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ALL ABOUT EVIL. Truly hilarious comedy horror

Many people claim that horror movies have already had their golden age. I don’t entirely agree with that. I rather think they are undergoing a sort of renaissance.

EDITORIAL team

20 March 2024

ALL ABOUT EVIL. Truly hilarious horror comedy

Rob Zombie stirred things up in this genre, other creators try to remind the audience of macabre gems with remakes (which doesn’t always work), and yet others attempt to scare with “real” stories like Paranormal Activity and other found-footage titles.

In 2010, Joshua Grannell – a performer and drag queen known under the pseudonym Peaches Christ – created a film that doesn’t fit into any of the aforementioned categories. All About Evil┬áis primarily a macabre slasher with a generous dose of peculiar humor. It delivers an incredible amount of quite intelligent entertainment, from which even the greatest cynics can derive much joy. Nothing is predictable, and at times it looks kitschy like B-class horror films from the early days of sound cinema.

All About Evil

Deborah is a librarian who once dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. She inherits a cinema from her father and runs it with passion, aided by her faithful employee, Mr. Twigs. One day, her stepmother forces her to sign a contract to sell the beloved place. The protagonist kills her in a rather cruel way using… a pen. Everything is recorded on cameras and accidentally shown to the audience, who falls in love with the “short film”. Debbie notices her chance to make a mark in the world of cinema. She hires murderers who help her torment people in front of the camera. This is how the librarian becomes a star.

All About Evil

The atmosphere that the creators introduced at the beginning of All About Evil promised something completely different. The development of the plot was unpredictable, so when the heroine plunges the pen into her stepmother’s neck, I almost cried with laughter. It was done very interestingly and intelligently. Similar humor persists until the end. In most of Debbie’s shorts, some problem arises, the solution to which the audience doesn’t see until the screening in the cinema – along with the movie audience. The most interesting part is when one of the victims’ heads doesn’t fit in the guillotine hole. So, the executioners decide to remove her breasts. It sounds macabre, doesn’t it?

All About Evil

All About Evil has many references to old horrors, often B-class ones. This is not surprising, as one of the characters is a fan of this type of production. In his room, we see posters of Elvira (the woman who plays his mother), Dracula, and gems with Bela Lugosi in the lead role. Therefore, tacky ways of killing and tormenting, such as dismembering bodies with an ax or sewing mouths shut, amuse rather than scare. In my opinion, this works in favor of the film because there are other elements for scaring. The ending is typically horror-like, as is the atmosphere accompanying the film throughout, except for the moments designated for humor.

The music complements the whole perfectly. Sometimes it creates tension, and other times it emphasizes the joke. Often, thanks to it, you can sense what will happen next. The whole atmosphere is primarily thanks to it. It perfectly complements the image.

All About Evil

As for the acting, I must admit that I didn’t have high expectations and was pleasantly surprised. The victims portray fear in a downright caricatural way, but it’s clear that this is a conscious move, intended to amuse rather than scare. Natasha Lyonne, known from the American Pie series, is excellent here. She plays the crazily possessed Debbie and really gets into the role. Her transformation from a quiet, insecure librarian to a psychopathic murderer is amazing. Thomas Dexter, playing Steven, also does a great job. His occasionally jittery character is very believable. Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, playing his mother, is also excellent. I must admit that I didn’t recognize her at first. She looks great and quite sexy on screen.

My only criticism of the creators is that sometimes they lack finesse. Namely, sometimes they give too many gags – funny and scary at the same time. Because of this, the audience doesn’t have time to laugh or be scared and may miss the part they’ve been waiting for throughout the earlier part of the screening.

All About Evil

All About Evil is still a very good horror comedy despite this. Minor flaws can be forgiven because they don’t hinder the enjoyment of watching. It is primarily macabre entertainment. However, it does have a certain message. It tries to answer the question of how far a person is willing to go to fulfill their dreams. Naive? A bit, but the biggest fun is in the message. All the elements fit perfectly together, so I recommend this film to anyone who has written off modern horror cinema.

Words by Rafal Christ

EDITORIAL team

EDITORIAL team

We're movie lovers who write for other movie lovers!

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