Combustible Celluloid Review - The Devil Conspiracy (2023), Ed Alan, Nathan Frankowski, Alice Orr-Ewing, Joe Doyle, Eveline Hall, Peter Mensah, Joe Anderson, Brian Caspe, James Faulkner, Spencer Wilding
Combustible Celluloid
With: Alice Orr-Ewing, Joe Doyle, Eveline Hall, Peter Mensah, Joe Anderson, Brian Caspe, James Faulkner, Spencer Wilding
Written by: Ed Alan
Directed by: Nathan Frankowski
MPAA Rating: R for strong violent content, some gore and language
Running Time: 111
Date: 01/13/2023

The Devil Conspiracy (2023)

1 Star (out of 4)

All Hell Breaks Lucifer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This weird thriller takes its preposterous idea and runs with it full-steam, taking itself dead seriously, with poor filmmaking that is often too dark or too noisy, winding up with an irritating mess.

Art student Laura (Alice Orr-Ewing) is studying in Italy. Her friend, Father Marconi (Joe Doyle), gives her special access to a museum, to see and sketch a statue of St. Michael defeating Lucifer. The museum is also hosting the Shroud of Turin, said to be the cloth that Jesus wore when He died (His blood is said to be on it).

Mysterious intruders break into the museum and steal the shroud, kidnapping Laura and killing Father Marconi in the process. St. Michael returns to earth and takes over Father Marconi's body and heads out after the thieves.

Meanwhile, a secret organization of satan worshippers, led by Liz (Eveline Hall), and an evil scientist, Dr. Laurent (Brian Caspe) have found a way to build new life from centuries-old DNA, and they hope to use Laura as a host for the next Jesus. Lucifer himself (Joe Anderson) hopes to control him. Will their crazy plan work?

The Devil Conspiracy boasts strong production value, with professional design and performances, but somehow feels like a captainless ship. It seems more urgently concerned with getting across its message (love is stronger than hate) than with telling a good story.

The worst part about this idea is the biological fact that everyone needs to wait nine months for the new Jesus to grow inside of Laura's womb, and so the writers need to find ways to stall all of the action for long stretches until things can resume again.

Not to mention that it's difficult to be entertained given Laura's cruel, violent, and invasive treatment. "You have no idea what suffering means," one character says during the climax. They might have been talking about The Devil Conspiracy.

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