Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls movie review (2023)

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Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls movie review

Movie review :

In videos he posted on his YouTube and TikTok channels, Andrew Bowser gained fame as Onyx the Fortuitous, a nerdy wannabe occultist. Onyx has a distinct voice that sounds similar to an old-time radio announcer, but less assured. There are short spurts of vocal energy that build in volume before waning and ending with an almost inaudible yet incredibly humorous “I don’t know.” He frequently had viral videos. Many YouTube hopefuls aim to achieve even half of Bowser’s fame. With the release of “Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls,” a feature film written, directed, and edited by Bowser and partially funded via Kickstarter, this is even more true today. With more latitude to maneuver than a ten-minute YouTube film, Onyx the Fortuitous may now flourish.

“Onyx the Fortuitous,” which is obviously influenced by 1980s horror movies and horror-comedies like “Gremlins” or “Fright Night,” begins in a “Breakfast Club”-like manner with five misfits all coming up at the ominous home of their common idol, renowned occultist Bartok the Great (Jeffrey Combs). They have all each won a weekend with Bartok as part of an online competition. The group will be guided by Bartok through a rite that will explain the meaning of immortality. Farrah (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Bartok’s green-haired aide, is in charge of the five participants and answers questions while feigning an eye roll. The differences between the five champions are considerable.

Marcus J. Trillbury (Andrew Bowser) is a virgin and lives at home with his mother (horror icon Barbara Crampton) and stepfather. He works at a fast food restaurant where he is frequently ridiculed and uses his alter identity, Onyx the Fortuitous, to avoid reality. Tattoo artist Jessminder (Melanie Chandra) is fierce and believes she and Bartok were once married. A manic, upbeat Christian housewife who has been devastated by life experiences, Shelley (Arden Myrin) has come to embrace Satan. A scholar, philosopher, and linguist named Mr. Duke (Terrence “T.C.” Carson) is tempted to the dark arts by his fascination with antiquated literature. Mack (Rivkah Reyes), a kind non-binary witch, is the last character.

It becomes clear almost right away that neither Bartok nor Farrah are who they claim to be. It’s possible that the competition was a ruse and Onyx, Mr. Duke, Shelley, Jessminder, and Mack are actually the “winners” of a far darker game. People begin to vanish. The ominous-looking “grimoire” is attempted to be translated by Mr. Duke in order to determine what might come next. Onyx frequently finds himself in sticky situations on his own, accidentally finding a hidden route behind the walls, seeing things he shouldn’t see, and going on his own Scooby-Doo-style adventures.

It could be difficult to watch “Onyx the Fortuitous” if you are unfamiliar with Onyx (as I wasn’t before watching this movie). Onyx is obnoxious (as he should be), and a little of him goes a very, very long way. But Bowser is skilled at what he does. With its synthesized music, purple lightning bolts, sparkling gemstones in the hilts of daggers, spooky-looking holy texts, plainly false cobwebs, etc., the movie is a love letter to the midnight movies and haunted-house double-features of the 1980s. Even the brief flashback that explains the origins of Onyx’s obsession with saying “I don’t know” doesn’t descend into self-importance. The atmosphere is cheerful despite the gory and silly things. This is a complement, of course.

Bowser’s clear love for the subject matter and the genre contributes to the sweetness. The “star” of this story is not Onyx. Since the entire event started on Bowser’s YouTube channel, it was a wise decision on his part to create an ensemble piece. Although it would have been simple, he doesn’t focus himself in every scene and shot. The cast is entertaining to watch and they all get along well. A whole Meat Loaf-inspired music video is included, replete with a grand piano and candelabras. There are also silly asides (a brief peek of Bartok alone himself in his chamber made me howl). If anything, “Onyx the Fortuitous” might have benefited from a stronger emphasis on the ridiculous and extravagant.

In extended formats, comedic sketch characters frequently fail. In a sketch, their eccentricities and tics are entertaining, but they quickly outstay their welcome. We’ve seen this time and time again when different “bits” from “Saturday Night Live” are crammed into a feature-length and fail to hold viewers’ attention. When it comes to the Onyx character, “Onyx the Fortuitous” truly pushes the envelope. If you’re not familiar with the background, the entire episode may come off as a grating inside joke. This is a danger.

However, consider this: A movie like “Onyx the Fortunitous and the Talisman of Souls,” which was created by one person and was funded by fans and supporters, is noteworthy in a world where artificial intelligence is encroaching, movie franchises are controlled by corporations more interested in making merchandise than quality films, and safety is prioritized over bottom lines. This is achieving one’s goals. Making the tale you want to produce means doing it however you can, scrounging together money from various sources, planning carefully, and casting carefully. It sometimes dragged when I watched it by myself in my flat. However, “Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls” would undoubtedly win the midnight movie competition at a crowded theater.

also read : Totally Killer movie review (2023)

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