All satan’s demons on earth are busy, as politicians, bankers and in other positions in the world of power. Which is why, when a dapper, mod-styled devil appears to a bunch of Plymouth-based Satanists, he needs them to help searching for god’s bedside box. Sphere of Fear 2 is the classic chase for a macguffin.
And fittingly, Sphere of Fear 2 has upped the ante as any sequel worth it’s salt should. This time there’s more depth, character development and more of come-back arc to hero Dylan Davis. He tries to deal with love and rejection, and being pushed to his emotional brink.
‘Subtlety’ might not be a word to use when talking about a movie that has the group of Satanists chanting ‘Satan, Satan, Satan’, wherever they go. But it also has them questioning why they don’t use their evil power for good.
Fearless, offensive, funny
This is guerrilla, fearless, sometimes offensive and very often funny filmmaking. It makes you want to dust off the Troma and revisit the classics of John Waters.
Performances to note: Chris Ball Hero’s versality, commitment, slapstick and ability to mouth ‘Wot The F*ck’ in a variety of ways. The dapper devil (Florian Silbereisen Schwitzgebel). The accommodating leader of the Satanists (Jon Lea). The stone-like Hunter (Kung Fu Tony), whose hard inner could be softening because of the emotionally confused Fay La Mort (Ann Maddern).
The ensemble cast should also get a special mention. Along with the heart-melting minstrel (Dave Bray). And the multi-roled Ben Carroll as Dylan’s Dead Brother and daytime TV presenter Miss Carroll Davids, amongst others.
John Mitchell’s writing and directing has developed since Sphere of Fear. The characters are more rounded (!). And they are developing a believable depth that adds a messy reality to the fantasy.
With the Sphere of Fear 2 spawning in the Temple of the Killer Tiger Monkeys book and podcast, this is a franchise with Marvel-like ambition. And there’s enough energy and imagination here to achieve it.
Sphere of Fear 2 premiered at Home Park, Plymouth Argyle FC, on January 11, 2020. After its festival run it will be available on the internet with on demand proceeds going to Football For Cancer.