first released in 2008. Almost every song was memorable and I knew almost all of the words to every single one of them. While the score to this film isn’t quite up to par with The Genetic Opera’s, it is still quite catchy with some great original tunes. My favorite numbers were by the hobo clown, Ivan Moody’s character, and believe it or not, a song that didn’t even make it into the final cut of the film, “In All My Dreams I Drown,” performed by Jessica Lowndes and Terrance Zdunich.
Full of elaborate circus-themed set pieces and a myriad of hellish freak show costumes, The Devil’s Carnival is a perfect film to watch this time of year. Halloween may have passed, but the horror genre is very prominent year round. If you have not seen this film yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. It is quite different from most films in our genre, even when compared to other musical ventures (i.e. Stage Fright). Re-released by Cleopatra Records, you can pick up a copy of the 2-disc set, which includes the film on DVD and the expanded soundtrack, available now.
I am very eager to see what the team of Bousman and Zdunich do with the second ‘episode’ of The Devil’s Carnival and can’t wait to see its official release. With the little teasers they’ve shown us here and there, I already know it will be a real treat. For now, I give this film, the first episode, 3.5 sinners out of 5.