The Devil Conspiracy (2022)

The first time I saw the poster for this film, it looked like some kind of alien movie that should in no way be playing at the multiplex — where it did a two-day on demand run in my area — so of course, it fascinated me. Let me tell you, this movie lived up to what I wanted it to be, whatever it is.

What can we say about a movie that starts with a PS2-level cut scene of St. Michael the Archangel (Peter Mensah) defeating the rebel angels led by Lucifer (Joe Anderson) and chaining him in a pit. You have to love a movie where Lucifer looks right at the hero and asks, “Is this all necessary?”

Boom, the movie fast forwards to art student Laura Milton (Alice Orr-Ewing) studying the Shroud of Turin when an army led by Liz (Eveline Hall) breaks in, kills the kindly Father Marconi (Joe Doyle) and runs off with the fabric which is said to have an image of Jesus Christ on it. Dying, Marconi begs for the intercession of Archangel Michael who soon takes over his body.

Michael soon is given a prophecy: A wicked woman and a beast of the Earth are to bring a child into our world that will carry the spirit of Lucifer. That child will be the clone of Jesus, made through the DNA in the Shroud, and the blasphemy of the Son of God being used to carry the spirit of the First of the Fallen will bring about another War in Heaven.

Meanwhile, Lauren is taken to a facility where she and three other women — Sophia, Brenda and Mia — are tested to see who can handle the seed of the devil. Of course it’s Lauren, even if she tries to drink bleach to destroy the demonic child inside her. Michael attempts to save her but gets sent to Hell, where he learns that the demons there plan to run wild on Earth. Past sacrfices trapped there help him to find his holy sword and makes it back to the human world, where he lets Lucifer in on the fact that God already had his plan all figured out and Laura’s child is destined to destroy him.

There’s also a wacky ending that totally sets up a sequel that I will not wait for streaming and be in the first seat in the first showing. I mean, this is a movie where the evil devil people have figured out cloning and sell a new version of Michelangelo for ten million euros!

Directed by Nathan Frankowski and written by Ed Alan, this movie reminds me of the days when oddball stuff like Ultraviolet and Priest could show up in multiplexes for a week and then get discovered on cable and video. Sure, they weren’t great movies per se but are also films that were colored outside the lines. Often critically reviled, they’re also the movies I seek out.

I totally thought this was a religious movie, but it has so much gore, profanity and a moment where Laura  swallows all that bleach, straddles Liz and pukes directly into her face. Now that’s cinema.

Also: it has the two most obvious needledrops I’ve ever heard one after the other: INXS playing “Devil Inside” and Real Life’s “Send Me an Angel.” That’s the kind of ridiculousness I approved of.

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