|Instruments of Evil movie poster|
In other words, don't expect great special effects or elaborate, detailed sets. The cast and crew had to make do with limited resources.
However, that does not mean that Instruments of Evil is without charm.
I've always said that a movie can be bad but it should never be boring. Bad movies can still be entertaining and IoE passes that test mainly on the strength of its humour, music, and amusing characters. The budget may have been limited but the humour was not.
The plot revolves around a viking warrior known as the Dark Viking (Huw Evans) who must track down and destroy some musical demons that were created by the god Loki. Who the hell needs The Avengers when you have the Dark Viking with a forkin' sweet sword? Sorry Thor, but your hammer just won't cut it.
Here's how the movie is officially described:
Created in the ancient mists of time by the Viking god Loki, four musical demons have left carnage and horror in their wake as they’ve travelled through the centuries, using the vibrations of music as a conduit across time and space. Now, as the harmonic horrors attempt to reunite and bring about the end of the world, can a cop, a hooker, and a warrior from the past defeat these evil spirits before the music stops ... foreverThe hub of IoE takes place in a small police station, where Sgt. Savage (Rich Belhumeur) and his constables are busy taking inventory of their evidence items, some of which are possessed by evil, unbeknownst to them. As they sort through each item, one of them recounts the grisly tale in which it was involved. Three of them involve musical instruments and are featured in its own story.
1. Hip Hop Zombies
|D.J. Daddy Long Leg|
2. Gratuitous Violins
|The Sinister Violinister & Doubla Véy|
This segment of the movie hits a few sour notes and is the weakest of the three. The villain rambles on and the scene tends to drag on a little bit but it does end with an interesting twist involving a violin with a circular saw blade attached to it which is illustrated in the movie poster. You also get to hear French-Canadian, hip hop icon Doubla Véy on the radio performing his hit song Talk Into My Dictaphone which is probably more torturous than anything the Sinister Violinister can administer.
3. Heavy Metal Devil
A struggling, heavy metal rock band called
|Flame Demon face-off|
There's also a moment that caught me completely off guard involving one of the band members and his mother that made burst into laughter. I won't spoil it here but it's shocking and I felt a little bad for laughing after seeing it. In my defense, I know it's not real so I laughed at it again on second viewing. I seriously doubt the lead singer has MOM tattooed on his arm inside a heart.
MANCLAM makes another appearance, this time in the form of a movie poster in the band's dressing room. Nothing wrong with a little cross-promotion, I always say.
After the conclusion of the final instrument story, we see the Dark Viking finally arrive at his destination, that being the police station where the possessed instruments are kept in the evidence room. Before he can destroy the three demons though, he has to deal with three people; Sgt. Savage, an old woman named Mrs. Gingle-Whickles (Dawn Bevin) and a pretty prostitute named Nadine (Anna Mazurik) who speaks fluent Klingon. Trekkies rejoice!
|Nadine the hooker|
For me this is the strongest part of the movie. The exchanges in the police station between the four characters mentioned above are well-written, well-acted and well-executed. The best evidence is a comedic and convoluted conversation between Sgt. Savage and Mrs. Giggle-Wiggles. As much as I enjoyed the whole film, I wouldn't mind seeing an entire movie that focuses on the Sargent, the hooker, the old lady and the viking.
Overall, IoE is an enjoyable movie that has many of the elements that B-movie fans expect. Although advertised as a horror comedy, I would say it's a comedy movie first and horror movie second. I would even argue that the gore is so campy, it could almost be categorized as pure comedy.
Another thing I enjoyed was the subtle references to other B-movies such as when Mrs. Google-Whipple says she lives at 446 & 1/2 Torgo Ave. For those who are unaware, Torgo is a character in my favourite bad movie of all time; Manos: The Hands of Fate. No self-proclaimed B-movie buff can claim such a title until they've watched Manos.
There's another scene with a couple of gravediggers that is reminiscent of Plan 9 from Outer Space. I'm sure there's more that I missed as I've watched IoE three times and notice something new with each viewing.
|The Dark Viking|
To sum it up, Instruments of Evil is a movie with a good dose of humour, campy gore, and catchy music. I suggest checking it out because it just might be in tune with your tastes, provided you keep your expectations in check.
There is some brief nudity, depictions of drug use and some coarse language so keep that in mind when deciding if IoE is for you.
It's also available as a limited edition VHS cassette from Videonomicon.
I wonder if they would consider releasing MANCLAM on VHS in a clamshell case. I would shell out some clams for that! Hopefully they'll shell it on their website.
OK, I've run out of puns so watch this shellevision report about the making of Instruments of Evil.
Below are characters featured in IoE; Mrs. Gingle-Whickles; a break-dancing zombie; a tortured couple