Last night’s premiere of The Devil’s Carnival at Laemmle Theatre in Santa Monica, California was not your average movie premiere, but that’s because The Devil’s Carnival is not your average movie. In fact, it’s far from it.
THe film was shot over five days, on location in Riverside, California at an abandoned circus that director Darren Lynn Bousman describes as ‘where a carnival goes to die’. The story centers around three different characters thrust into a strange world where the Devil and a whole host of strange, weird, and wonderful characters- from clowns to fools and even God- exist and some of whom sing, dance, throw knives and more.
“It was crazy. There was a circus that was basically abandoned. It was a carnival junk yard, where they take all these carnival pieces. When we found it they let us come in there, we shot it there, we built up our own little circus. We brought Lucifer in and we started doing it,” said Bousman on the red carpet at the Santa Monica premiere. Starring many Repo! The Genetic Opera alumni, Bousman’s previous cult classic collaboration with Terrance Zdunich including Paul Sorvino who plays God, Bill Moseley as ‘The Magician’, Ogre Nivek ‘the Twin’ and Zdunich as the Devil himself.
The film also sees Slipknot’s Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan, stepping out from behind his Slipknot mask to play the role of ‘The Tamer’ , Five Finger Death Punch’s Ivan Moody in a very memorable performance as ‘Hobo the clown’, and singer Emilie Autumn as ‘Painted Doll’.
“I’ve always liked the ‘what the f&%k’ factor, you know, when you look at a cast you’re think ‘what the f&%k?!’ When you look at the poster for this film, you’ve got Skinny Puppy, Slipknot, Five finger Death Punch, and then you’ve got someone like Bill Moseley and then Dave Callie (who was on my favorite show Deadwood). We just wanted people to look at the poster and say ‘what the f&%k?’ So we went to artists that we liked and that we responded to, and everyone said ‘yes’, so it was pretty crazy,” said Bousman.
The premiere itself kicked off with a burlesque show which included angle grinding, contortionism, masks, and make up. The audience was also treated to a short behind-the-scenes documentary on Repo!The Genetic Opera and a costume contest won by a girl in a homemade outfit, complete with eyeballs for hair-bows. It was certainly not your average night at the movies, with sing-alongs and a high level of interactivity that included a full Q & A session with the cast at the end of the showing.
The film, which was originally meant to be only a fifteen minute short but kept “growing like a carnival does” clocks in at around just under an hour and is a visually astounding, dark, and creative piece that was very well received by its audience.
“This is not conventional, don’t go in expecting a conventional movie, don’t go in expecting a normal premiere it’s not that, it’s the antithesis of that, so I just say people should come in and basically leave expectations at the door because we’re not what you think we are,” said Bousman. The Devil’s Carnival will be on tour in the US, check TheDevilsCarnival.com for further details.
Stay tuned for red carpet interviews with some of the film’s cast and crew coming soon to Press Pass LA.