The Devil’s Carnival, the first movie in this trilogy of musicals, tells the story of three souls who end up in hell. Their stories mirror three Aesop’s Fables as told by the Devil himself (Terrance Zdunich) to a young boy. The movie ends with *spoiler* Lucifer deciding to wage war with God and Heaven.
Alleluia follows the Aesop’s Fables pattern, but focuses on one tale: the origin of the Painted Doll (Emilie Autumn) as told through flashbacks while in the present, the denizens of heaven and hell start preparing for the impending war.
Alleluia is currently touring the nation, and if it stops in your city, make sure you have a ticket! A basic $20 gets you a live, local pre-show, the movie, and a Q&A with Terrance Zdunich and Darren Lynn Bousman. Seeing the film on the big screen is worth the $20 alone, but the Q&A was icing on the cake. The Devil’s Carnival movies were both created independently, and rely solely on fan support for their funding. The fact that the first film was successful enough to create the second should be lauded, and there are several of us Geekettes who are holding our breath waiting on the confirmation that a third will be made. Alleluia ended on such a cliffhanger!
The story for Alleluia was definitely stronger than The Devil’s Carnival. It told one story in 97 minutes as opposed to three stories in under an hour. The flashbacks really fleshed out heaven in a way that didn’t feel like exposition for the final battle. There was also a good deal of humor in the movie, to combat the dark subject matter. There are so many layers to the story as well. At its surface, it’s a fable within a story. However, after seeing the movie, debate was heavy as Geekettes tried to figure out which biblical personalities and stories were represented by each character and deed.
The music was different from anything Zdunich has done before, and this collaboration with Saar Hendelman is genius. The music of heaven represents a 1930’s swing sound that is high energy and wonderfully harmonic. We highly recommend that you listen to the soundtrack before going to see the movie, as a lot of the lyrics are sung quickly and often in a round. It was difficult to make out every line in the movie’s songs. That said, almost all of the tracks are extremely catchy, and you’ll find them stuck in your head, even if you don’t know the words.
Along with Zdunich and Autumn, this movie presents a flawless, energetic cast. Characters from the first movie are back, with two notable exceptions (Alexa Vega and Ivan L. Moody), and the new cast is heavenly. Adam Pascal of Rent fame was unbelievably charming. David Hasslehoff is perfect for the role that he plays, and his facial expressions were just wonderful. Tech N9ne has some wonderfully terrifying moments. The standout was obviously Autumn, however. The audience gets to see a side of her that wasn’t present in the first movie, and it is played flawlessly. As in the first film, Autumn got one song, and as in the first film, it was flawless and rousing and empowering. But while Autumn took center stage, her partner in crime from the last film took a back seat in this one. Marc Senter doesn’t sing a word, which is quite a shame since he has a beautiful voice. In fact, the Scorpion barely has two lines in this movie, though he does get to show off some sweet dance moves in the background while the Painted Doll sings her song.
This dark musical comes at the 40th anniversary of Rocky Horror Picture Show, and carries on the tradition of cult musical with a strong, supportive community filled with kindness. Alleluia is an outstanding example of a really great movie made for the RHPS/ Repo culture.
The Daily Geekette gives Alleluia “two hallelujahs and an amen!”