By JOSHUA “Prometheus” Scafidi
Starring Bill Oberst Jr., Linnea Quigley, Kane Hodder
Written/directed by Jess Norvisgaard
Distributed by Suttlefilm
THE GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO is a supernatural/vampire film written and directed by Jess Norvisgaard, and it packs quite an impressive cast. featuring Kane Hodder, Bill Oberst Jr, and Linea Quigley. The film takes place on Halloween and revolves around two characters who are the very definition of polar opposites. Richard (Oberst Jr), a two-bit gangster intent on retiring, is forced into taking just one more job – robbing a rival gangster across town. Simple enough. He heads out to do so with his daughter Mouse (Mary Katherine O’Donnell), and an associate named Percy (Hodder).
Spoiler alert: Percy is not a nice guy. In fact, this man is so abominably evil, that the first time I met him on screen, I wanted him to die. I’m willing to bet that you will too. That of course, is the point. You’re supposed to hate this guy, and the fact that you do is a testament to the legend of Kane Hodder. The guy does intimidation well, and he knows it. On the other end of the spectrum is Melvin (David Rucker III). Melvin has aspirations of running a museum out of his home with his wife, Louissie (Linnea Quigley). “The Museum of the Macabre,” to be precise. Living with them is Loussie’s almost 40-year-old daughter, Caroline (Kelley Wilson Robinson). It’s unclear why…but it makes for a few laughs. The neighborhood kids love Melvin, and he excitedly tells a group of them about his newest acquisition… El Demonio De La Masquerade, or just Masquerade. A centuries-old vampire, literally from Hell, that he will have on display later that night. What could possibly go wrong? It turns out, a lot, including Loussie getting bitten by the vampire, leading to an awesome performance from Linnea Quigley later on in the film. But when Richard, Mouse, and Percy show up that night demanding money, things get much worse, real fast.
Bill Oberst Jr gives a great performance bringing emotion to Richard, whose troubled relationship with his daughter becomes as troublesome to him as the vampire – and almost as dangerous. Mary Katherine O’Donnell won me over as the tough and badass Mouse, though I was skeptical at first. Her performance warms up as the film goes on, and she has some of the film’s best scenes during the second half. A few of these moments are quite brutal, and she handles them very well.
Now… let’s talk about Melvin, played by David Rucker III. At the beginning of the film, it’s hard to know what to make of this character. He’s odd, offbeat, and even when going back and forth with his almost 40-year-old stepdaughter, you can’t help but cheer for this guy. He’s campy, cheesy, goofy, and the film is all the better for it. The performance helps break up some of the darker, more twisted scenes, of which there are several. I want to be clear here, this vampire does not sparkle. In fact, vampire, Masquerade is my favorite part of the film. It’s vicious, it’s animalistic, extremely powerful, and most importantly of all… insatiably thirsty. Just the way I like my vampires. More scare, less glitter.
The film isn’t without its faults, and the sudden switches between comedic to more serious tones can be jarring at times, and probably could have been executed better. The soundtrack is a bit lack-luster, and some of the characters’ decisions are questionable at best but hey, it is a horror film. If our favorite characters always made good decisions, we would have very few movies in our beloved genre. Overall, THE GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO is a fun and gory vampire flick that manages to pull out a handful of ripe scares on a small budget.
THE GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO is available now on VOD from Suttlefilm