Todd & the Book of Pure Evil-Season One (2010)

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Released 24-Oct-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy / Horror Audio Commentary-x 3 (Cast and Crew)
Outtakes-Blooper Reel
Deleted Scenes-Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
Music Highlights-Extended Musical Scenes
Interviews-Cast
More…-Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The Original Short Film
Teaser Trailer-Todd and the Book of Pure Evil Promos
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 278:15
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By James Genn
James Dunnison
Craig David Wallace
David Winning
Studio
Distributor
Entertainment One Starring Alex House
Maggie Castle
Bill Turnbull
Melanie Leishman
Chris Leavins
Jason Mewes
Case ?
RPI ? Music Shawn Pierce


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, joints and more joints
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

"We fight evil . . .
With mixed results"

     Somewhere within Crowley High School is “The Book of Pure Evil”, a book that preys on the fears and insecurities of people; and what better place to find fears and insecurities than teenagers in high school! The book is sought by a mysterious Satanic cult, who have received a prophesy that the chosen one, plus the book, will bring about the apocalypse. However, the book falls into the hands of various high school students and when any student uses the book to grant their deepest desires there are always unexpected, and unintended, consequences.

     Jenny’s (Maggie Castle) father was a journalist investigating the cult and the book, but has disappeared. Now Jenny seeks the book as a clue to his disappearance, helped reluctantly by Todd (Alex House), who has a crush on Jenny although she does not return the feelings, Todd’s one armed friend Curtis (Bill Turnbull) and nerdy science wiz Hannah (Melanie Leishman) who has a crush on Todd. Other on-going characters in the series include Atticus Murphy Jr. (Chris Leavins), the school guidance counsellor who is in league with the Satanic cult, and school janitor Jimmy (Jason Mewes). There are also three slacker heavy metal dudes who act as a sort of Greek Chorus: Brody (Daniel Petronijevic), Rob (Steve Arbuckle) and Eddie (Norman Yeung).

     Todd and the Book of Pure Evil was originally a short film made by Craig D. Wallace and Max Bernard Reid (included as an extra on Disc 2 of this set). This incarnation is a Canadian TV series that has run for two series, of which the 13 episodes on these 2 DVDs are the first series that aired between September and December 2010. The show is loud, with a heavy metal soundtrack, gross, is somewhat crude, but is generally inventive with delicious dialogue and situations. It is uneven, but mostly very entertaining and frequently laugh out loud funny. Each episode runs only 21 minutes so the pace is frenetic. Todd and the Book of Pure Evil takes standard teenage situations and anxieties, such as popularity, belonging, sexuality, bullies, gay and lesbian feelings, sporting success and turns the concerns, and the solutions as twisted by the book, into sometime quite bizarre. And of course it should be noted that the school is called Crowley High, which of course would not be a reference to British occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947).

     The 13 episodes are:

     Awesome. Bring on Series 2.

     Episodes 1-8 of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil are on disc 1 of this set; episodes 9-13, plus all the extras except for one audio commentary, are on disc 2.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, and is16x9 enhanced.

     The print is very good and is consistent over the 13 episodes. The print is sharp with nice detail. Colours and skin tones are natural, blacks solid and shadow detail good. There are no marks or scratches and other than the occasional motion blur no artefacts are evident.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded track at 192 Kbps. Despite the low bitrate, there are no problems with the audio. Dialogue is mostly clear and easy to understand. The effects and music have a pleasing depth for a TV presentation, and the surrounds are used for music and some effects. There is no hiss or crackle, and my sub-woofer was not used.

     The mainly heavy metal score by Shawn Pierce is not overused. It fits the tone of the series perfectly and is augmented in each episode by tracks from various heavy metal bands.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization problems.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The DVDs come with a good range of extras. Other than the audio commentary on episode 5, all the extras are on the second DVD.

Commentary Cast and Crew Episode 5

     Cast Alex House, Bill Turnbull, Maggie Castle and Melanie Leishman, plus Charles Picco (episode writer), Andrew Rossen (executive producer) and Craig D. Wallace (writer/director of the original Todd and the Book of Pure Evil and executive producer of the series) spend lots of times laughing with memories of the shoot. They point out that this was the original pilot episode of the series and point out the reshoots. They have a lot of fun.

Commentary Cast and Crew Episode 11

     Cast Chris Leavins and Bill Turnbull plus Charles Picco (episode writer), Shawn Pierce (composer) and Craig D. Wallace share a relaxed commentary with lots of laughs, talking about their intentions, changes to the script and the score.

Commentary Cast and Crew Episode 13

     Alex House and Craig D. Wallace talk about their intensions and filming the episode. Lots of how fantastic everything was, and the least interesting commentary of the three.

Pure Evil is all S***s and Giggles: Blooper Reel (5:33)

     Goofs, some quite amusing.

Outtakes and Deleted Scenes (7:49)

     Eight outtakes, alternative takes or deleted scenes from four different episodes running at almost 8 minutes. Some are interesting, some are goofs. Can be selected individually or there is a handy “play all” option.

The Bowels of Hell: Extended Musical Scenes (7:42)

     Five extended auditions and musical numbers from the heavy metal musical staged in Episode 11, plus some outtakes, unrelated to the musical, of Curtis having fun with a tongue. Can be selected individually or there is a handy “play all” option.

Q&A with the Quixotic and Awesome Cast (14:30)

     Questions posed in text on the screen such as “what were you like in high school?”, “what do you like about playing your character?”, “what do you have in common with your character?” and similar trivial questions are answered by Alex House, Maggie Castle, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins, Bill Turnbull and Jason Mewes.

Short Promotional Clips (5:09)

     Twenty short teasers for the show – with a play all option. A bit of a glitch however – the “play all” only works for the first 10, after which the rest must be selected one by one, which is annoying as most of the teasers are around 10 seconds each, although a couple are longer.

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The Original Short Film (17:47)

     Written by Max Bernard Reid and written / directed by Craig D. Wallace, this 2003 short film is similar in concept to what became the TV series, but rather different in tone and execution. And, in this film, the girl called Jenny is the Hannah character in the TV series. Good fun.

Next Time on Todd and the Book of Pure Evil Promos (5:12)

     Just as it says – the promos for the next show. Good fun, and the “play all” option works fine.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 1 US version looks to be the same as ours, except for being in NTSC. Buy local.

Summary

     Think of a book of awesome power that will grant your deepest, darkest desires . . . sort of. Think insecurities, black humour; better still, just watch the astonishing Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. This 2 disc DVD contains the 13 episodes of the first season. Bring on Season 2!

     The video and audio are good. There are a range of extras, some good, some filler.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, October 08, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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