A novel horror comedy that pairs-up mortal enemies trapped in a supernatural struggle for their mortal souls, “Revealer” turns out to be a clever idea flatly executed.
It’s spooky, with hellish lighting, nasty underworld worms and a scary-silly demonic costumed beast. It’s political, forcing a sassy, smart-mouthed peep show performer to team up with a “low-rent Tammy Faye” Bible-thumper who leads picketers outside the dirty book store where the stripper works.
And it’s cheap, paring its story down to, well, The Rapture, and trying to escape judgement.
What it isn’t is funny or quick-on-its-feet.
They’re stuck inside, and “The Book of Revelation is happening RIGHT here, right NOW” outside…and sometimes inside the dungeon-like store.
It’s the Madonna Wannabe early ’80s, and Angie (Caito Aase) is a workin’ gal in torn fishnets, leather gloves and heels. Sally (Shaina Schrooten) is the bespectacled book-burner leading the marchers out in front of Revealers Book Store.
Angie isn’t having this nonsense at the start of her workday. “You say one more word and I’ll be SENDING you to Jesus in little bitty PIECES!”
“My inner light gives me strength,” Sally snaps back. But in her most self-aware moments, she admits that “shouting at people is a lot easier than actually talking to them.”
“Revealer” has a few of those “self-aware moments.” Because when Judgement Day or some demonic version of it starts going down, and the owner of the shop (Bishop Stevens) has his tongue yanked out and turns into a demonically-recruited zombie, and Sally is trapped inside, with Angie locked in her booth, these two ladies have a lot of time to talk, when they’re not figuring out a way to dig out of this dimly-lit, sex-stained hell.
There’s an imbalance to the characters’ “journeys,” although each woman will have to face her own hypocrisy and tendency to “judge,” and each has something to contribute to their possible salvation.
Sally has an idea of who and what they’re up against, chapter and verse. Angie is the avenging muscle, handy with a crowbar.
“Revealer” punches above its weight in the production design and acting. But the script needed punching up, with more incidents and more testy one-liners to get through, and the funereal pacing makes what’s here play dull and uninvolving.
Mark this no-budget gambit a “nice try” and leave it at that.
Rating: unrated, violence, stripper content, profanity
Cast: Caito Aase, Shaina Schrooten and Bishop Stevens.
Credits: Directed by Luke Boyce, scripted by Michael Moreci and Tim Seeley. A Shudder release.
Running time: 1:26