Todd and the Book of Pure Evil Season Two [Blu-Ray]

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil Season Two [Blu-Ray]
Another semester at Crowley High means another assortment of gory, bizarre and enthusiastically immature life lessons from Canada's best homegrown series in years. Having found its stride early in its run, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil stretches its legs for these 13 episodes, retaining the monster-of-the-week format, in which a satanic book appears to emotionally distraught kids to twist desires born of their insecurities, but the scope of imagination with which the book now manifests gives the stories the opportunity to tread new ground, adding to the larger mythos only hinted at earlier. At the close of last season, evil, sexually confused guidance counsellor Atticus Murphy Jr. (Chris Leavins) decapitated his father, replacing him as the head of the retirement home-based local Satanic Society. With a newfound perception of power, and freedom from his father's debasing attitudes, his unchecked confidence blooms into cockiness, and that temperament suits Atticus wonderfully. Atticus can't entirely throw the yoke of paternal dominance though; some of the season's funniest moments, including the best of the deleted and extended scenes, come from the hysterically dedicated Chris Leavins acting opposite the decaying head of Atticus Senior. As the season progresses through literalizing assimilation into "The Student Body," coming to terms with frustrated parental expectations, steroid addiction via the unlikely avenue of cheerleading, going meta when the aspiring filmmakers of the A/V Club get their hands on the book, a full-on rock opera, where Hannah (Melanie Leishman) sings much of the lead without a tongue, and a series-best look into the future that rips on the conventions of time-jumping excursions and takes a funny, random jab at comic book hero the Flash, we learn more about the ultimate purpose of the book and how it's connected to stoner/filth guru/school janitor Jimmy (Jason Mewes) and the three cryptic metal dudes who sell drugs in the high school parking. The cast as a whole, with the exception of a few particularly flat readings by Maggie Castle, as the object of Todd's affection, Jenny, comes across much more comfortable with how to play the show's peculiar blend of deadpan camp, satire, spoof and perversion; it's a show very aware of its low budget, preoccupation with taboo sexuality, bodily functions and ridiculous approach towards making some heartfelt statements about the awkwardness of social interaction through lampooning the genre clichés it's inspired by. Aside from the aforementioned bit of brilliant Atticus insanity, the extended and deleted scenes are pretty standard, but the "Extended and Alternate Musical Numbers" are worth a look. With an emphasis on line fumbles and laugh attacks, the blooper reel is much funnier than the mildly amusing "In Memoriam: A Tribute to the Fallen Students of Crowley High," which recaps two years' worth of kill shots with sunny backing music. Getting into the meat of actually making the show, "Script to Screen" takes an extensive look at each stage of the development of a single episode. "Cast Q&A" finds the principle actors discussing a variety of topics, like their chemistry and comfort level with each other, working with prosthetics, the comic genius of Chris Leavins and the show's bizarre and distinctive voice, making sensible comparisons to Porky's, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Evil Dead. Also included: behind-the-scenes shots of some of the notable gore gags and cast and crew commentary for four episodes, with Jason Mewes appropriately contributing to the one about an invisible pervert fiendishly masturbating around the school. (eOne)