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The Devil's Music

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Editorial Reviews

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The Devil's Music is the first film to document the strange story of notorious shock-rocker Erika Spawn who was briefly the most infamous woman in the world after her music had been linked by the tabloid press to real-life murders and atrocities. Through recently obtained footage, we see how Erika became attached to a young fan, Stef Regan, who accompanied her on the final music tour with horrifying and bloody consequences. We also witness how Erika became obsessed with former boy-band singer Robin Harris, an obsession that led to a series of violent incidents and bizarre accusations. With unprecedented access to all of those who were involved, this film cuts through the rumors and media spin to uncover the disturbing truth behind a creepy, violent and still controversial chapter in pop music.


The film is about Erika Spawn (Victoria Hopkins), lead singer behind the shock-rock band named after her. The band was shooting to stardom with its explicit lyrics and gory stage shows, but it drew ire from many concerned parents and the moral majority in England. These people insist that the band is corrupting the youth. Still, despite the controversy surrounding the band, it continued gaining popularity. Against the gory backdrop of Erika Spawn, we are introduced to sappy crooner Robin Harris (Scott Thomas), who is the complete opposite of Erika Spawn and vied with the band for the top of the charts. Yet, we find out later in the documentary that Harris is inexplicitly linked to Erika by a groupie the band takes on tour with them. One night after a show, this groupie, named Stef Regan (Lucy Dunn) found her way backstage. Erika took a liking to her and brought the young girl on tour. Everyone agreed the teen was a bit strange, but Erika really liked her so she stayed...and would later contribute to Erika s mysterious disappearance. The Devil s Music is shot like a rockumentary and in interview segments we are introduced to Erika s band mates, the brash Adele Black (Jess-Luisa Flynn) and the mellow ZC (Alan Ronald), as well as the band s manager Eddie Meachum (Cy Henty) and others. We are shown television spots with Erika as well as concert and backstage footage. We are never told the whole story up front, but rather tension is created by not knowing exactly where the story is going. I am familiar with Jinx Media and thoroughly enjoyed their last film, KillerKiller (read review), but I believe that The Devil s Music is even better and really showcases writer/director Pat Higgins talents! Everything, from the clever way the film was presented to the stellar acting from all of the actors, was top notch and really shows how far Pat Higgins has come as both a writer and a director. First, the documentary style of the film is flawless. It s hard to pull off an effective documentary, but Higgins does indeed succeed with The Devil s Music! From the opening statements by the band s manager to the mysterious shadow footage played at the end, I was hooked all the way through! The interviews and the concert/backstage footage flowed perfectly together and it really does look like a real rockumentary you might see on FUSE, MTV or VH1! As for the story, it unfolds in a very effective, yet mysterious manner. When the film first begins, you don t have the whole story of Erika Spawn and only have an ominous feeling that something is going to befall her. As the film progresses, we are given hints as to Erika s fate, but it s not until close to the end where everything is revealed and things take a turn for the violent and supernatural (this IS a horror movie!)! I ll stop there, because this is a film that works better going in cold, so I don t want to give too much away! Another aspect that assists this film in its awesomeness is the acting. Every single one of the actors does a fantastic job and there isn t a weak one in the bunch. I really enjoyed seeing Cy Henty as the manager as he s been in other Pat Higgins films. Victoria Hopkins was marvelous as Erika Spawn and completely sold me on her character. She was a complete rock star and I don t doubt for a minute that she could fill arenas with fans. I wish Erika Spawn was a real band that I could go see! Also, Jess-Luisa Flynn was amazing as the smack-talking, rude, realist Adele Black. I loved every second she was on-screen! Lucy Dunn was great as groupie Stef Regan. Her performance made you both revile and pity her character. --Fatally-Yours.com

It s always an exciting time when a new Jinx Media movie lands on my review pile. Having followed the progression of Pat Higgins movie-making career from the start, it s always a pleasure to see his latest offering. From the low-budget starter TrashHouse, through the next project, the back-to-back shot KillerKiller and Hellbride, the stories have all had firm roots in the horror genre. So it came as a small, but pleasant, shock to find that The Devil s Music takes a departure from standard horror movie formulae and creates something uniquely refreshing. The Devil s Music is a fake rockumentary charting a strange series of events centered on shock-rock band Erika Spawn. Told through interviews and tour footage, the movie relates how a slightly obsessive fan worms her way under the wing of lead singer, Erika, and how this young fan s past unfolds into something dark and sinister that causes untold problems for everyone she gets involved with. While it might sound like a fairly standard horror movie, it s nothing like one. What it is, is a master class in engrossing story telling. To have an 88 minute movie, the bulk of which consists solely of dialogue, keep the viewer not just engaged, but completely riveted, is no easy feat. Yet, by building a story that keeps you guessing, revealing snippets of key information at exactly the right time, it does just that. Effective filmmaking is a unique talent, as is effective documentary making. It doesn t necessarily follow that a talented filmmaker can make interesting documentaries, and vice-versa. Yet, in this case, Pat Higgins adds the feather of accomplished documentary maker to his, already well-feathered, cap. If I had to criticize one aspect of The Devil s Music, it would be the live footage of the band. While every other segment works extremely well, it s patently obvious that the band are performing to no-one while an audience sound effect is dubbed over the top. I guess you can t create a packed Wembley Stadium on a budget. As is normal with Jinx Media productions, there are a plethora of familiar faces that have graced the screen on previous productions. The omnipresent Cy Henty makes the ever-so-slightly sleazy band manager, Eddie Meachum, shine in his own way, although the day Henty puts in a bad performance is the day I demand a refund. Victoria Hopkins as Erika Spawn is a strong and convincing lead, and Jess-Luisa Flynn, as bass player Adele, raises the bar with the best performance I ve seen in an indie movie for a long time. The Devil s Music is a film that defies both pigeon-holing and detailed explanation (without giving away huge spoilers). One thing is for sure, if you enjoy a great story that draws you in and keeps you begging for more, right up until the last credit, see this movie. --DJ Benz - HorrorTalk.com

Writer/Director Pat Higgins fourth feature film (which he also edited) is a mockumentary about the rise and fall of Goth singer Erika Spawn and the part a young fan, Stef Regan played in the mysterious circumstances, which shocked a nation and led to the eventual disappearance of Erika. The film in aesthetic qualities alone far surpasses Higgins debut effort TrashHouse, so I was pleased to see that the writer/director is obviously going from strength to strength. It was also good to see that the acting, costumes, props, locations and editing were all better too. The film does have an interesting story at its core and works for the majority of it s run time, although it does falter on a few occasions due to accents slipping, the odd moment of overacting and not that much actually happening. That being said, the unknown cast makes for engaging viewing, especially Jess-Luisa Flynn. There s also only really one mildly frightening sequence and another with any hint of real suspense. Although there is no blood and gore, the film is filled with striking visual imagery and credit must also go to the team for creating a number of catchy songs (namely Body of a Whore) for their leading lady. OVERALL SUMMARY In the end, The Devil s Music was quite refreshing. Like Spinal Tap for Horror Fans, it demonstrates that Pat Higgins has already learned a lot about filmmaking and that he will hopefully continue to put his new skill set to use on further interesting features such as this. --Phil Davies Brown - Horror-Asylum.com

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