The only thing scary about this horror movie is its quality.
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I agreed to watch and ultimately review “Devilreaux” (available in select theaters and on VOD beginning Friday, June 9) to prepare for a prospective interview with the picture’s co-star Tony Todd.
Todd isn’t just Candyman to me – though, I admittedly wanted to begin the interview thusly, “Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman … oh, snap! You’re here!” The dude also made a huge impression in “The Crow,” “The Rock” (“It’s you. You’re the ‘Rocket Man.’”) and the “Final Destination” flicks.
The interview with Todd never materialized, but this crummy movie sure as shit did.
Todd – who has 10 minutes of screen time tops – plays Leonard, a slave who works on a plantation belonging to Mr. Michaels (Dennis W. Hall). Leonard’s married to another slave named Sally (Meberate Brooks), who despite being pregnant is the target of unwanted sexual advances from Michaels and his cronies. Leonard understandably snaps, kills the cronies and gets himself killed in the process.
We flash forward 35 years to the postbellum South. Leonard and Sally’s son Devilreaux (Vincent M. Ward) works on the same plantation his parents did as a free man. He reports to Jim Michaels, Jr. (Wil Crown) and is friendly with Michaels’ wife Kelly (Jessamine Kelley) … too friendly perhaps? At the behest of the Sheriff (Michael Cervantes) Michaels puts a permanent end to this friendship by murdering Devilreaux with a shovel of all things.
Via voodoo mumbo jumbo Devilreaux is brought back from the dead as a vengeful spirit looking to cut short Michaels’ bloodline through the centuries by employing the same shovel that brought about his demise.
Devilreaux is summoned in the modern day when Lexy Allen (Monaye Moyes) and her pals turn up to party after hours at the Michaels plantation with Ouija board in tow. When these teens (most of whom are obviously in their 30s) get deader than disco it’s up to Lt. Bobbie Briggs (Krista Grotte Saxon) to solve the mystery surrounding Devilreaux.
“Devilreaux” is clumsily written and directed by Thomas J. Churchill from a story by Ward. It wants to be “Candyman” something fierce, but winds up being candy-ass qualitatively. The acting oscillates between community theater and uninspired pornography. The kills are unconvincing and the special effects makeups wouldn’t impress at a Halloween party. All the slave owner characters sound laughably like Foghorn Leghorn and the subject of slavery is treated with the delicacy of a sledgehammer.
Speaking of tools, I have issues with Devilreaux’s shovel. It’s supposed to be from the late 1800s/early 1900s, but was obviously acquired at Home Depot or Lowe’s. You could do serious damage to somebody with a shovel by repeatedly bludgeoning them or placing the blade on someone’s neck and stomping on it, but grazing a throat with a spade certainly wouldn’t slash it. (I’m assuming all of this stuff and am not writing experientially. I also have a plethora of alibis … LOL.)
Churchill hilariously thanks the following folks for inspiration during the closing credits: Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Clive Barker … and Joel Osteen. One of these people ain’t like the others and I’ve got one more thing to be pissed off at Osteen about. Todd deserves better. I deserve better. You deserve better. My advice to y’all is to revisit the “Candyman” flicks and skip making a deal with this Devil.