Cassandra Peterson’s description of All About Evil being a cross between Herschell Gordon Lewis and John Waters either peaks interest, or kills it mercilessly. Luckily, for me, it drove me to immediately screen this film for review.
Written and directed in 2010 by Joshua Grannell, follows the story of awkward librarian, Deborah Tennis (Natasha Lyonne), who has inherited her father’s crappy old movie theatre. With old Mr. Tiggs (Jack Donner), she caters to the few that still make their way in each week to view the horror films she screens. Her mother, Tammy, on the hand, has a different idea for the space. Selling it to B,B&B – that is Bed, Bath & Beyond! Having ridiculed Deborah since an early age (which included incredulous laughter as the small girl’s stage fright caused her to urinate in front of a crowd), this final act of wanting to sell the theatre drives Deborah over the edge- and in a fit of rage, whilst screaming homages -“Kill her, mommy! Kill her!” & “Oh, God, Mother! Blood! Blood!”– she kills her mother viciously. As the crowd of loyal fans, including Steven (Thomas Dekker), start to chant for the film to begin, Deborah clumsily tries to start it – only to playback security camera footage of the grisly murder.
The crowd goes wild.
Soon, Deborah is filming a series of shorts for her rabid fans – starring former library coworker Evelyn (the legendary Mink Stole) and snotty teenager Claire, to name a few. Each film is more vicious than the last with titles like A Tale of Two Severed Titties and Maiming of the Shrew. Deborah also finds new employees to keep up with the business including creepy mugger Adrian, and murderous twins Vera and Veda. In the end, will Steven’s admiration for who Deborah once was keep her from filming her final featurette, or will her drive for star quality push her over the edge?
The talent in this film is insanely awesome. Natasha Lyonne( Who – Yes! Still lives!) is incredible as Deborah (Deh-bore-ah) Tennis. Thomas Dekker meshes perfect as horror obsessed high school student Steven. The gorgeous Cassandra Peterson rocks as Steven’s mom, Linda, and Peaches Christ, Joshua Grannell’s alter ego, is stunning in her cameo.
The gore is just as described – Lewis meets Waters. And if you’ve ever seen the classic Mr. Bean episode where he gets the turkey stuck on his head, just wait until the climax of Evil for an over the top version.
It’s hard for a movie to be complete in all elements, but somehow with Grannell’s writing and direction – along with superb actors – All About Evil achieves just that!
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