The Devil's Carnival

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The Devil's Carnival
Theatrical poster
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Produced by Darren Lynn Bousman
Sean E. Demott
Screenplay by Terrance Zdunich
Starring Sean Patrick Flanery
Briana Evigan
Jessica Lowndes
Paul Sorvino
Terrance Zdunich
Bill Moseley
Cinematography Joseph White
Editing by Erin Deck
Release dates April 5, 2012 (Los Angeles premiere)[1]
Running time 56 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $500,000 (US)

The Devil's Carnival is a 2012 musical short horror film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman starring Sean Patrick Flannery, Briana Evigan, Jessica Lowndes, Paul Sorvino, and Terrance Zdunich.[2] The film marks the second collaboration of Bousman and writer/actor Terrance Zdunich, their previous work being on the unrelated musical film Repo! The Genetic Opera. The film also brings back several of the cast members of Repo!, such as Sorvino, Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley and Nivek Ogre. The Devil's Carnival has Aesop's Fables at the core of its story, with the main characters each representing a fable. Flanery's character John represents Grief and His Due, Evigan's character Merrywood represents The Dog and Its Reflection, and Lowndes' character Tamara represents The Scorpion and the Frog.


The Devil's Carnival Kicks off with the deaths of three individuals, John, Ms. Merrywood, and Tamara. Though the manner of their passing gives brief insight to their transgressions, it isn't until they reach The Devil's Carnival in Hell, run by Lucifer himself, where they are forced to relive the sins of their past once more, are their histories truly revealed. John is an obsessive father who seemingly lost his son, and continues to search for him in Satan's macabre, maze-like funland. Ms. Merrywood's sin is greed; her life and death were both spent attempting to acquire as many fine and expensive things as she could. Tamara, possibly the most piteous of the three, seems only to have being too gullible on her list of wrongdoings. Once they breach the Carnival gates, Lucifer and his hellish, but colorful band of Carnies put on an unforgettable show for all three damned souls. In a post-credits scene, Tamara finds Lucifer in the main carnival ring. Lost and confused, she puts her trust into Lucifer as he seduces her, endlessly repeating her own sin of easily trusting people.


Casting and production[edit]

Bousman and Zdunich began developing the concept of the movie while the two were talking about a possible sequel for Repo! The Genetic Opera.[4] The two eventually came up with The Devil's Carnival after not developing a sequel for Repo! "for multiple reasons".[4] Filming for Devil's Carnival wrapped in mid January 2012 and went into post production,[5][6] with Noise Creep reporting that Slipknot's Shawn Crahan would be participating in his first acting role.[7] A film trailer featuring singer Emilie Autumn was released in late December 2011.[8] The Hollywood Reporter quotes Bousman as saying that the movie is "more accessible than Repo but also a lot darker than Repo" and that The Devil's Carnival will be receiving a multi-city road tour starting in April 2012 and a 12 song album.[9]

Bousman and Zdunich have stated that The Devil's Carnival will be an ongoing project,[10] with episode two already being written.[11] The two have stated that due to the project being self-funded, episode two will be produced if they make back the costs for episode one.[citation needed] At the Boston stop of the Encore Road Tour, Bousman and Zdunich revealed that both episodes 2 and 3 have been written, and that casting has begun on Episode 2, with production tentatively to begin at the end of the year.

Deleted scenes[edit]

On March 22, 2012 the music video for In All My Dreams I Drown was released onto the internet. The piece was originally intended to be placed within the film itself, but was ultimately moved to the end credits due to it "not flowing with the rest of the film".[citation needed] According to director Bousman, In all My Dreams I Drown was originally in the film after the song The Devil's Carnival. Tamara would find herself in the carnival ring, be seduced by Lucifer, then awake again, being rendered redundant.


The Devil's Carnival received positive reviews from critics. Artist Direct gave the film 4.5 out of 5 stars, praising the film's aesthetics and performances.[12] The Phoenix New Times also praised The Devil's Carnival, saying that the " plot and soundtrack were darkly, enchantingly comedic".[13] Dread Central gave the movie 4 out of 5 blades, praising the movie as "subversive and infectious".[14] Scott Weinberg of Fearnet also reviewed the film, stating "Dismiss Repo and Carnival as weird musicals for weird people if you like, but there's always room for a filmmaker who treats his ticket-buyers well and delivers something sort of ... unsafe."[15] cited the soundtrack as a highlight of the movie, also stating that the "tale crescendos at the start of a new story, that sinister plot the Devil was keeping under his horns".[16] praised the film, writing that the movie itself could not be reviewed without first discussing the atmosphere, "This isn’t a film you’re seeing; remember that you’re going to have an “experience.”"[17]


The soundtrack for the movie was released April 3rd in digital release on Amazon and iTunes, with limited edition CDs being sold on the road tour stops.[18]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Heaven's All Around"   Paul Sorvino 3:39
2. "The Devil's Carnival"   Alexa Vega, Mighty Mike, Bill Moseley 2:17
3. "In All My Dreams I Drown †"   Jessica Lowndes and Terrance Zdunich 2:29
4. "666"   Dayton Callie and The Carnies 1:33
5. "Kiss the Girls"   Alexa Vega and The Woe Maidens 1:04
6. "Beautiful Stranger"   Nivek Ogre and Briana Evigan 2:57
7. "A Penny for a Tale"   Ivan Moody 3:36
8. "Trust Me"   Marc Senter 2:07
9. "Prick! Goes the Scorpion's Tale"   Emilie Autumn 3:56
10. "Grief"   Sean Patrick Flanery 3:19
11. "Grace for Sale"   Terrance Zdunich 2:56
12. "Off to Hell We Go †"   The Carnies 1:29
† Appear during the end-credits only.
†† Physical CD Exclusive

Home Media[edit]

Bousman and Zdunich announced in August 2012 that the film would be released in DVD and Blu-Ray on October 23, 2012. The movie was released in two editions, a "Ringmaster" collector's edition and a "Sinners" version.[19] The "Ringmaster" edition is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack limited to 6,660 copies whereas the "Sinner" edition is a DVD packaged with an extended soundtrack sold exclusively at Hot Topic. The Ringmaster's edition features audio commentary tracks from the cast and crew and several features on the making of the film.[20]

Episode Two[edit]

Bousman described Episode Two with, "Episode Two will pull back the curtain on Heaven... and in 'The Devil's Carnival,' God and his angels are a whole lot darker than Lucifer and his carnies." [21] On December 25, 2012 a teaser trailer for the second episode was released, revealing that Tech N9ne was starring in the role of "The Librarian".[22] On January 10, 2013 a 9-minute long trailer was released, focusing on The Librarian, a few of the angels, and their dark practices of Heaven.[23]


  1. ^ "The Devil's Carnival Begins Traveling in April". Dread Central. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Darren Bousman Opens The Devil's Carnival". Dread Central. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "ive Finger Death Punch Singer Ivan Moody Joins Darren Lynn Bousman's "THE DEVIL'S CARNIVAL"". Artist Direct. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Exclusive Interview: Terrance Zdunich talks The Devil’s Carnival". Daily Dead. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Meet ‘The Devil’s Carnival’s’ Magician (And His Sidekick)!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Head To Hell This April With ‘The Devil’s Carnival,’ Teaser Trailer!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Slipknot's Clown to Star in 'The Devil's Carnival' Horror Film". NoiseCreep. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Darren Lynn Bousman’s ‘The Devil’s Carnival’ Gets an Extended, Ruffled Tease and Poster". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "'The Devil's Carnival' Teaser Trailer From 'Repo: The Genetic Opera' Director Debuts (Exclusive Video)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Welcome to The Devil's Carnival". Oh No They Didn't!. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Darkest Radio Ep 66: Emilie Autumn". Darkest Radio. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  12. ^ ""The Devil's Carnival" Movie Review — 4.5 out of 5 stars". Artist Direct. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Last Night: The Devil's Carnival on Easter Sunday". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Review: Devil's Carnival". Dread Central. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Review: 'The Devil's Carnival'". FearNet. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Review: Bousman/Zdunich's 'The Devil's Carnival' One Hell of a Night". Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Film Review: The Devil’s Carnival (2012)". Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "The Devil’s Carnival OST Out Today". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  19. ^ Gingold, Michael. ""THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL" IS COMING TO DISC; FULL DETAILS AND ART". Fangoria. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "‘The Devil’s Carnival’ Moves To Home Video In Various Collector’s Editions!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Darren Lynn Bousman Reveals 7 Keys to Making Your Own 'Devil's Carnival' -- Plus the Plot to the Series' Next Installment". Indie Wire. 
  22. ^ "The Devil's Carnival: Episode 2 Teaser Trailer". YouTube. 
  23. ^ "The Devil's Carnival: Episode 2 - The Librarian 9 Minute Trailer". YouTube. 

External links[edit]

Aesop's Fables