Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of “Saw II,” “Saw III” and “Saw IV,” and Terrance Zdunich, creator of “REPO! The Genetic Opera,” kicked off the tour for “The Devil’s Carnival” at Comic-Con. It was shown this week in Jackson at the Davis Planetarium at 201 E. Pascagoula St.
“The Devil’s Carnival” is a musical-horror-fantasy series set in a theme park in hell, where Aesop’s Fables are reenacted (often through songs) in the lives of lost souls. It was inspired by a love of amusement park dark rides and subversive nursery rhymes. Think “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” but set in hell. Bousman said he wanted to create something artful.
“I was tired of just being the Saw guy,” he said. “I wanted to do something different. … ‘The Devil’s Carnival’ is about showing people that you don’t have to fit within a mold to be a success. We wanted to make a movie that encourages people to come dressed up, and act like fools. Not a movie where you sit and are passive. This is a movie that embraces being unique and different.”
Zdunich, who is known as GraveRobber from “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” said his background is in visual arts.
“I studied illustration and worked as a storyboard artist for film and animation for years before moving into writing and acting in movie musicals,” he said. “On most of those early projects, I was merely a hired hand, so I’d often be paid to draw happy, pretty pictures. My personal aesthetic, however, has always leaned more towards horror and the macabre.”
Like horror, Zdunich said classic opera often deals with dark themes like revenge, murder, and betrayal.
“Opera is also usually over-the-top in a way that complements tales of horror well,” he said.
Zdunich said “The Devil’s Carnival” is more tongue-in-cheek than serious.
“We’re trying to create a cinematic event that makes people want to go to the theater again, an experience that can’t be downloaded because of the audience-participation, wild costumes and people, and overall great time,” he said. “‘The Devil’s Carnival’ is not just a movie. It’s an event.”
Tickets here were $20 and included a screening of ‘The Devil’s Carnival’ and an audience Q&A with Zdunich and Bousman. The event also included an audience-interactive pre-show with a live sideshow act, costume contest and sing-along.