I can thank Everything is Terrible for having one of my most Minnesota dilemmas in my 20+ years of living in the state. Having enjoyed scraping solid layers of ice off my beloved car several times already, did I have enough energy left for one more effort? I looked at the traffic maps to figure out how bad the travel to the Amsterdam would be and debated in my mind if it was worth the hassle. In the end, the call of The Great Satan was to powerful and I made my merry way to St. Paul.
“The Great Satan” is the 9th DVD released by the Everything is Terrible collective. For those not familiar with Everything is Terrible, they create art by taking very short snippets of VHS tapes and splice them together into a feature film. I cannot begin to imagine what horrors they endured and what terrible movies and news footage they had to watch.
The Amsterdam had been turned into a movie theatre with Satan laughing from the screen as the crowd found their seats. The Merch booth was doing brisk business. And there were boxes of “offerings” aka Jerry McGuire VHS tapes. Say what you want about the dark one, but he’s punctual. Promptly at 8 a puff of smoke heralded his impending arrival. Turns out he’s also a tease since it took a bit longer for him to actually manifest. After a few intro clips the Reverend Jealous Devine and his buddy Goat took the stage. The theme for the show was the quest for the Hope Diamond who they wanted to carve into a bust of the Reverend’s face. A short dance number (Goat’s got moves) later the feature began.
After about 15 minutes of news footage, religious self help tapes, music videos and movie snippets coming at the audience with the speed of a machine gun, It was time again for some more live interaction. A battle between New Testa-Man and Skeletosis. Was this Satan at work? I had just watched a video of He-Man and Skeletor battling to Dirty Dancing that afternoon. Testa-Man did reveal white supremacist undertones and to the cheers of the crowd was defeated. This turned into the storyline of the night as now Skeletosis was looking for a new purpose in life. If you care to know more about that story line, you will just have to brave one of their shows or the DVD yourself.
There was a segment on how Dungeons and Dragons being a gateway to Satanism, that had me question pretty much all of my parenting decisions and my choice of spouse. Could I be the only pure soul in a family of Satanists? For all the laughter at the clips one thought kept creeping back into my head. There are people out there that take this seriously. Sure most of this stuff was from the 80s and 90s but a brief scan of the TV and YouTube will find plenty of things that would be right at home in “The Great Satan”.
All in all, it was a rather unusual and very entertaining way to spend Monday night. As a bonus, the Amsterdam also served food during the show and I finally got a chance to actually order some of it and am happy to report it was quite good. I’ll be back for Everything is Terrible’s next performance.