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"The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

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"The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Old 09-23-13, 02:02 AM
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"The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22





The Devil's Carnival (2012)



Selected by Gobear



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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.
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Last edited by Chad; 09-27-13 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 10-18-13, 06:51 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

I will go ahead and say it, I hate 90% of all musicals. So...this one sucks. This one is beyond terrible. Capture a few uninteresting stories in a pseudo-modern carnival atmosphere and link them together with some non-catchy songs. Film on no budget by a director and crew that doesn't seem to know how to place a camera (and add in some terrible choreography at that) and you have this movie.

This movie felt like a college stage play that was done by a few amateurs that decided, "Hey! Let's put on a show!" The only positive thing I can say about it was that the scary clown/demon make-up was well done. I know there will be those who say it was sooo original, and sooo cool. To those people, I say, "You're nuts!"

My rating: * out of *****
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Old 10-18-13, 01:45 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
I will go ahead and say it, I hate 90% of all musicals. So...this one sucks. This one is beyond terrible. Capture a few uninteresting stories in a pseudo-modern carnival atmosphere and link them together with some non-catchy songs. Film on no budget by a director and crew that doesn't seem to know how to place a camera (and add in some terrible choreography at that) and you have this movie.

This movie felt like a college stage play that was done by a few amateurs that decided, "Hey! Let's put on a show!" The only positive thing I can say about it was that the scary clown/demon make-up was well done. I know there will be those who say it was sooo original, and sooo cool. To those people, I say, "You're nuts!"

My rating: * out of *****
I haven't seen it yet but your review is scaring me off from watching it. Horror musicals should not happen.
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Old 10-18-13, 01:51 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

It's fucking terrible. Maybe my harsh review will help people go in with low expectations so they can maybe find something good about it. The best thing going for it is it's running time (less than an hour).
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Old 10-18-13, 04:02 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
I will go ahead and say it, I hate 90% of all musicals. So...this one sucks.
Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I haven't seen it yet but your review is scaring me off from watching it.
Though by admitting he hates musicals in general, it seems pretty clear to not read too much into Spiderbite's negative review.

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Horror musicals should not happen.
Have you seen:

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Phantom of the Paradise
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Reefer Madness (2005)
Sweeney Todd
Repo! The Genetic Opera

I'm glad they happened, and I imagine a lot of others are too. If you hate most/all of these movies ... well, save yourself 55 minutes and don't watch "Devil's Carnival".

Repo! is the biggest litmus test for "Devil's Carnival", since it's the same filmmakers. If you didn't like Repo, it's safe to say you won't like this one. DC is a clear step below Repo. Much less interesting visually (shooting in under a week will do that), songs aren't as good (and the songs weren't the strong point in Repo to begin with), less interesting characters and storyline. DC was ok to me, though I'm not surprised that many people don't like it (especially if they weren't Repo fans). I imagine this probably worked a lot better in the "traveling show" context for which it was originally conceived.
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Old 10-18-13, 04:22 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

I LOVE Brian de Palma but Phantom Of The Paradise is fucking horrid. Reefer Madness is crap. I will give you LSOH and RHPS though. I am not a huge fan of RHPS but I can appreciate it...and it at least has catchy songs.

I have always meant to watch Repo! but never got around to it. Tim Burton doing Sweeney Todd has kept me away from it but I plan to suffer through it eventually. My only comfort in that movie is Danny Elfman didn't write the music.
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Old 10-22-13, 12:11 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Happiness of the Katakuris is my favorite horror musical:

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Old 10-22-13, 12:42 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Ok, if Baz Luhrmann and Tim Burton were at IHOP at 3AM after an all night crystal meth binge, this is the movie they dream up. I could give you "Six Hundred Sixty Six" reasons to skip this, but I won't because I know people have different thresholds for pain.
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Old 10-22-13, 01:06 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

BUT, I will give you one reason TO watch it. The art direction is superb.
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Old 10-22-13, 01:19 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Originally Posted by cproaps View Post
Ok, if Baz Luhrmann and Tim Burton were at IHOP at 3AM after an all night crystal meth binge, this is the movie they dream up.
But this sounds like a movie I'd want to see
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Old 10-22-13, 01:32 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Originally Posted by brainee View Post
But this sounds like a movie I'd want to see
They are strange enough sober!
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Old 10-22-13, 12:39 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Thanks to GoBear, I've been meaning to check out The Devil's Carnival since it's limited "online one" (or Hot Topic) release. Having seen it I'm also not a fan of The Devil's Carnival, the theme and idea of a musical horror could be good but the sing-songy talking of the "music" was off-putting. They're not even really singing, they're rhythmically talking without much range for so much of the movie and the dance movements seem ineffectively jerky/stilted. Devil's Carnival seemed to bask in feeling clever but at the same time was so restrained it felt too limited.

I understand the idea of perverted childhood with the "twisted" carnival and using Aesop's Fables as a basis for some dark material. The Devil's Carnival execution left something to be desired, beating the dead horse of each minor twist with drawn out emphasis on events that weren't as impactful to begin with. The song with The Devil, as in much of the film, didn't seem chilling or comedic but just corny.

Apparently the film-makers have already written material for another two installments. Here's a deleted song, In All My Dreams I Drown, originally intended to end the film but moved to the credits due to pacing:


It looks like The Painted Girl actress, Emilie Autumn, is an accomplished violinist and that much of her music is similar in theme (and costume design) to The Devil's Carnival...

There's already a 10 minute long teaser for The Devil's Carnival 2:

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe View Post
Happiness of the Katakuris is my favorite horror musical...
Happiness of the Karakuris looks interesting, too bad it's not easily attainable. Mondo Macabro's Bollywood Horror Collections are fun, one featuring a sing songy Nightmare on Elm Street remake. A few years back I enjoyed Guy Maddin's dance based Dracula - Pages From a Virgin's Diary. Troma's silly Poulterygeist is campy fun too.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-22-13 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 10-22-13, 09:12 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
I LOVE Brian de Palma but Phantom Of The Paradise is fucking horrid. Reefer Madness is crap. I will give you LSOH and RHPS though. I am not a huge fan of RHPS but I can appreciate it...and it at least has catchy songs.

I have always meant to watch Repo! but never got around to it. Tim Burton doing Sweeney Todd has kept me away from it but I plan to suffer through it eventually. My only comfort in that movie is Danny Elfman didn't write the music.
No, Danny Elfman didn't write the music, Stephen Sondheim did. And Sweeney Todd (the stage musical, anyway) is a masterwork of 20th-century American musical theater.

Is The Devil's Carnival great? No, but for a short movie (clocking in at 52 minutes) that was made essentially for nothing, it's darned enjoyable. But then I'm a huge fan of Terence Zdunich's music, and with a proper infusion of capital this could be expanded into an awesome film.

Youtube has the 2012 off-Broadway production of Carrie, which is a pretty decent musical despite its reputation including a legendary showstopper, "And Eve Was Weak" (at 4:45)

Last edited by Gobear; 10-22-13 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 10-22-13, 10:50 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Originally Posted by Gobear View Post
No, Danny Elfman didn't write the music, Stephen Sondheim did.


Um, yeah. That's what I said. Your point?
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Old 10-22-13, 11:18 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Never has 55 minutes seemed more like 55 hours. I hated this movie so much that I probably burned out some pixels in my TV from the hate beams I was shooting from my eyes. And, while I'm no fan of musicals (horror or otherwise), I can appreciate a well-done one (and I'll cop to loving Sweeney Todd). This one had the most tuneless "songs" ever, with lyrics a notch below those of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which are, you've got to admit, often REALLY stupid*). I thought that Bozeman's remake of Mother's Day showed his growth as a director, but then this comes along to shake my confidence. Suddenly, Killer Tongue doesn't look nearly so bad.


*Here're a few examples:

"I thought there's no use getting into heavy petting--it only leads to trouble and seat wetting."
"I've laid the seed, it should be all you need. You're as sensual as a pencil, wound up like an 'E' or first string."
"Don't get hot and flustered, use a bit of mustard."
"You're a hot dog, but you better not try to hurt her, Frank Furter."

I like RHPS, but my liking of it has evolved into more of a nostalgia thing than my thinking that it's actually a good movie.
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Old 10-23-13, 06:37 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
Um, yeah. That's what I said. Your point?
My point is that Sweeney Todd is not a Tim Burton creation, but an adaptation of a legendary piece of musical theater written by one of the giants of Broadway. I think Burton adapted it as well as it could have been done, barring casting his wife as Mrs. Lovett, because her voice wasn't up to the task. Then again, even Patti Lupone wasn't great. For me, Angela Lansbury is the only Mrs. Lovett.
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Old 10-23-13, 07:49 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

Yeah, I've liked lots of this director's stuff and Mother's Day was one of last year's best. This was pretty weak overall, but it was also my lightest night of the challenge so far, so it was easy to clear my head and just let it kind of wash over me. I loved horror set at carnivals, but this one is no Carnivale or The Funhouse for that matter. A pretentious idea that feels plucked from a bad '70s TV special.
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Old 10-24-13, 06:14 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

This was also not my cup of tea. I'm not a huge musical fan in general but it did have a cool setting and kuddos to those who did like it.
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Old 10-24-13, 05:01 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

I didn't mind the 'singing', I actually sort of like that style; but the characters and story were very weak and it barely held my interest. The look was good, and nice premise I guess.
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Old 10-28-13, 11:03 AM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

I think my expectations were too high after Repo!, but the biggest disappointment was Sean Patrick Flannery who was just 'there' rather than acting. Not that the framing plot seemed very well-thought through anyway, but...
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Old 10-30-13, 04:09 PM
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Re: "The Devil's Carnival" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 22

A musical is only as good as the songs featured in it, and I just couldn't get into many of the numbers in this one. I did enjoy the Devil's song at the end, but by that point I was over it. However I liked the look of the movie, the art direction, makeup, and costumes, very pleasing to look at. I agree that Sean Patrick Flannery seemed very uninterested in being here, and I found his story to be the least interesting, at least the other two girls were trying.

One of the carnie girls was really cute!
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