After working together on Repo! The Genetic Opera, Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich have teamed up again for The Devil’s Carnival. Unlike Repo, The Devil’s Carnival is a 1 hour short film that was specifically designed as part of a live experience. Starting this week, Darren and Terrance begin a 30-city road tour, which will provide fans with a unique show at every stop.
I wanted to learn more about The Devil’s Carnival and had a chance to talk with Terrance Zdunich, who told me about inspiration for the road tour, what people can expect from the show, and future plans.
There are many casual horror fans out there. For any of our readers who may not have seen Repo! The Genetic Opera or may not be into musicals, tell them why this is something you think would appeal to them.
Terrance Zdunich: The Devil’s Carnival is for fans of anything dark. We’re sort of the anti-musical and make them for people that don’t normally like musicals. I’m sort of in that camp myself. When most people hear the word “musical” they are probably thinking Oklahoma or Singing in the Rain. We’re the guys that do rock operas using people like Clown from Slipknot. Basically, we have a horror story with dark macabre subject matter put to rock music, and we make that format accessible to people that would otherwise dismiss it.
I remember years back that Darren Lynn Bousman mentioned that there were ideas for a Repo sequel. Is The Devil’s Carnival an idea that you’ve had for a while, did it come about from those sequel talks, or is this something new?
Terrance Zdunich: This is something new, but it grew out of the desire to do a horror musical follow-up. There was a time when we were talking about a Repo sequel, but for multiple reasons we didn’t take that road. I think creatively at the time, it felt like Repo was somewhat complete, but in that search we came up with the idea of The Devil’s Carnival.
To me, what makes it unique from Repo, aside from the story, is that Repo was a standalone operatic piece. The Devil’s Carnival is designed as something that is episodic, so what we are releasing in April is really the first episode. It is an hour-long film, with a cliffhanger ending, and the idea is a musical series anthology series continuing from episode to episode. I think there is an audience for something like this done in a dark fashion with original edgy music.
Looking at the amount of people who show up to midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the people who have given Repo a new life after release, and reaction from The Devil’s Carnival message boards, it seems like there is an audience for this. Are you happy with the online reaction and ticket sales so far?
Terrance Zdunich: There definitely is an online buzz happening and since we’re doing this independently, we’re all very nervous about how this will turn out. One of the main differences between this and the Repo road tour is that the Repo tour was an afterthought out of necessity. We had imagined, perhaps foolishly, that it was going to have a traditional theatrical release. Then it was basically shelved, so we decided that we weren’t ok with something we worked really hard on not being seen by audiences. We thought that something like Repo would really benefit from a live audience. When we did it, we had no idea how successful it would be.
With The Devil’s Carnival, we learned from that experience and decided to begin with the road tour. It is, at least initially, the only way you can see The Devil’s Carnival and we’re trying to make it a carnival-like event at every stop. The movie is the main attraction, but at the same time, the experience won’t be something you could download. You’ll really want to be there because there will be craziness, people dressing up, and people singing in the aisles. You don’t really see that with modern movies.
There will be people that might really want to see this, but for scheduling or location reasons, will be unable to attend. Do you plan to give this a digital/DVD/Blu-ray release so that people can see what it is all about after the tour or will the tour just continue if successful?
Terrance Zdunich: We’re open to all avenues and we’re just going to see where the road tour takes us. In a perfect world, I would like to see the road tour lead to a second tour in the UK, for example. I’d like to be able to generate enough interest and raise enough money to create a second or third film. We’re doing something that is out of the box, and as such, it almost feels wrong to give it a DVD release now. I think it would be great to do a DVD release down the road, when there are more episodes. It is all based on the success of the road tour at this point, but we’re open to all possibilities. I’m really excited to watch the film with an audience and really see their reaction.
The official website mentions that some of the cast and crew will be attending at different tour stops. Will you and Darren appear at every show? Who else can we expect to see?
Terrance Zdunich: Yes, we will both be there and are in the process of securing cast members for each stop. We’re still scheduling because it is a logistical nightmare, as you can imagine. Every night, Darren and I will be there. We’ll do a Q&A and screen the film, and will have special pre-show events. Our plan is to have at least one additional special guest at each stop.
I'd like to thank Terrance Zdunich for taking the time to talk with us. Keep an eye out for my interview with Darren Lynn Bousman later this week. We've included the official trailer below, and you can learn more about The Devil's Carnival and upcoming tour dates at: http://dailydead.com/updated-tour-dates-for-the-devils-carnival/