Friday, June 7, 2013

HIS DEVIL'S NIGHT (Review)

HIS DEVIL'S NIGHT (2013)

review by DARRELL MARSH

Directed and written by Michael Todd Schneider

Starring Michael Todd Schneider, Brittany Spinelli, Tom Colbert, Melissa Heflin, Johnny Sullivan, Caroline Nowell, Rachael Deacon, Gimpy, And Ben Tatar as 'Gram Paps'
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His Devil's Night is the latest offering from MagGot Films, but before we get into the film itself, we need to get a few things straight. 

The first time I sat down to watch this film, things didn't go exactly as planned. I had just arrived at my first Shock Stock convention in London, Ontario and was making my way around the floor for the first time that weekend. I stopped at a table where a man dressed up as Jesus, complete with a bloody crown of thorns, was standing with another young man that looked strangely familiar. Turns out the young man was Michael MagGot (aka. Michael Todd Schneider), head of MagGot Films. I have to admit it. I was not familiar with MagGot films, but had seen Michael in Fred Vogel's August Underground's Mordum. While chatting with him and Jesus Maggot, I was informed that their newest film -- His Devil's Night -- was set to begin in the next five minutes. Michael convinced me I should follow him to the screening room to check it out. I had a bad feeling about it from the get go. I was one of maybe six people seated (including Jesus Maggot). I made it to the fifteen minute mark. Then I promptly walked out.


HIS DEVIL'S NIGHT (teaser) from magGot Films on Vimeo.

Now to be fair, it wasn't all the fault of the film. As I mentioned, the floor at Shock Stock (which is a sight to behold) was calling me, but hunger was calling even louder. Also, the viewing room at Shock Stock is not the ideal place to watch a film. I would like to take this time to apologize to Michael for not staying the course. After the convention, I took the time to watch MagGot Films's most popular title an official selection of Fright Night Theatre last year: And Then I Helped. I loved it! Of course, this made me want to revisit His Devil's Night.


There are a few things you need to know about this film. It is not a date night movie or a crazy, zany romp. This is not a happy movie. This is a dark, depressing look into the abyss that passes for the main character's twisted psyche. Simply put, this is NOT the feel good hit of the summer! Rue Morgue magazine said the first film from MagGot Films was "akin to smashing your teeth into the coffee table". His Devil's Night is akin to performing fellatio on a shotgun, which the main character actually does coincidentally.


The film starts with a big, beautifully bright shot of a mental patient escaping from the hospital. This is easily the cleanest shot of the film. MagGot shoots the rest of the movie in a grittier, more low budget style. This film follows a character from MagGot's previous release, Our Devil's Night. Where Our Devil's Night lets the viewer spend one night with an array of characters, His Devil's Night focuses on one character's movements only: a mental patient (also played by Schneider) who starts his evening by breaking into a random house. Once in side, he roams through the home where he watches what seems to be a homemade sex tape, drinks some booze, changes into a Jesus costume, and picks up the aforementioned firearm. After stashing said firearm away, Jesus bumps into a young lady that invites him to a party where there will be plenty of sinning. There is a feeling of finality as we follow this character from visiting old friends (including a rapping cripple with a penchant for hookers) to having a beer with his bitter father. Some would call this film a slow burner. I prefer to call this particular film a roiling boiler. When the payoff comes, you could say it really blows the top off! When you see it you'll understand.

A definite highlight of the film is the scene featuring the late, great Ben Tatar. Mr. Tatar had become a staple of MagGot films, and rightfully so! Tatar was one of those actors that just commanded your full attention. His appearance in His Devil's Night is just another one he knocked out of the park. Nikki McIntyre (another MagGot regular) has a particularly greasy scene as well, but just the sight of her is a bonus. His Devil's Night, like And Then I Helped before it, feels like a much older film than it is. It's hard not to think of the seventies while watching it, and that's a good thing if you ask me. To say much more about the plot would ruin it for anyone interested in viewing it.

I'll leave you with this. The tagline for MagGot films is "Films That Kill'. This is no lie. His Devil's Night killed my appetite, killed my libido, and killed my happy disposition. Keep in mind that this was done in the best way possible, and I am now in the process of watching the entire MagGot Films catalogue. Just remember this. Watch when the woman is elsewhere, watch on an empty stomach, and for Christ's sake, lock up the double barrel. Don't say you weren't warned! Enjoy.

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