All of us have something we’re passionate about, so passionate that we’ll do almost anything for it. But what if that something was going to be taken away from you? What would you do to keep it? Would you go so far as to kill? That is what librarian, Deborah Tennis (Natasha Lyonne), is up against when her mother wants to close down the theater she just inherited from her recently passed father.
In a fit of rage, Deborah kills her mother and through a series of circumstances, the audience awaiting a screening of Basket Case winds up watching the security footage of the murder. Instead of being horrified, the gore fans think it’s a fantastic short film and instantly clamor for more. So Deborah, who surrounds herself with a small group of like minded misfits including the demented projectionist (Jack Donner), a violent homeless man (Noah Segan) and a pair of psychotic twins fresh from the asylum (Jade and Nikita Ramsey) continues to make macabre short films, which get more and more popular.
All seems to be going well for Deborah. The seats are filling up and the films are being very well received. But when uber fan Steven’s (Thomas Dekker) friends begin to disappear he starts to ask too many questions and Deborah’s carefully constructed world begins to collapse upon itself like a veritable house of cards.
From the opening credits, which shows off tons of ’50s B-horror film posters, you know right where the influence for this film comes from. First time feature director, Joshua Grannell, obviously has a love of campy old films as well a old theaters and the message of the film is quite clear. We must all do what we can to save our theaters, though I doubt Grannell actually wants us to go out and kill.
Aside from the main theme of saving old theaters, there is another great sub plot about Steven and his love of horror films and how this leads school teachers and officials to believe that he is responsible for the teens that are disappearing. It adds a great layer to the film and a handful of really great jokes as the film comes to it’s hair raising finally.
Evil is a fantastic film that perfectly blends elements of humor and horror. It’s got just the right amount camp to put a smile on your face without going over the top, and all of that is topped with a wonderful amount of gore, like strawberry syrup on a gore themed ice cream Sunday. Hell, you even get a little bit of nudity.
To help make Evil a great film, Grannell surrounds himself with a wonderful cast. It is easy to see that this is a passion project for them as well as Grannell. Lyonne is great as Deborah, her slow descent into madness is a true joy to watch. TV’s Thomas Dekker shows some great range in stepping away from his Sarah Connor Chronicles persona. You also get camp queens Mink Stole (a John Waters staple) and Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson who are both fantastic to watch.
This film is by no means perfect (so few are). It has a little bit of a bumpy start, but once the ride gets going all you want to do is hold on and enjoy the hell out of it. Being so deep in the world of camp, this isn’t going to be a film for everyone, but if you are open to what this film has to offer then you’re sure to be entertained. And if nothing else, you’ve never seen a guillotine used like this before!
All About Evil is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and the sound is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound. This is a very good-looking film, especially for a low budget one. The sound is great too.
Commentary with Joshua Grannell: This is a solid commentary. Grannell is very comfortable talking about his film and provides lots of great behind the scenes tib bits without letting it get boring.
Evil Live: World Premiere in 4-D: (20 min.) Peaches Christ is known for her elaborate live shows before Midnight Mass screenings. So it comes as so surprise that she pulled out all the stops alter-ego Joshua Grannell’s directorial debut. This is a fantastic show and is guaranteed to make anyone who sees it jealous that they missed it in person. I know I am.
Behind The Evil: The Making Of: (15 min.) This is a great making of that covers all aspects of the making of the film and has great interviews with both cast and crew.
Grindhouse: (13 min.) The original short film that inspired the feature film.
Children Of The Popcorn: (8 min.) Another short film giving a behind the scenes look of Peaches Christ productions wherein sidekick, Martiny tries to get a raise.
I had a ticket to see the world premier of this film, but I had to miss it due to personal reasons. Now, I’ve finally got a change to see it and it was definitely worth the wait. Again, I can’t say this film is for everyone, but if you love gore, camp, b-movies and the likes of John Waters then odds are high that you’ll love this too!
Backlash Films and Fog City Pictures present All About Evil. Starring Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, Cassandra Peterson and Mink Stole. Written and Directed by Joshua Grannell. Running time: 98 minutes. Unrated. Contains adult language, nudity, gore and violence.
Available on DVD from Peacheschrist.com
Tags: Elvira, Natasha Lyonne