Originally released under the title 61: Highway to Hell in 2017, with the premise of sex, drugs and Rock-n-Roll, Devil Music harbored a lot of potential. In fact, when Directors Jer and Luke Jackson pitched the idea, there surely was a buzz of interest all across the board. Even the cover art of the DVD released via Wild Eye Releasing on August 13, 2019, with the crimson hand of Satan himself, throwing up devil horns in the middle of a fiery blaze of glory is enough to pique your interest. So what is it really all about?
Devil Music follows an Los Angeles Rock band, desperate for fame and fortune, at any cost. Their manager convinces them to make a deal with the devil and he’ll grant them all of their wishes, for a price of course. What’s on the table? Their souls of course. It all sounds good on paper; however, the delivery falls a little flat.
The cast offered some hope as the film stars Nick Thune (The Possession of Hannah Grace 2018, Venom 2018), donning some of the best outfits in the entire film. Erin Axtell (Alter Egos 2012), Curt Doussett (Saints and Soldiers 2003, Phil of the Future series), and Mandi Kreisher (Funny People 2009, Glory Daze series). Then there is veteran Actor Tobin Bell who trades in his infamous Jigsaw getup to sport long hair and a beanie as the devil. Unfortunately, despite the promising casting, it still could not save this film.
Devil Music could have gone the bloodier route like the 2015 gorefest, Deathgasm, which toyed around with a similar plot but favored a gruesome Horror Rom-com instead of a mock-biopic style film. This film focuses on the gritty realism of a band that’s spiraling out of control. You see the band as they experience life on the road, playing shows as they follow their dreams to a Mississippi crossroads to bargain with the devil. There are the stereotypical “rockstar” meltdowns, accompanied with drugs, delusions, and debauchery. It borders on Psychological Horror by portraying the band’s thirst for fame as the cause of their demise.
Yet, even with all of that, the film is ultimately 92 minutes of nothing with little bits of story sprinkled in. This film takes slow burn to a new level, but instead of there being a huge payoff in the end you are still left wanting more. There is long, drawn-out scenes of the band on the road, playing the occasional one-off show, with some various dialogue here or there.
Even with some of the more promising moments, it’s still not enough to keep your attention. The main thing forcing you to watch till the end is the hope that something else takes place and just when you think you are getting somewhere the credits start to roll. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Devil Music 1 out of 5 stars.