The Devil's Music Movie Review
Written by Daniel Benson
Released by Jinx Media
Written and directed by Pat Higgins
2008, 88 minutes, Not Rated
Richard Collins as Jason
Lucy Dunn as Stef Regan
James Fisher as Michael Stacey
Jess-Luisa Flynn as Adele Black
Cy Henty as Eddie Meachum
Victoria Hopkins as Erika Spawn
Alan Ronald as ZC
Geoffrey Sleight as Melvin True
Scott Thomas as Robin Harris
It’s always an exciting time when a new Jinx Media movie lands on my review pile. Having followed the progression of Pat Higgins’ movie-making career from the start, it’s always a pleasure to see his latest offering. From the low-budget starter TrashHouse, through the next project, the back-to-back shot KillerKiller and Hellbride, the stories have all had firm roots in the horror genre. So it came as a small, but pleasant, shock to find that The Devil’s Music takes a departure from standard horror movie formulae and creates something uniquely refreshing.
The Devil’s Music is a fake rockumentary charting a strange series of events centered on shock-rock band Erika Spawn. Told through interviews and tour footage, the movie relates how a slightly obsessive fan worms her way under the wing of lead singer, Erika, and how this young fan’s past unfolds into something dark and sinister that causes untold problems for everyone she gets involved with.
While it might sound like a fairly standard horror movie, it’s nothing like one. What it is, is a master class in engrossing story telling. To have an 88 minute movie, the bulk of which consists solely of dialogue, keep the viewer not just engaged, but completely riveted, is no easy feat. Yet, by building a story that keeps you guessing, revealing snippets of key information at exactly the right time, it does just that.
Effective filmmaking is a unique talent, as is effective documentary making. It doesn’t necessarily follow that a talented filmmaker can make interesting documentaries, and vice-versa. Yet, in this case, Pat Higgins adds the feather of accomplished documentary maker to his, already well-feathered, cap.
If I had to criticize one aspect of The Devil’s Music, it would be the “live footage” of the band. While every other segment works extremely well, it’s patently obvious that the band are performing to no-one while an audience sound effect is dubbed over the top. I guess you can’t create a packed Wembley Stadium on a budget.
As is normal with Jinx Media productions, there are a plethora of familiar faces that have graced the screen on previous productions. The omnipresent Cy Henty makes the ever-so-slightly sleazy band manager, Eddie Meachum, shine in his own way, although the day Henty puts in a bad performance is the day I demand a refund. Victoria Hopkins as Erika Spawn is a strong and convincing lead, and Jess-Luisa Flynn, as bass player Adele, raises the bar with the best performance I’ve seen in an indie movie for a long toime.
The Devil’s Music is a film that defies both pigeon-holing and detailed explanation (without giving away huge spoilers). One thing is for sure, if you enjoy a great story that draws you in and keeps you begging for more, right up until the last credit, see this movie.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features not rated as this was a screener disc.