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Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls (2023) [Movie review]

Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls is the feature length film culmination of years of YouTube videos with the Onyx character. From protesting for Satantic statues to going wheels up with ‘dem Arbys Boyz, millions have laughed at Onyx for years. But, where did the Brother/Sister #1 fan come from? For one night only on October 19th, you will get that question answered when Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls hits theaters.

Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls (2023) [Movie review] 1

Making the jump from YouTube and TikTok to a feature film

After watching multiple TikToks leading up to the film being made, I had to admire the effort to make the jump to films. But, didn’t Onyx creator Andrew Bowser make a film with Jimmi Simpson awhile ago? Yeah, I remember watching it and covering it for a site that might no longer exist. I need to look that up, but we’re here to talk about the Onyx movie.

Onyx the Fortuitous works best if you are already familiar with Bowser’s character work over the last few years on social media. He comes about Onyx in an honest way that might miss most of the Hot Topic nerd crowd. It’s hard not to love the enthusiasm of Onyx and what he represents. However, he leaves the safety of 10 minute clips for a 90 minute long feature that might play thin for the casuals. But, how many casuals are making it out for a one-night theatrical event?

Who is Onyx?

I’m not sure how many YouTube video shorts you remember from 10 years ago, but that was about when I first started Onyx the Fortuitous popping up in feeds. I never thought I needed an Onyx origin piece, but Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls offers a new Onyx adventure, while also deeply exploring his origins. After a scant few scenes with his mother (Barbara Crampton), we’re quickly moved into the main adventure. Onyx/Marcus gets to meet his supernatural hero Bartok (Jeffrey Combs).

Watch the videos throughout and what I linked to in other parts of this piece. If you can hang with Onyx in those quick bits, then Talisman of Souls will be a welcome addition. After we get past seeing Onyx at his Arby’s stand-in restaurant, it’s not long before he’s meeting his new Satanist friends at Bartok’s mansion. But, Bartok has secret evil plans for his new students. They’re going to be sacrifices to the Talisman of Souls.

If this humor is your sort of thing, then you are primed to go watch the movie. However, I can see younger audiences not connecting with it. Why? Well, because the film understands two things. The first being that you’ve already bought into Onyx as a character over the years and the second is that you are familiar with as much as the writer/director. It’s not a generalization to say that the larger swath of younger viewers thinks that anything pre 2015 is vintage.

80s style horror puppets? Cool

Playing as a cross between Charles Band and Jeff Dunham, the film’s third act involves some carefully crafted Demon Puppets that best serve Jeffrey Combs in his evil quest. It adds a bit of creative flair for an independent movie looking to evoke the fun underpinnings of 80s horror comedy. Especially when it chooses not to rely on the crutch of excessive nudity or other situations that make portions of Twitter go on soapbox tears ala Oppenheimer nudity-gate.

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Meat Loaf deserves all the respect.

I would do anything for love, but I wouldn’t drop a Jim Steinman track on Zoomers. Not to say that it wasn’t cool, but it felt like wasted real estate in the movie. That being said, you also can’t live in fear of one audience segment not understanding what you’re trying to do. Onyx the Fortuitous thrived in this audience segment that understood what was an Alf doll, the Satanic Fascination of Onyx and all of the supernatural underpinnings that make his character.

However, he’s the only one that shares in it. Even when he Beetlejuice float dances with Mack towards the end of the movie, she doesn’t share in the sly knowledge of the moment. It’s just a fun thing they do. The gaudy early 90s horror makeup to evoke Meat Loaf, the references and everything in-between is for the benefit of Onyx foremost, then the audience that understands it and then everyone else better be ready to hang with the story.

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Is Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls super original? I don’t know.

There are some sloppy dialogue lifts from movies such as Child’s Play and Beetlejuice. But, I expect that when passion projects are created for the geek audience. Everyone loves to wear their influences on their long sleeves. Long-time genre fans will appreciate seeing Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs and T.C. Carson (giving amazing Kevin Grevioux vibes) killing it in their roles. However, there is so much going on that keeps breaking focus.

Short form creators notoriously have issues breaking out of that mold when returning to feature length. It’s only natural, but shows a mix of two things. Where the zeitgeist’s attention span for creativity is and the need to keep making more features to get back into standard film mode. Every single problem I have with the narrative and how it is presented could easily be fixed with Bowser’s next time at bat.

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Ultimately, did I enjoy the film? Yes I did. But, I can see its apparent faults and I understand that’s due to a mix of trying to evoke the shorter source material, staying true to the 80s horror comedy inspirations and also desperately trying to find a new audience for the Onyx material. Making independent film isn’t for the light hearted and Bowser should be commended for using all of the grassroots methods at hand to make a perfectly presentable feature.

However, I’m just not sure if it’s going to win over anyone that wasn’t already an Onyx fan. Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls evokes a time that many want back and an increasing amount of people never experienced. While not perfect, it represents a closer image of what many of us watched on old Media Entertainment VHS tapes and late afternoon HBO power watches in between episodes of Encyclopedia Brown and low-res showings of Leonard Part 6.

You’ve got One Night Only on October 19th to watch Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls

Limited theatrical release windows aren’t for everyone. I used to do several Fathom Events screenings and then I became an older adult. Young kids, tedious schedules and friend groups with even more young kids doesn’t make it the easiest thing to do to head out on a Thursday and watch presentations like this. So, that’s why I harp on Onyx needing to find a way to penetrate those younger markets. Mainly because the love of the horror comedy game has to keep penetrating new fans before it dies out.

We’ve got an interview with Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Soul’s writer/director Andrew Bowser coming up later today. But for now, if you have the means and ability to get to the screening today, do it. Nobody needs to watch Thursday Night Football every week. But, everybody needs to experience Onyx on the big screen.

Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls is in theaters on October 19th!

Our Summary

Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls (2023) [Movie review]

Troy enjoyed Onyx the Fortuitous and The Talisman of Souls, but recognized its flaws. Still, you need to go see it tonight for its one night only Fathom Events special presentation.

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About The Author

Troy Anderson is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of AndersonVision. He uses a crack team of unknown heroes to bring you the latest and greatest in Entertainment News.

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