US animated webfilm (2019). Spindle House. Created and directed by Vivienne Medrano. Written by David Capdevielle, Raymond Hernandez and Vivienne Medrano. Voice cast includes Edward Bosco, Gabriel C Brown, Monica Franco, Jill Harris, Elsie Lovelock, Michael Kovach, Mike Lauer, Michelle Marie and Will Stamper. 32 Minutes. Colour.
Intended as the pilot for a series, this short film was independently produced, mainly through crowdfunding. It was released via YouTube in October 2019, passing 5 million views in the first week and 40 million after nine months. In August 2020 it was announced that a Television series had been commissioned.
Kind-hearted Princess "Charlie" Magne (Harris/Lovelock), the daughter of Lucifer and Lilith (see Religion), is distressed by Hell's annual cleansing, which erases souls to curb Overpopulation. So, with her girlfriend Vaggie (Franco), she hits upon a novel alternative: redemption (see Eschatology). But, as Hell's inhabitants are evil and happy to be so, a move to Heaven does not appeal; thus they have only one patron: Angel Dust (Kovach), a gay gangster, prostitute and porn star, fluent in the single-entendre, who's taking advantage of the free accommodation at their hotel. However, support is offered by the mysterious Alastor (Bosco/Brown) aka The Radio Demon, who appeared in Hell only decades ago, quickly becoming one of its most powerful denizens. He explains his motivations are simply boredom and a desire to watch demons aspire then fail – but he does provide staff: cute neat freak Niffty (Marie) and alcoholic gambler Husk (Lauer). When territorially ambitious Sir Pentious (Stamper) attacks the hotel in his skyship, we witness Alastor's power as it is dragged beneath Hell's surface by a tentacled monstrosity (see Monsters).
Damned souls are transformed into demons (see Gods and Demons) on their arrival in Hell. Alastor was a 1930s Louisiana serial killer and radio host who fondly recalls the 1929 stock market crash: "so many orphans". Sir Pentious was a Victorian Scientist; consequently his inventions have a Steampunk feel, despite being advanced Technology.
This is a very funny, visually and verbally rich adult show. The animation is imaginative: demonic character designs usually adhering to the credo of "evil is sexy"; whilst the environs of Hell have a vibrant, neon seediness. The voice cast deliver their lines with gusto; the three songs are all memorable, the first being sung by Charlie in full Disney Princess mode. Also set in the same universe is Helluva Boss (2019), a short (11 minutes) animated webfilm. [SP]
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