When Season One of the cult favorite "Todd & The Book of Pure Evil" closed out, big changes were in store for our gang. A blossoming romance between Curtis (Bill Turnbull) and Hannah (Melanie Leishman) seemed poised to heat things up. Hannah, in particular, appeared to be embracing a new warrior aesthetic. Jenny (Maggie Castle) finally had some answers about her missing father. Atticus (a hilarious Chris Leavins) was embracing the dark side and stepping into a leadership position. And Todd (Alex House) was facing a big dilemma. Was a prophesy about his future a predetermined course into evil itself? And who are that trio of stoner freaks in the parking lot? And what of janitor Jimmy (Jason Mewes)? Don't worry, he's still literally banging away in the basement.
Maintaining all the silliness, "Todd & The Book of Pure Evil" resumes pretty much where it left off. In case you're worried that the show might have veered into good taste or better behavior, the copious amounts of excrement dished up in the premiere should quickly dispel that notion. The format remains the same. In almost every episode, the book finds a willing accomplice to enact absolute mayhem on the school before the gang can bring the situation to a close in a cool 22 minute time frame. Even Jenny's father is seduced by its charms! Highlights include the return of the Phantom of Crowley High (singing everywhere), losing one's virginity as a pivotal plot point, and a birthday cake that must be seen to be believed. It all builds to a crescendo with a stellar final episode where Todd and Atticus finally have a momentous showdown.
I really like that the makers of Todd don't skimp on Bonus Material. Obviously, the show has a loyal fan base. While you can view the actual episodes on other sources, the extra features here (and on the Season One release, for that matter) reward those that purchase the DVD. The thirteen episodes are presented on 2 discs with Bonus content that includes:
1) Blooper Reel
2) Deleted Scenes and/or Extended Scenes
3) Full Musical Numbers
4) Special Effects Bonus Material
5) Behind-the-Scenes Featurettte
6) Three Episodes with Cast/Crew Commentary
But the real winner is the delightful (7) In Memoriam spoof that honors the MANY, MANY, MANY who have died in the halls of Crowley High. I'm still not sure why anyone is still going here!
I know that this show is for a certain audience, but that its strength. This program, with unabashed eccentricity, does exactly what it intends. And by embracing its lunacy wholeheartedly, the show is an unqualified success. This gonzo comedy/horror mash-up from Canada is an unapologetic homage to bad monster movie mayhem. It embraces its intentional badness in such a refreshing way, though, it is almost impossible to resist (if you're into that kind of thing). Combining cheesy effects, ridiculous situations, and over-the-top characterizations while filtering everything through a stoner mentality, this is a show that screams to be discovered by a wider audience and achieve the cult status that seems inevitable. If you're new to Todd and the gang, check it out from the beginning! KGHarris, 6/13.