The Devil Conspiracy Movie Review

Written by Stephen McClurg

Released by Samuel Goldwyn Films

the devil conspiracy poster large

 

Directed by Nathan Frankowski
Written by Ed Alan
2022, 111 minutes, Rated R
Released on January 13th, 2023

Starring:
Alice Orr-Ewing as Laura Milton
Joe Doyle as Father Marconi
Eveline Hall as Liz
Peter Mensah as Archangel Michael
Joe Anderson as Lucifer
Brian Caspe as Dr. Laurent
James Faulkner as Cardinal Vincini

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Review:

I was sure I would hear about the blasphemy of this movie, even though Biblical figures have been depicted in popular art for centuries, including statues, paintings, and in relation to The Devil Conspiracy, Milton’s most famous poem, Paradise Lost. Maybe someone’s complaining about how blasphemous it is to Milton. Maybe. Unfortunately, I think this movie went under the radar like so many releases these days. No one can keep up. 

The Devil Conspiracy is cheese, but well-made cheese. And like many artisanal cheeses, some will love the unctuous nature, while others will just taste dirty feet. 

I do love a stinky cheese. 

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The movie is a mix of superhero cinema, a mad science tale a la Get Out (2017), some Dan Brown mumbo-jumbo featuring genetics and the Shroud of Turin, and a host of other genre turns. Laura Milton (Alice Orr-Ewing) is a graduate student working on the nature of good and evil and is friends with Father Marconi (Joe Doyle), who is able to give her access to an exhibit of religious art that features the Shroud. Things go awry when Liz, part of a religious cult with a biotech component enters and kills everyone in sight, steals the Shroud, and kidnaps Laura. The religious cult’s biotech department gives new life to dead geniuses by having the wealthy bid to combine their DNA with the likes of Vivaldi and Michelangelo. It’s this technology that will allow them to breed the son of Satan. Milton and Archangel Michael must attempt to save the...well, you get the idea. 

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We reinvent gods and goddesses for our times and contemporary psyches and fantasies, and for the last few years, superhero cinema has been that popular arena, so it makes sense this movie pulls from that current trend. Like my favorite of the superdupers of cinema, this movie has a sense of humor. I mean it almost has to in order to tackle the characters here. I’m sure there are plenty of smug and clever reviews that rip apart the plot for not making sense, similar to the ones on Goodreads about the Bible. But I’m all about the Archangel Michael getting in some Tom Cruise running, which is not in Milton by the way. When a priest in a long leather coat enters a scene, we get some hot metal riffage with Spaghetti Western tinges. There is something funny about Satan complaining about being a father. His water also breaks over the Archangel Michael, which made me laugh more than most traditional comedies ever do. 

Sometimes The Devil Conspiracy is Dan Brownish plot machinations and sometimes it’s monster suits and gore. I’m not sure who the audience for this is, but I’m squarely in it. Probably the scariest part is when Milton tries to get a topic approved by an uninterested thesis advisor, who can't stop hitting on her. Proving once again that humans are the...well, you get the idea. 

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Grades:

Movie: 3.5 Star Rating Cover
Cover

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Stephen McClurg
Staff Reviewer
No matter how hard he tries to focus on music, Stephen always gets called back to horror culture. The inciting incident is likely the night his grandmother cackled through his wide-eyed and white-knuckled first viewing of Jaws at three. The ‘70s were a different time. Over the years, he has mostly published poetry and essays, but started writing with a review section for the Halloween edition of the sixth-grade school newspaper. He rated titles like Creepshow with a short description and illustrated pumpkins. His teacher loved it, but the principal shredded the final version before distribution since all the movies were rated R.
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