Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End

Okay horror fans, are you ready for some closure? “Closure” might be too strong a word, but fans of the internationally popular Canadian horror series who were surprised by its cancellation after only two seasons will surely settle for more. It turns out some of Todd Smith’s associates were less evil than he thought and some were more so, but isn’t high school always like that? The Necronomicon-like Book is still all kinds of evil, but maybe it is no longer Todd’s fate to be the “Pure Evil One,” predestined to destroy the world with its apocalyptic power (that’s not necessarily a good thing for the world) in Richard Duhaney & Craig David Wallace’s animated feature, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End (trailer here), which releases today in a Canadian limited-edition DVD/BluRay collector’s set.

Happily, for newcomers, TATBOPE—TEOTE starts with an attitude-rich recap of everything we need to know, sort of like the classic spoof Soap, but in the George Carlin-like voice of Jimmy the Janitor. Despite triumphing over evil, Smith is a little depressed, because he inadvertently killed his best dude Curtis Weaver’s science nerd girlfriend, Hannah B. Williams. Frankly, Weaver is pretty chill about it, all things considered—and he completely lets Smith off the hook when Williams inexplicably returns from the dead.

Of course, this Williams is different. We soon learn she is an evil clone, who has thrown her lot in with the evil stoner dudes. Of course, it will take the gang quite a while to figure this out, for obvious reasons. On the plus side, Atticus Murphy, Jr., the former high school guidance counselor and leader of the underground satanic cult has decided to be good. He will also start pushing a mop when he discovers Jimmy took his old gig while he was gone. At least the janitor position pays better.

Screenwriters and series co-creators Wallace and Charles Picco maintain the same ruckus and ribald sense of humor in the animated format. This film is not afraid to go to tasteless places for a laugh, but it understands all the established horror conventions and skewers them quite drolly. It is also easy to identify with the knuckleheaded characters. If you didn’t know someone like them in high school then you were one of them.

In a way, TATBOPE—TEOTE is like Star Trek: The Animated Series. The animation is not spectacular, but it is the same cast and the same writers, so it is the next best thing to new episodes of the classic series. If you were fans of the original TATBOPE, this will satisfy your cravings and those who are new to the franchise will still get a kick out of its lunacy. For home viewing suggestions, it would pair up nicely with either Deathgasm or Bad Kids of Crestview Academy. (Frankly, My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea should have been more like this.) Highly recommended for fans of cult television, midnight movies, and macabrely wacky animation, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End is now available on Canadian DVD/BluRay and VOD platforms, from Raven Banner Entertainment.