10/5/08

A Band Sells It's Soul To Be Famous (and It's Surprisingly Not The Black Eyed Peas)

Greetings Moonies. Welcome to the second day of my MonsterCon recap. Today we'll be covering two subjects close to my heart, the devil and rock and roll. From Robert Johnson to Slayer, the history of rock music has been littered with musicians that were close to Old Scratch. Van Halen wanted you to run with the devil, and the Grateful Dead was his friend. The Rolling Stones wanted you to have Sympathy, and the devil was inside INXS. Stryper said "To Hell With the Devil", but they would wouldn't they. Motley Crue wanted to Shout at the Devil, and even Elvis knew a Devil in disguise when he saw one. Yet for one band, rockin' for the devil wasn't enough. They were ready for the Robert Johnson plan. They were ready to strike a deal. This is the tale of....

The Devil's Tromping Ground (2007) starring Jayson Butterin, Jesse Derusha, Chis Miccca, Sara Rose, and Andy Kahn. Directed by Will Huneycutt & Andy Kahn.



For over 300 years, residents of North Carolina have been treated to stories of The Devil's Tramping Ground a bare patch in a wooded area where it's said that nothing will grow and anyone who steps in it will be changed. (For more info on the site check the Wikipedia entry. It is the lair of the Devil himself who appears at night to pace around and plan the downfall of men, and if there's one type of person on the Earth that is always ready to be set up for a downfall, it's a musician.

Take Cassaday (Butterin) for example. He works a nine to five and comes home to a wife that wants him to grow up. She wants him to quit music, stop getting tattoos, and stop playing with action figures ,or as she says dolls, a common wife mistake. ( Luckily for the Bug, my lovely wife Miss Directed knows the difference. ) Cassaday can't wait to get out of the house to play a gig with his band, The Pre-Madonnas. After a particularly bad night where only one person showed up, the band, Cassaday, Izzy, Mick, and Lily, commiserate backstage at their lack of success. Their one fan, Damon, cheers them up with an invite to a party way out in the woods at an abandoned house. With a promise of drinks, drugs, and rock and roll, the band is easily enticed.

They drive out to the woods, and after encountering a strange man laying in the road who tells them that the woods are cursed, they finally arrive. Damon is glad they came because he has someone to introduce to them. Someone that could really help the band. He takes them to the bare circle in the woods and tries to introduce them to the hooded figure within it, but the figure stops him and intones, "Please allow me to introduce myself...." The hooded figure promises the band fame and fortune with a price that can be repaid later. Naturally, the band agrees, even reluctant Lily, and the next day they start to get calls for bookings all over town. When they finally play a gig, it's packed to the brim with screaming fans, and after they even get offered a record deal. However soon it seems the price has come due, and the band fears for their lives, when the Devil demands his due.


This film is really fun. There's some snappy dialog, and a nicely placed twist at the end which I think would be a crowd pleaser. I especially liked it that the band, made up of members of real bands Little Mascaras and The Malmondos (who have a new album out called Roctopussy...that is full of win right there folks), didn't have to fake playing their instruments. The music used in the film was quite good as well, and I will be trying to figure out what Little Mascaras song was used for their gig. (They have a great sound that struck me as Queens of the Stone Age meets Blondie.) The effects while obviously low budget were done quite well with one leg chopping scene requiring me to run the DVD back a few times to admire how it was done. For the most part the acting was convincing. I must give a special nod to drummer/actor/screenwriter/boom operator/etc. Jaysen Buterim who ate up any screen time passed his way with his expressive face and banter about the lack of "B" batteries in the world. Jaysen has another flick due out pretty soon called Flipper Stripper Vixens at the Inferno A-Go-Go which looks quite entertaining, you can check out a preview for that and some other short films from Mad One's Films on their site or check out their myspace. Check them out folks, and let them know the Bug sent you.
Bug Rating





3 comments:

  1. This movie actually sounds pretty cool - thanks for sharing - I'll keep an eye out for it, and I will also keep an eye on the director!

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  2. wow - that looks like some seriously bad acting! Usually that is a plus but that wife chick... she's a mood killer.

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  3. The wife is in it for about as long as she is in the preview petra, so don't worry so much at her ability. It's worth checking out and it's 45 minute run time is perfect for the sort of narrative it is.

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