The Horror Honeys: Sinner vs. Saint: World Premiere of ALLELUIA! THE DEVIL'S CARNIVAL

Sinner vs. Saint: World Premiere of ALLELUIA! THE DEVIL'S CARNIVAL

A Monster Honey Red Carpet Recap / Review by Jennica

Until recently, I admittedly had never seen Darren Lynn Bousman's The Devil's Carnival (2012). It remained on my to-watch list since it's initial release, but I knew very little about it. Back in April, a friend of mine convinced me to accompany him to a party without revealing who was hosting, the occasion, or even the dress code. After spending a few moments mingling and getting acquainted with the host and other guests, everyone was asked to take a seat. The sound of drums began to fill the night's air through a large sound system as a deep, powerful voice sang some of the strangest, mystical lyrics. I was a mixture of confused and intrigued. Then I learned that the host of the party was Saar Hendelman and what I had just heard were songs composed for Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival (2015). 

Once I finally sat down to watch The Devil's Carnival, my mind was spinning in bewilderment by the creativity overload that I had just witnessed. The story was slyly tied together in a visually and audibly appealing horror musical anthology. But it was not until attending the World Premiere of Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival (aka The Devil's Carnival 2) on Tuesday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA that I fully realized the extent of the cult following that The Devil's Carnival led. 

Come one, come two come YOU!
Devil's Carnival!
Upon arriving at the historic Hollywood landmark theatre, it was as if I had entered The Devil's Carnival from the moment I passed through the gates. There were performers in full early 1900s carnie attire with faces painted like jesters and mimes, some dancing, some amusing the crowd with sword tricks or witty banter, and many shouting "Alleluia!" 

This one isn't much of a talker.
Then came the choir of fallen angels dawning their robes with stoic expressions on their faces and the good book in their hands, singing aloud in desperation to restore the heavenly faith of attendees fraternizing with the damned. What was perhaps most pleasing to watch, however, were the droves of fans that flocked to the theatre, many in head-to-toe makeup and costume inspired by the first film. When faced with the choice between Heaven and Hell, it is without a doubt that those loyal horror fanatics would prefer to let their freak flags fly high.   

For the greater good... 

As the cast and crew begin to glide across the red carpet, the camera flashes were unstoppable and the crowd fell more silent while gazing across the way at the people who have dedicated their time and efforts to bring their favorite freak show to the screen and to life. 

Clockwise: Emilie Autumn (The Painted Doll), Paul Sorvino (God), Adam Pascal (The Agent), Sean E. DuMott (Producer), Terrence Zdunich (The Devil) & Mighty Mike Murga (The Fool)



Once I entered the darkened theatre and firmly planted myself in the best seat that I could find as the the empty seats became fewer and fewer, the festive main theme from The Devil's Carnival was performed on stage by the ever humble ragtime clown band, The Evangenitals. The much anticipated film was introduced by directorial mastermind Darren Lynn Bousman himself, but only after ensuring that the audience took the notorious The Devil's Carnival oath of anti-douchebaggery which, at an ordinary premiere, is commonly known as "turn your fucking cell phone off."

Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival begins essentially where the previous film left off, as we are graced with the presence of God's failed souls shedding blood, sweat, and tears in preparation for a war between Heaven and Hell. Meanwhile, in Heaven, a new batch of angelic applicants have just made their way through the pearly gates in hopes of earning their place above the clouds. While most of the applicants are pure souls driven to serve and obey the big guy in the sky, one free spirit craves the forbidden fruit -- or rather the forbidden section of Heaven's library -- and she will stop at nothing to eat from the tree of knowledge... even if it means lying, cheating, and the use of a little seduction. But when it begins to be unclear as to who is seducing who, perhaps Hell could use one more fallen angel. 
But up there, I was a star!
One of the many distinguishing features of The Devil's Carnival is that the film would be fairly empty without the music composed by Saar Hendelman and Terrance Zdunich, and the sequel continues to follow suit. The mesmerizing, often poetic, lyrics of each song not only set the tone for each scene, they tell a story about good versus evil and add to the continuity driven by the various characters and their battles with temptation. 

It is nearly impossible to choose a favorite song from the Heaven above or the dephths of Hell in The Devil's Carnival 2 since they will all eventually sneak into your head and stay there until your own judgment day. All Aboard (Everybody's Doing the Ark) is not only catchy but almost makes a trip to God's airy pad seem enticing but there is also the sexy serenade Hoof and Lap performed by the beautifully eccentric Emilie Autumn. And those are just two examples of the musical dilemma between good and evil. Take your time and choose wisely...

While the first film made for a fun twisted anthology which only brushed the surface of sin and good versus evil, The Devil's Carnival 2 has a lot to say about what Christianity has become. The Devil's Carnival gave us the grand tour of Hell and a glimpse into the life of Lucifer himself, but in Alleluia!, as one might expect from the title, we become more familiar with God's work only to discover that even Heaven has its faults. 

We're the good guys.
As the ladies in waiting first march down the hall of their promised land, endless jingles are performed on a television set by a man only known as The Designer, giving the very desire to get closer to God a commercialized feel. It is also made apparent even God can be cynical, having various lap dogs on hand to sniff out those with less than pure intentions in his kingdom. More often than not, Hell is perceived as the only realm holding souls prisoner; however, it seems nobody is free to even think outside the flock. Deciding which side is truly evil proves to be difficult.

Despite being somewhat of a newbie to The Devil's Carnival fandom, judging from the audience reactions as well as my own, it's a safe bet that any lover of the first film will be in complete awe of Alleluia! We are reacquainted with our favorite otherworldly dictators and their minions and we are introduced to several new characters, our love for whom grows as quickly as it dies with their devilish deception. And the imagery, the songs, and the neatly choreographed numbers is guaranteed to have audience members dancing out of the theater after the credits roll.

Jennica's Rating: 5 Alleluias and Amens out of 5

If Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival is screening in a theater near you, hurry and get your tickets at TheDevilsCarnival.com. You don't want to miss out on a good seat to the ultimate showdown between Heaven and Hell. 

Already have your tickets to the carnival? 
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