All About Evil features one of the most imaginatively twisted pre-titles credits I’ve seen. A young girl (Mikayla Rosario) is introducing a matinee of The Wizard of Oz at the local theatre owned by her father (Robin Calvert, Swim Team, In Search of the Black Knight). As her sneering stepmother (Julie Caitlin Brown, Babylon 5, Lover’s Knot), appropriately made up as The Wicked Witch, looks on the poor girl’s nerves cause her to wet herself. That, in turn, leads to her electrocuting herself on the mike stand.
Years later her father has died and the now-grown Deborah (Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll, Scary Movie 2) has taken over the theatre, much to her stepmother’s dismay. She wants to sell the property to developers but needs Deb’s signature. After an argument over it gets a bit too heated Debbie channels Joe Pesci and stabs her wicked stepmother to death with a pen.
The security camera footage of the murder accidentally becomes the short preceding a screening of Blood Feast. The audience, thinking it is just a film, loves it and our heroine sees a way to turn the theater’s fortunes around.
Every good villain needs henchmen and Deborah quickly finds hers. The theatre’s aged projectionist Mr. Twigs (Jack Donner, Stigmata, Night of the Templar), Veda (Jade Ramsey, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, A Haunting at Silver Falls), and Vera (Nikita Ramsey, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, A Haunting at Silver Falls), twins straight out of the asylum, or The Overlook Hotel, and psychopath Adrian (Noah Segan, The Pale Door, Scare Package). And the cinematic slaughter begins in earnest.
“For years, the movie has been unavailable and fans have been clamoring for it. As the creator, it’s been frustrating to say the least. I feel like I’ve been given a great gift from both Severin and Shudder and am thrilled so many new people will discover my Evil little baby.Peaches Christ
Written and directed by Joshua Grannell, better known as drag queen Peaches Christ, All About Evil is a wickedly amusing tribute both to the old single-screen theatres and the films that played in them rendered in a wildly over-the-top style. If HG Lewis’ The Gore Gore Girls had been about making a movie instead of a strip club, the results might have been something like this.
While much of the humor is murder-related splatstick or bad puns on classic film titles. All About Evil is, of course, a take on All About Eve and we get shorts with titles like Gore and Peace and The Maiming of the Shrew which features John Waters regular, Mink Stole having her mouth sewn shut.
Some of All About Evil’s gags are a bit more meta. The only one who suspects the truth is high school horror nerd Steven (Thomas Dekker, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fear Clinic), who has an Elvira poster in his room. In a brilliant bit of casting his mother, Linda is played by The Mistress of Darkness herself, Cassandra Peterson.
Obviously, All About Evil is not going to appeal to everyone. If you’re not a film buff, especially one with a taste for the macabre, you will miss a lot of jokes and references. And the film’s violent humor and general bad taste will not be for the easily offended. But then I can’t imagine anyone who is easily offended watching a movie made by and featuring appearances from, a drag queen named Peaches Christ.
Since its release in 2010, All About Evil has been hard to see despite its cult following. Now Severin Films has done a restoration of the film and it will be playing several dates on the West Coast in June before being released on Blu-ray on June 10th. Shudder will release the film on its service on June 13th to subscribers in North America. In the meantime, FilmTagger has a few suggestions for films that won’t be a drag.