Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Starring: Paul Sorvino, Terrance Zdunich, Emilie Autumn, Adam Pascal, Marc Senter, Dayton Callie, David Hasselhoff, Tech N9ne, Briana Evigan, Bill Moseley, Nivek Ogre
Production companies: Execution Style Entertainment/Limb from Limb Pictures
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 98 minutes
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Fa la la! It’s off to Hell we go…again! The carnival is back with a feature length sequel to 2012’s “The Devil’s Carnival”. I was a huge fan of the first film and the sequel is a great improvement on the first film. I mean who doesn’t love a horror musical?! There is definitely not enough of these available for us horror fans. Darren Lynn Bousman, who also directed the cult film “Repo! The Genetic Opera”, is back in the director chair for this sequel. “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival” is definitely bigger and more fun than the first film. The songs are so well written and very catchy, kudos to Terrance Zdunich. You can tell that this film is a real labor of love to the fans and that everyone involved gave their all. A devilishly fun ride! A must for any genre fan!
At the end of the first film, which took place in Hell made it seem like in the second film we were going to be heading up to Heaven, as it does. We get to learn a little bit more about God (Paul Sorvino) and how he runs things up there and let’s just say that he makes the devil looks like a nice guy. Back in hell, Lucifer (Terrance Zdunich) reveals his plans to take the fight to the big guy and we get a great origin story to the character The Painted Doll, which means that the amazing Emilie Autumn takes front and center in this sequel. She is outstanding on the screen and deserves the spotlight.
Spotlight newcomers to the series include Adam Pascal, know for his role of Roger Davis in the original cast of the Broadway musical “Rent”. He is an amazing addition to the cast of this sequel. His voice is so powerful and he has such a presence in the film. Along we him, we have Kansas City born rapper, Tech N9ne, who plays the role of the The Librarian and reprises it from the sequel’s teaser back in 2013. The guy is not only a talented musician but also a great actor as well. I hope he plans to do more acting.
This horror musical also recruits a few legends including David Hasselhoff. Honestly, his character doesn’t add a lot to the film but just having The Hoff in the film is just fun. Plus I love when this guy sings! Barry Bostwick, aka Brad Majors from cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” gets to have some fun also along with some great makeup effects that almost make him unrecognizable. Ted Neeley also pops in, who is known for playing Jesus Christ in the 1973 film “Jesus Christ Superstar”. His song, “All Aboard (Everybody’s Doing the Ark)”, was my least favorite of the bunch and runs a bit too long for me. Lastly there are a bunch of original cast including Dayton Callie, Marc Senter, Briana Evigan, Bill Moseley, J. Larose, Nivek Ogre, who pop in as well to the sequel.
The film kicks off with the very intense song “Shovel and Bone” lead by Terrance Zdunich and featuring Briana Evigan. Great track but I felt like it runs a bit long as the film’s opening scene. Terrance makes up for it with his second song “After the Fall”, which is mesmerizing. “Only by Design” shows off the vocal talent of David Hasselhoff, which brought me back to seeing him on Broadway in “Jekyll & Hyde”. Even though his character could have been fleshed out a bit more, he is still classy as hell and commands that stage during this performance. Haters gonna hate, but I gotta tell you that The Hoff rules!
My favorite track is easily “Down at the Midnight Rectory” by Adam Pascal. The track has so much energy and is a blast to listen to. I love the jazzy feel to it. I was also really excited that Barry Bostwick got to show off his singing skills again with his song “The Watchword’s Hour”. Tech N9ne really scored with the track “Hitting on All Sevens”, my second favorite track in the film. Lastly I almost thought we weren’t going to get a track from Emilie Autumn but she delivers the epic “Hoof and Lap” before we close out. Each production is much bigger and these new songs easily top the first film’s music without question.
Overall, “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival” is well paced and works well as a feature as opposed to the original short film. I was expecting a little more from the ending but I do like the way it sets up plans for more and leaves your mouths watering. But if horror fans want to ensure that the carnival goes on then I would recommend you to check out the current road tour for this film and make sure to attend at a city near you. Click here for dates and tickets. Film’s like this can not be made without the fans support. I will be at the show in Orlando, FL, so come on down and let’s have some fun! The road tour is sure to be a blast with special guests and surprises.