Devour (1993) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

At first, this film seemed to have some potential. Some pretty good young actors get the film started promisingly in what seems to be a scary variation on "the online game can draw you in, control you, then kill you" plot. The film manages to generate some suspense by manipulating the kids into a state where they have waking nightmares in which they commit horrible acts ordered by the game. The cool, albeit sometimes irritating, thing about the dream state is that they don't know whether they actually committed the acts, because some turn out to be nightmares. The audience gets tricked in both directions. The first grisly act seems to be real until it is revealed to be a nightmare. Once the nightmare premise was established, however, I thought another one was also a nightmare, only to find it was real. Yes, I know that's kind of a cheap and confusing device, but it worked - well, once in each direction, anyway.

About halfway through the movie, the plot sort of morphs into a Satanic version of The Last Starfighter, where Lucifer is using the online game, The Pathway, to determine which humans would make ideal candidates for his A-Team. Up through that point the film is still kind of interesting, but there is an ongoing hint that something will eventually go very wrong, because we see mysterious unexplained and recurring flashbacks of unidentified people running through the woods, and also of a man walking around in a black porcupine costume.

And then everything does go wrong. It turns out that the entire game was designed solely to find one specific kid. It seems that the lad was promised to Satan when he was born, but some do-gooders interrupted the ritual and kidnapped the little nipper in order to hide him forever from his Satan-lovin' mom. Satan and the kid's mom have been trying to re-claim him for the evil team in the two decades since. Or something like that. The whole resolution seemed to be maddeningly cryptic and vague, and I lost interest in the film when the guy in the porcupine costume showed up. I think that was supposed to be Satan, but I don't know or care.

There are a lot of bodies, and it finally seems to be one of those Angel Heart things where it turns out that the kid trying to solve the murders actually committed all of the murders himself.

Or did he? Beats me.

If he did, I fail to see how Satan made very good use of him on the evil team, since the kid will either get the death penalty or spend his entire life institutionalized.



  • No features except some trailers for other films
  • widescreen, anamorphically enhanced for 16x9. Nice quality


  • Noelle Reno shows her breasts in a sex scene. It appears that her nipples are taped down.

  • Jenn Griffin shows her bum in a recurring flashback scene.

  • Dominique Swain wears a top which suggests transparency, but nothing ever seems to come into view.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • Straight to video
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C-, a barely watchable genre flick that seemed to have a good film hidden in it somewhere, but it just never emerged.

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