You might think the whole “angel fighting the devil in the afterlife” thing would be the main thrust of “The Devil Conspiracy,” but oh no, that’s just window dressing. The real meat and potatoes of the movie involve that clone-happy cult. The cult members are almost all interchangeable save for the demonic Liz (Evelyn Hall), who really leans into the whole “evil cultist” thing. After stealing the Shroud of Turin*, Liz and her minions kidnap art student Laura (Alice Orr-Ewing) and take her back to their hideout, a huge castle located at the exact spot where Satan crashed through the earth into hell (yes, really).
*Side-note: the Shroud, which is reported to contain the real image of Jesus, is on display in the movie, but it doesn’t seem to be much of a draw. The crowd viewing it is decidedly small — I’d say barely 20 people, tops. I went to a Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum once that was so jam-packed with people I couldn’t even move. You’d think a literal picture of Christ would draw the same sort of crowd.
Alice also murders Laura’s friend, a priest named Father Marconi (Joe Doyle). Marconi, who knows all about the war in heaven and the existence of angels, uses his dying breath to invite Michael to possess his body so he can save the world from the cult. Michael obliges because I guess he doesn’t have anything better to do. This is all very, very silly, but the truth is I had fun watching “The Devil Conspiracy.” It’s so luridly goofy, and so straight-faced in its goofiness, that you kind of get swept up in it all.
The film drags considerably — at one point I thought it was almost over only to realize there was a full hour left — but the over-the-top religious hokum is too fun to ignore. At times I was reminded of the much-better “The Prophecy,” in which Christopher Walken, sporting hair the color of shoe polish, played an evil version of the angel Gabriel. But “The Devil Conspiracy” is really a hodge-podge of ideas pulled from other movies — “The Boys From Brazil,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Exorcist,” and more. It’s less of its own thing and more of a pastiche, but it’s a pastiche that will entertain you as you shake your head at all the supreme silliness. Amen.
/Film Rating: 6 out of 10