A family consisting of a young woman, her cousin and their grandpa are going on a wicked Halloween party to wreak some havoc. Meanwhile a mental patient has escaped from the looney bin and is slowly moving around the town's darkest corners, meeting the strangest figures the night has to offer, while on his own personal quest.
We have reviewed the two-punch "Double Dose of Terror!!" where Michael Todd Schneider's "Our Devil's Night" is one of the segments. But typically for Michael, his vision is never completed until he has scratched, sniffed and bled on it multiple times, and we are now presented with a version that is far from a short film - here's a nearly 2 hour long disorder epic that is dripping of as much blood as it is puking Halloween guts over us.
The original short has been swallowed by Michael's new vision, and exists almost intact in this feature. The short told of a crazy family going to a party to celebrate Halloween. The three of them, a woman, her cousin and their old grandpa, are feeling right at home with the season. Through the night they terrorize the party, from playful manipulating to violent tricks and treats. The story plays like a fun Halloween special, something I can almost assure is what Michael Todd Schneider had hoped upon his first go at it. Now this has just became one of the subplots in a major puzzle of the craziest night known to man: a tour-de-force of depravity and mental illness. Before we meet the wacko family, we're introduced to a mental patient as he escapes from an institution, and he soon finds himself on a journey through the Halloween night where he walks into party after party, meeting friend after friend, partakes in one depraved act after another, and every situation is just one step closer to hell.
To go into detail about a movie that runs at nearly 2 hours that shows a man getting into a million strange situations would just take the fun out of it. It would read like a naughty-to-do list by Satan himself - endless. It is safe to say that this new version of "Our Devil's Night" is one of Michael Todd Schneider's most consistent creations, only rivaled by "...And Then I Helped" which successfully brought us back to the 70's. "Our Devil's Night" has a similar atmosphere at times, but this plays like a roadtrip movie on foot where the destination is self-destruction, seen through psychotic eyes. I love movies that literally flow through a period of time and are constantly "on the run", and that's exactly what this movie is. It never stays still, and if it does then it's just because we're about to display something truly repulsive.
Yes, Michael Todd Schneider is no stranger to disturbing art and rest assured that "Our Devil's Night" anno 2013 offers a MagGot that we haven't seen since his grinning days in "August Underground's Mordum". Through the period of 2 hours you will have felt everything that Michael is about: experimentation, eccentric editing, fantastic technical achievements, fucked up characters, gory FX creations, graphic sex and bodily fluids but maybe the most important thing is the gut-wrenching emotional roller-coaster that seperates "Our Devil's Night" from some of his previous works. As many of you know, the great Ben Tatar, a part of the MagGot Films team, passed away recently and it was then that Michael fell into editing hell with this movie and finished what I think might be one of his best films to date. As much as I love "I Never Left the White Room", this movie and "...And Then I Helped" are far above it and everything else he has made.
A few things about "Our Devil's Night" stood out to me, for various reasons. First of all, it's a joy to see Michael in the lead role playing what seems to be his old character finally escaping the white room, and with that we also automatically compare the two: it's no surprise that he has grown a lot since his first feature, but it's also pleasing to know that he hasn't abandoned his old self either. Aside from this, I am happy to say that "Our Devil's Night" finally forces us to be scared of MagGot once again: we've waited since 2003 to be truly shocked by how far his characters will go. A long scene towards the end presents one of the most intense experiences I have sat through in quite a while. You know, that old gut-punching experience we all love, as sadistic as us underground fans can be. It's no joke though, the scene packs as much disturbance in the violent act as it does in how we're taking a final step into the void of Michael's character's head.
I couldn't be more pleased with how "Our Devil's Night" turned out, and I am happy to see that Michael Todd Schneider not only made an add-on for his short film, but rebuilt it into a whole different kind of beast. Being as close to him as I am, it is easy for me to forget how truly original, creative and depraved he can get. We can't forget, however, how mature this movie feels compared to some of the other things he has made or been in: it might be another shocking piece of art, but at no point does it go too far "just because", and it knows exactly when to show more or less. "Our Devil's Night" is consistent enough for newbies in the world of MagGot Films to be able to "get it", but it's also pushed to the limits enough for old fans to be pleased. Me included, as I believe this is one of the best films he has made to date. It went from being a Halloween themed oddball of a short film, to a 2 hour epic ritual of depravity and reflection in a world where God has long since rotted away.