Autodidact: self-taught


The Devil’s Carnival

by V. L. Craven

Devil's Carnival Banner

Three people–one suicidal, one in an abusive relationship, one unable to keep her hands off other people’s possessions–suddenly find themselves each in their own warped dimension. They’re in areas of the Devil’s Carnival, but they don’t know it yet.

Meanwhile we’re introduced to the stage manager (who looks remarkably like the Penguin in Batman Returns) who is giving instructions to the carnival’s performers for that evening’s show. Each person is considered an ‘act’ and assigned a second from the carnival. The greedy woman is paired with a person running the sort of game where you throw coins into the top of an Ostrich egg (The Twin). The girl in the abusive relationship is paired with the knife thrower (The Scorpion) with some help from Victorian Gothic icon Emilie Autumn.

Emilie Autumn Painted Doll

Emilie Autumn as the Painted Doll

The suicide is paired with the Devil himself. When asked who he is, Old Nick says, ‘…In your case, I am the excuse you give when you cannot follow the rules.’

Each person is meant to learn from the mistakes that landed them there in the first place. The greedy one is supposed to learn to be happy with what she has or else she may lose it all, the one in the abusive relationship is meant to learn that abusers are liars and will never stop abusing you, and the suicide… you’ll just have to see…

The emotional backbone of the story is the suicide trying to find his son, who is with the Devil. Not to worry, though. Old Diablo is kindly reading Aesop’s Fables to the boy. The fables pertain to the stories of the acts of the evening.

The Devil's Carnival

It’s that rare unobtrusive musical, where the music enhances the plot, rather than stopping the action so people can sing about their cereal. The make up is spectacular–all of the performers are unique and the Devil is incredible –and if there is any CGI it blends seamlessly.

The Devil’s Carnival also has a fun, interactive  website with videos, merch, info on the characters and a preview of the next film in the series.

It was unlike anything I’ve seen before; if you’ve seen anything like it, please leave a comment below because I’d love to see it.

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