Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil – Season 1 (2010)

Directed By: Various
Directed By: Various
Starring: Alex House
  Maggie Castle
  Bill Turnbull
  Jason Mewes
Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil – Season 1

Episode Guide

  • 1×01 : Todd The Metal God
  • 1×02 : How To Make A Humunculous
  • 1×03 : Rock ‘N Roll Zombies Know Best
  • 1×04 : Gay Day
  • 1×05 : Monster Fat
  • 1×06 : Invasion Of The Stupid Snatchers
  • 1×07 : Terrible Twin Turf Tussle
  • 1×08 : Cockfight
  • 1×09 : Big Bad Baby
  • 1×10 : The Ghost Of Chet Sukowski
  • 1×11 : The Phantom Of Crowley High
  • 1×12 : Checkmate
  • 1×13 : A Farewell To Curtis’ Arm

I’m confident that, as a 29 year old female, I’m not what the makers had in mind as a target demographic for this Canadian horror-comedy but despite that, Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil managed to win me over anyway. It’s irreverent, fun, puerile and a throwback to the kind of shows that shaped my formative years.

Todd Smith is a High School stoner, content to pal around with his one-armed buddy Curtis, occasionally playing in his band Barbarian Apocalypse. They wear metal t-shirts, double denim and have bad hair, but that’s the least of their troubles. One day, out of nowhere, Todd is mysteriously lead to, what he later comes to find out, is The Book Of Pure Evil; a Necronomicon-inspired creation that allows anyone who comes across it to unleash their deepest desires, with disastrous, and often fatal consequences.

With the help of Science nerd Hannah and Jenny, on whom Todd has a huge crush, the foursome embark on a ridiculously silly mission to locate the book before their guidance counsellor Atticus (who may or may not have everyone’s best intentions at heart) does and before the student body diminishes even further.

Good horror TV shows have been slim pickings of late so amidst a sea of promising but ultimately disappointing shows like American Horror Story and the dire Oren Peli creation The River, Todd and The Book Of Pure Evil is a breath of fresh air. Never for a moment does it take itself seriously and that alone is wonderfully refreshing. It’s Buffy at its peak, minus all the pesky issue-of-the-week stuff, with a healthy dose of 80’s Sam Raimi sensibilities, a dash of 90’s influence and a smattering of Jack Brooks : Monster Slayer. It’s also one of the few instances of alternative culture being presented on screen that didn’t make me bum-puckeringly embarrassed on behalf of the makers. Sure, it’s exaggerated but it’s essentially a live action cartoon and not since Metalocalypse has there been a show that will almost certainly appeal to the sort of people it’s portraying, rather than lampooning them in such a way that it alienates much of the potential core audience.

I’ll be honest and say that Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil did not appeal to me immediately. It seemed laboured and overly forumlaic but, damn it, I’d spent my hard earned money on the box set and it was easy enough to watch so I persevered. Around halfway through the season it struck me that at some point, I had started to like this show. By the finale, I didn’t just like it, I loved it. The cast of losers had become lovable and the once laboured dialogue had become genius in its simplicity and quotability. The cast really comes into its own as the season progresses and is helped by a typically cynical performance from Jason Mewes as the uncharacteristically wise janitor.

Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil will not, and I feel that I can say this with certainty, appeal to everyone. Its audience is likely a niche one and there are probably a few folks who, unlike me, won’t sit through the awkwardness and allow it time to get its hooks in but if you do, prepare for a treat. It has an addictive quality; the more I watch, the more I want to watch. Maybe it’s the metal loving 90’s teen in me enjoying a little nostalgia or maybe it’s just that it smacks of those Saturday/Sunday morning shows we all watched throughout our youth, except with added vulgarity, profanity and buckets of blood, slime and a plethora of bodily excretions.

Like its protagonist, Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil is young, dumb and full of…well, you know the rest. It’s about as far from highbrow as you can get, but it never pretends to be anything more than it is and it’s this self-knowing aspect that really helps to propel it along. Given the seriousness of the horror genre lately and the scourge of overdone ‘found footage’ projects, this is a welcome addition. Give it a chance and let it win you over.

Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

2 Comments on “Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil – Season 1”

  1. Chris Hewson says:

    What was The River?

    Big Wolf on Campus was another fun show, sorta similar to this…sort of.

  2. admin says:

    Y’know I was reminded of that a little too, I don’t know why I didn’t mention it by name.

    Oh, and The River is a found footage show about a group of people looking for a family member that disappeared whilst shooting a nature programme in Brazil. I think episode 7 or 8 should have aired in the US by now but it’s unforgivably terrible. The found footage element really pulls you out of the action and makes the acting seem awful. It’s a shame really, as it could have been great.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.