As any resident of Sunnydale knows, high school is the perfect place for demons to feast upon human insecurity and emotional neediness. In FEARnet's new series, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, high school becomes literal hell when everyman teenager Todd (Alex House) discovers the titular weapon, a Necronomicon-like book that grants the deepest desires of whoever wields it, whether that’s the underachieving Todd, his best one-handed friend Curtis (Billy Turnbull), science nerd Hanna (Melanie Leishman) or the ominous guidance counselor (Chris Leavins) who’s actually a demon worshipper himself.
Think of it as Beverly Hills 90210 aimed at the horror fanboy crowd, or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer catered towards a more teenage male audience. The results are charming and genuinely funny as Todd and his gang (rounded out by the school beauty Jenny, played by the likable Maggie Castle in what could have been the token babe role) join forces to battle evil each week. Also on hand is Jimmy the Janitor, played by the perfectly cast Jason Mewes as an atypical voice of reason.
Not every joke hits its mark on Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, but the young actors handle their quick-paced dialogue with adequate snap and come across well as believable high school students in a cartoonish existence. The series also puts some outstanding practical effects on display, with gooey and unique monsters on hand each week to cause quite a mess for Jimmy to (we assume) clean up.
Created by Craig David Wallace, Charles Picco, and Anthony Leo, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil originally aired on the SPACE Channel and is now showing weekly on FEARNet. Fans of horror comedy or smart high school sagas will find plenty to enjoy. The show airs Tuesday nights at 10PM EST on FEARnet, with bonus content available for streaming on FEARnet.com.