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‘Todd and the Book of Pure Evil’ Season One (DVD Review)

I came across Todd and the Book of Pure Evil by accident and just rolled with the fact that it had a neat sounding name that promised hijinx. At least the cover art did, but that’s all I knew of the show. Okay, and I also knew that the show was a Canadian production, so how funny could Todd and the Book of Pure Evil really be? I’ll just say that I received the DVD yesterday and I quickly sat down to devour the entire first season marathon style today. It’s a 13 episode first season, so it damn well better be the bomb, right? Read on and find out if it cut the mustard or not. 

 

Series

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil Season One features 13 episodes depicting the various wholesome and mostly unwholesome activities of the student body at Crowley High School. Todd Smith (Alex House) and his best friend Curtis Weaver (Bill Turnbull) would love to own the school, but as it stands, they are a couple of loser wannabe metalheads. They start off by auditioning for the talent show with their two-piece band called Barbarian Apocalypse, but fail miserably. Todd skulks away and notices the book of high school lore aka “The Book of Pure Evil” in a locked case display in the hallway of his school. After making a deal with Jimmy the Janitor (Jason Mewes) to get the book out of the case, Todd casts a spell on himself and becomes a guitar legend overnight.

With great power comes great responsibility, right? Well, since the book is inherently evil it seeks only to corrupt the young souls at Crowley High starting with Todd. The main theme of the show is that the book seeks out the weak willed and those that have low self-esteem or have been bullied by granting them powers beyond belief. The drawback is that they’re usually screwed by the end of each episode. I mean this literally and figuratively All with the exception of Todd, because somehow the book treats Todd a wee bit different. Hmmmm, I sense foreshadowing there…

After Todd’s first adventure he is joined by the hot Jenny Kolinsky (Maggie Castle) who was Todd’s previous bully’s (who Todd made bleed from every orifice) ex-girlfriend and has an agenda of her own. Hannah B. Williams (Melanie Leishman) is the cute redhead-geek who is infatuated with Todd and will do anything for him or with him assuming he wants to, too. Whatever gets her near him, she’s in. Atticus Murphy Jr. (Chris Leavins) is the bat-shit crazy guidance counselor who also has a hidden agenda of the satanic kind, but joins the “gang” to combat evil…sometimes. Leavins really steals the scenes that he’s in – it’s a great comedic performance.

The best way I can describe Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is to say that it’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer on acid with sex, metal, and extreme gore! There’s an obvious Evil Dead influence that Todd proudly wears on its sleeve. I also dig that Todd and the Book of Pure Evil tackles serious issues dealing with young people and blends scathing humor with those issues to get the point across without coming off as preachy or heavy handed.

The first season runs 13-episodes long at about 22 minutes a pop. Yours truly tore through the season in half a day, because that’s how I roll, yo! Good thing the show rocks otherwise I would have been pissed! 😉 I know there’s a season 2 out in the horizon and cannot wait until that hits DVD or Blu-ray. I will devour it all in less than a day. Oh, how I suffer for my art.

As you can see by the rating (and ranting) I have given it the highest possible grade that is allowed, so please continue reading down below and see what the rest of the DVD package has in store for you.

 

Season One Episodes

Todd The Metal God

How To Make A Homunculus

Rock n’ Roll Zombies Know Best

Gay Day

Monster Fat

Invasion Of The Stupid Snatchers

Terrible Twin Turf Tussle

Cockfight

Big Bad Baby

The Ghost Of Chet Sukowski

The Phantom Of Crowley High

Checkmate

A Farewell To Curtis’ Arm

 

 

Video

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is presented in 480p (upscaled to 1080p) and it’s more than a serviceable DVD. Complexions look natural except for those of the demonic kind which is a blast. Color levels vary in quality and that’s where the majority of problems arise. Occasional banding and bleeding may litter the more colorful frames where cgi was used. It’s not necessarily the fault of the transfer, but more of the budget constraints. Still, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil looks pretty awesome on DVD and I am hoping to trade in this DVD set for the Blu-ray when that hits. For now, there is an alternative as Amazon does offer the episodes in HD on their website which is pretty rad, but they are priced al la carte.

 

 

Audio

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is presented in standard Dolby Digital 5.1 @448 mbps. it’s nothing fancy compared to a lossless track, but this “puny” 5.1 track makes most look like child’s play! Todd and the Book Pure of Evil has a very aggressive double bass pedal music soundtrack that just rocks the house hard! Dialogue levels are crisp and detailed as are the ambient surround channels. The subwoofer (LFE) get a brutal workout when those bass tones rumble the earth. Seriously, I really can’t wait to get my hands of the future Blu-ray, because this is one of those shows that will benefit of a full blown DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless track. The DVD for being a DVD does the content justice, though.

 

 

Extras

For such a tiny package this DVD really pulls out all the stops by including three commentaries on three episodes by the cast which are pretty hilarious along with many bloopers, deleted scenes, extended musical scenes, and my favorite feature although it sucked, in my opinion, because Todd and the Book of Pure Evil didn’t start out as a comedy, but as a 15 minute short film produced back in 2003. This DVD did need a couple more making-of-episode(s) featurettes, but what we got is more than enough.

  • Three Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew
  • Blooper Reel
  • Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Musical Scenes
  • Q&A with Cast Members
  • Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The Original Short Film
  • Promotional Clippings

 

 

 

Summary

I loved the show beyond belief. It’s hilarious, crude, and has plenty of attitude. Some of the situations are crazy as hell and some of the characters are beyond crazy themselves. The cast is uber talented and I thing Maggie Castle is a babe which is why she is featured in most of the screen caps used for this review. Yes, that was planned. Wink. It was also great to see Jason Mewes back in the saddle of a comedy series like this. His Yoda-like presence was felt in every episode. Yes, it was crude, but made me laugh hard. Did I already mention that I can’t wait until the Blu-ray is released? Okay, thought so.

 

 

Order Todd and the Book of Pure Evil Season One on DVD!

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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