When we were asked to review The Good Things Devils Do I was genuinely surprised at the lack of publicity it had received. Kane Hodder AND Bill Oberst Jr. in the same flick?! A quick skim through the heaps of praise lauded by the few critics who’d reviewed it and I was sold. I couldn’t wait to watch it! Now, I’m left dumbfounded. Did we really watch the same movie? I gotta admit I was disappointed.
I don’t know if there’s a reluctance among some critics to give negative feedback (especially when there’s such big names involved). Indeed, they may well have enjoyed it. But I gotta be honest this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
Richard, a small-time gangster is retiring. Before he can, he must take one last job: to steal money from a rival gangster’s house. Miles apart, Melvin (David Rucker III) is a reluctant family man who has dreams of becoming a famous curator for his Museum of the Macabre. His newest acquisition? The remains of the notorious Masquerade, a vampire born from the embers of hell, slain centuries ago. On Halloween Night, their paths will collide and they’ll be forced to work together to fight centuries-old evil with everything on the line.
Let’s start with the positives first! Hodder, Oberst Jr. and O’Donnell delivered some outstanding performances. Hodder’s portrayal of a sadistic psychopath was spot on. With his hefty frame and menacing glare, the role was perfect for him and he pulled it off with ease. O’Donnell’s quirky, impulsive character offered a feel-good vibe and was able to lighten the mood whenever she was on-screen. Finally, Oberst Jr. delivers yet again in the lead role which he carries flawlessly throughout the entire flick. With another highly convincing performance, he makes the role his own and proves his versatility yet again.
However, I’ve got to say I was disappointed with the role appointed to Linnea Quigley. We’re all aware of her acting prowess from her string of roles in 80’s horror flicks. Yet, there seemed to be little emphasis on her character in The Good Things Devils Do despite her being a constant presence throughout. Another issue is some of the action scenes were way too staged. They didn’t flow well and at times they were painful to watch. Yet, other times they were a joy to behold! The contrast was just bizarre. Almost like two movies spliced into one, but we’ll talk about that later.
Okay, so the makeup and effects in this movie are definitely one of its highlights. The sheer amount of gore is more than enough to satisfy the bloodlust of any horror fiend. Add to that the impressive kills and attention to detail of blood flow, and it’s certainly outstanding from that perspective. John Lauterbach‘s talent is a credit to the movie and pushes The Good Things Devils Do to a whole new level.
The Big Issue
After watching the movie I was genuinely perplexed. Was it supposed to be a comedy? A genuine horror? I couldn’t tell. I was so tormented by Norvisgaard’s apparent indecisiveness that I watched it again. Admittedly, the second time it was a bit better, but the issue was still there. I mentioned earlier that it feels like it’s two movies merged into one. At times it feels like it should be a comedy (albeit some of the ‘comedic’ elements fell flat…) Yet, when it came to Hodder and Oberst Jr’s characters, they were just so intense it felt like a gripping, nail-biting flick.
That being said, it’s still worth a watch. The cast alone make it worthwhile but when you throw in the make-up, gore and effects you’ve got a fairly good flick. With Norvisgaard just starting out it’s definitely a commendable effort and his filmmaking prowess is clearly evident. If he’s able to establish a clear theme for his next movie and stick with that, the end result could be absolutely phenomenal.
Check out the trailer below!
The Good Things Devils Do is available now on digital and DVD.
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