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Jimmy Lidell is a "nobody", stealing to earn a living in a dead-end life searching for his long lost girlfriend... until he meets Luc Tyer... a bigger-than-life underworld heavy that makes him an "offer he can't refuse". Jimmy accepts, but is leery about the secret motives behind Luc's willingness to teach the business. Jimmy's mother suspects that Jimmy may be running with the wrong crowd, but Jimmy turns a deaf ear to her religious warnings. Luc soon reveals his plans to use Jimmy as his unholy servant in a deadly and bloody game of evil revenge and power. Written by
Brunswick and Baldwin Bring Everything to the Table
Jimmy Lidell (Jim Lewis) used to have a girlfriend. Now all he has is a lonely life and an excessively religious mother (Dee Wallace). After entering an underworld of seedy men with questionable connections, he begins a journey to find whatever became of his former lover. Is she dead, kidnapped or something worse?
This film starts off with a gorgeous woman with perky breasts having sex with Satan. I don't know what to say about that, other than that I think this might be all some viewers will need to draw them in for the next hour. (But don't worry, even after this wonderful start, the film gets increasingly better as it goes.) If you crave smut, Meshelle Melone ("They Must Eat") returns as Tina, a prostitute in one of the most realistic (and shortest) sex scenes ever put on film.
I enjoyed the in-jokes, such as a guy wearing a shirt for "The Remake" (another Tommy Brunswick film), and the backdrop of Detroit rather than Chicago or New York (the cast and crew are largely Michigan natives). I also like how the Baphomet medallion was incorporated.
The production value has greatly increased since the days of "They Must Eat", and I expect this film to get wide distribution at video stores across the country. The casting of horror icons Dee Wallace and James Russo really sealed the deal. Recent straight-to-DVD releases ("Satanic" and "All Soul's Day" to name just two) announce the inclusion of a horror star and then don't deliver what the fans want. "Little Red Devil" goes above and beyond.
Dee Wallace actually has one of the weaker performances in this film, surprisingly, while Daniel Baldwin provides what may be the best performance of his career. At one point, he monologues on the role of the devil in Christian mythology with a raw emotion usually reserved for that other Baldwin (Alec, not Stephen). I think his speech was the high point in the film and if I had any doubts (I didn't) this would have eased my pain.
The other stand-out acting came from the man playing the pimp (whose name I unfortunately failed to catch). And there is a scene with amazing gut-ripping special effects, although this was ruined by a bad computer-generated head smash. The film was fine even without gore, so that extra step is doubly inconvenient. And my only other complaint: why does the devil walk like an exaggerated wrestler? He seemed more prepared to clothesline Ric Flair than collect a few souls. But, oh well.
After seeing Tommy Brunswick's progression from "They Must Eat" to "Little Red Devil" in so short a time, I have to ask: when is somebody going to give her a bigger budget and some time on the silver screen? I've seen too many "big name" directors pump out repetitive, boring or trite horse apples while Brunswick is wallowing in obscurity. If there's any justice in this world, by this time next year we'll be seeing just the reverse.
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