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Todd and the Book of Pure Evil

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil
An unholy hybrid of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Degrassi Junior High, but super-dirty and mad-gory, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is the most purely entertaining Canadian television in a long time. It's based on a short film of the same name (included in the features, so you can see just how much the cast and writers of the series have improved upon the original concept) about a slacker metal head stoner named Todd (Alex House), his one-armed drummer buddy, Curtis (Bill Turnbull, Being Erica), crush Jenny (Maggie Castle) and resident redheaded geek Hannah (Melanie Leishman). After Todd stumbles across a satanic book that offers to fulfil the bearer's deepest desire, which in his case is unearthly chops on the guitar, in exchange for a little demonic possession and bloodshed, the crew assemble a Scoobie gang to hunt down the book and handle the violent and usually monstrous supernatural occurrences it induces each week preying on the insecure teens of Crowley High. Their adult aid comes in the form of a kind, but odd, janitor, played by Jason Mewes (Jay to Kevin Smith's Silent Bob), who dishes pearls of questionable wisdom, and guidance counsellor Atticus Murphy Jr. (a zany Chris Leavins), an awkward weirdo who's secretly a member of the satanic cult trying to recover the book. Each episode follows the pattern of a weekly lessons-learned high-school drama, but subverts the formula with jet-black humour and loads of penis jokes. A bullied kid gives a speech about tolerance and acceptance to an angry mob, and they still rip him limb from limb. Embarrassed by the exposure of his miniscule penis, the school bully uses the book to increase his member's stature, resulting in a snake-like monster cock with a toothy mouth, a low voice and Medusa powers. It's moments like these that make the show's low-budget effects a campy blessing. The first season resolves a few points of the main plot while setting up for a promising second season. Aside from the rather shitty short film that started it all, the special features are good viewing. A blooper reel, outtakes and deleted and extended scenes from the metal musical about Atticus's childhood experience with ritual wolf sex all contain plenty of extra hilarity, courtesy of the demented Chris Leavins. The cast also participate in a Q&A session where they address such queries as: "Which character were you most like in high school?" and "What would you do if you found the book?" to mixed response. Pushing the boundaries of acceptability and good taste with its macabre potty humour and funhouse mirror view of traditionally espoused morality, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is wicked, warped fun. (eOne)
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