Review: ‘Onyx The Fortuitous And The Talisman Of Souls’

Andrew Bowser Turns His Viral Hit Into A Surprisingly Fun Little Film With A Heart

Most of us…scratch that, anyone who has been online in the past 5 years is more than likely familiar with Andrew Bowser. Or at the very least his fast talking, charismatic quirky somewhat irritating persona of viral Youtube fame. Notice me senpai! He gathered quite a bit of a cult following which eventually led to him being hired at Nerdist. Well, after a successful Kickstarter campaign raised a little over $600k he’s made a film and shocker, it’s actually not that bad. 

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls follows fledgling occultist manchild Marcus aka Onyx (Andrew Bowser) as he navigates the lonely life of a friendless fast food employee. Living with his mom (Barbara Crampton) he dreams of the day he can learn directly under the tutelage of his idol Bartok the Great (Jeffrey Combs) and become a powerful practitioner of the Dark Arts. After losing his job and life seems at its lowest he wins a contest to take part in a Satanic ritual led by none other than Bartok himself. 

After arriving at Bartok’s mansion with nothing but his trusty Battlecats lunchbox in tow, he meets his fellow contest winners. Mackenzie (Rivkah Reyes) the laid back witchy one, Jesminder (Melanie Chandra) the tattoo artist plagued with visions of past lives, the suburban Christian housewife turned Satanist Shelley (Arden Myrin) and the scholarly Mr. Duke (Terrence Carson). Little do they know they are just pawns in a grand scheme Bartok and his psychic minion Farrah (Olivia Taylor Dudley) have devised to gain immortality. But there’s a prophecy. It is foretold that the “fortuitous one” could ruin their plans. Could it be that Marcus’ greater purpose is yet to be discovered?

I’m not going to lie, I went into this one with super low expectations. I mean, I had already grown tired of this YouTube celebs shtick so how entertaining could a feature length film of the same be? Surprisingly, very fun indeed! It was well acted with everyone involved understanding their assignment, playing up to the wacky vibe of the story. Combs was amazing as the over-the-top power hungry Bartok. But the scene that had me rolling was an absinthe induced dream sequence where Marcus finds himself in the music video for Meatloaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” in full appliance makeup, crooning to Farrah. Cringe worthy comedic gold.

One of the things that caught my attention was the amazing practical effects. The soulless demons were brought to life utilizing animatronics and puppetry reminiscent of its heyday back in the 80’s. I couldn’t get over the detail taken for the sets and wardrobe too. Everything from the cavernous house full of secret passages to the ornate ceremonial garb brought this film to another level and made me actually believe that a meme can be made into a movie. 

While the trope of the unsuspecting hero is a well used one, Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls takes that and creates an entertaining, extremely charming watch from start to finish. Prior to watching this, I never would have thought I’d be saying this but if you’re looking for a fun dark fantasy film, sprinkled with a little foul-mouthed cringe humor then look no further. This is worth the watch. You can find this one in theaters as of October 19th.