Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Devils' Cabaret: Hellish Little Film

Yeah. It's THAT place alright. Either that or Cleveland!
The Devils' Cabaret Credit: MGM, Turner Classic Movies.
                                     The Devils' Cabaret: Hellish Little Film


                                                                   Jay Agan

      It came as one of the extras on the Warner disc of Cimarron, a claustrophobic western starring Richard Dix. After enduring about 10 minutes, I decided to try The Devils Cabaret, a musical short with Eddie Buzzell (Who he?).

      Seems to be a crisis at Satan & Co., Inc. Too many "customers" are choosing Heaven over you know where (As indicated by the meter on the office wall.). Ole Scratch sends out for Howie Burns (How he burns ..... get it? Didn't think so.), a go getter with a sure fire (My pun. The ones in the flick are MUCH worse!) way of getting more folks "down there". After a dumpload of lame jokes & bad puns ("We're in the red!" "Just an old flame of mine.", etc.) Howie's off for fresh souls.

      At the entrance to the cabaret, Howie interrupts a preacher warning of what waits within. His enticements culminate in a dance number where the girl dancers peel off their green quasi "puritan" garb down to their lingerie. (Yeah, this is definitely "pre-code". Quite tame today (No nudity, etc.) but could still raise an eyebrow at a church gathering. This & the other dance numbers come off as uncoordinated & crude. It would be some time before Busby Berkely, et al would refine the musical genre & give it some class.) The gullible follow the dancers in past the preacher, down the slide & in to the cabaret. After the damned are seated, Satan appears & the show is on.

      As one can guess, it gets worse. A huge round alter (See photo above.) topped by  an "idealized" Satan face with batwings. Chorous girl "satanettes" in tutus do a "ballet" number followed by  "swing" dance.

      After that, the wind up. Mr. Burns announces the show's over. Mens dorm to the left, girls to the right.

      "Didn't ya all have a wonderful time down here?"


      Didn't ya see marvelous entertainment?"


      "I gave you everything I promised you down in Hades, didn't I?"



      "Well, what's the idea of separating us?"

      "Ahhhhhhhhh! That's the HELL of it!"

      Fade to red.

       Sigh. I think I'll actually keep this little atrocity. It should endear me to the folks at church when I show it to some of them.

       "Do you always stutter?"

      "Gosh no! Only w-when I t-t-talk!"

      Oh for cryin' out loud!

                                      Article copyright © 5-26-2011 Jay Agan

Hell in anime here.

Heaven in anime here. It's a LOT better than depicted.

How NOT to get pwned by Satan here. Second half of the article maps it out.

Go to main page here.

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