The Devil's Vinyl Recap

In Chicago, a woman, Jasmine, goes to an empty storefront with dead animals hung in front of a door. She goes inside where more animals are hanging, and jumps when she sees herself in a mirror. Stepping over the carcasses, Jasmine goes to a pentagram painted on the wall and pries loose the bricks. Inside is a compartment holding a 45 LP acetate record, wrapped in a cloth.

Later, Jasmine goes to meet a record producer, Bernie Reed. He confirms that they're alone and she asks him to analyze the record and make sure that it's authentic. Jasmine makes him promise that he won't listen to it and then goes outside to take a call from her daughter. Meanwhile, Bernie plays the record to analyze it and hears the music over the headphones. He makes sure that Jasmine is busy and then puts on the headphones to listen. The music turns into a man screaming.

Outside, Jasmine unrolls a scroll covered in symbols and studies it nervously. Inside the studio, Bernie manages to rip the headphones off, his ears bleeding. He screams at something not to make him do it, then jams a screwdriver into his ear and collapses to the floor.

Zed drives to the millhouse and Chas comes up on her with a rifle. She explains that she traced the millhouse from one of her sketches, and she took an apartment in nearby Atlanta. They go inside and find a naked Constantine covered in blood and learning a spell. Chas shows Zed around and admits that the inside of the millhouse is bigger on the inside than the outside. Constantine interrupts them to tell Zed they shouldn't be walking around with a chaperone.

Once he dresses, Constantine shows him the map and a blood spot marking Bernie's location. He has a newspaper on Bernie's death and tells her to try and get a hit. She touches the newspaper and finds herself in a field of jasmine, and feels cold. Constantine takes note of what she's said and tells Zed that he'll let her know what he finds out. Zed insists on going with him, figuring that it's no coincidence that she arrived there just when Constantine was going to leave. As she goes to get her truck, Constantine tells Chas that Zed may have unseemly motives and asks his friend to check up on Zed.

In Chicago, Constantine and Zed go to the morgue. Before they go in, Constantine shows Zed his bag of magical items, including two nails of St. Padua that are attracted to each other, making a perfect tracking device. Zed bumps into a worker and steals his swipe card. Inside, they check Bernie's body and Constantine explains that he used to play in a band and Bernie got their first and only record produced. Constantine takes out a Hand of Glory and tells Zed to pour out a circle of blood while he lights the fingers of Hand. Zed suddenly comes to life, as do all of the other corpses in the morgue. Bernie talks about the voice on the acetate, and then mutters the word "moonrise" as the flames on the Hand go out. Outside, Zed asks Constantine what the magic cost, and he says that it took a few years off of his life. Zed brings up Google and figures that he referred to Moonrise Records. Marcus Mooney, the owner, is still alive.

Jasmine takes the acetate to her home and puts it onto a shelf along with hundreds of other records. Her daughter Julilah comes in and wonders what she's doing. The girl says that she had a nightmare that someone was going to take her away. As they hug, Julilah notices that the shelf where the record is resting is freezing over.

Constantine and Zed go to the senior citizen's home where Marcus is staying. When the receptionist, Tammy, says that visiting hours are over, Constantine uses a magical card to convince her that he's with Health and Human Services. As they go, John explains that the card looks like whatever the holder wants it to. They go to Marcus' room and the first thing he does is confirm that they didn't play the acetate. Constantine says that Bernie did, and Marcus explains about Memphis bluesman Willie Cole. Willie disappeared in the '30s after a brief career, and Marcus produced his records. Legend had it that Willie sold his soul to the Devil for his talent. The acetate he was working on recorded something when he died: the voice of the Deceiver. Marcus picked up the acetate and heard whispers in his head telling him to do horrible things. The acetate was cold to the touch, and he couldn't destroy it. Marcus buried it in a wall, but a private investigator came looking for the acetate a week ago. The name on the check was Fell. Zed thanks him for his help, and Marcus says that he knows it's time to go to his reward because he sees an angel. Marcus flatlines and time freezes for everyone except Constantine. Manny appears and blesses Marcus.

As they drive away, Zed figures that Constantine knows Fell. Constantine explains that one of Bernie's stars was Ian Fell. When Zed wonders why the Devil wants souls, Constantine explains that souls are a part of God, and the Devil takes them as revenge.

Julilah goes to the shelf and takes the acetate down, saying that she does want to hear it.

Constantine and Zed drive to Fell's manor and scale the fence. They find Ian practicing and Constantine grabs him and demands to know how Bernie got the acetate. He figures that Ian sold his soul, but Ian insists that he knows nothing about it. Zed smells jasmine just as Jasmine, Ian's wife, comes in with a gun. Constantine figures that Jasmine is the one who made the deal for her husband's talent, and now she's trying to break it. Jasmine explains that Ian was dying of cancer, and Constantine has her show Ian the contract. She does so and explains that a soul broker named Anton approached her at the hospital. Constantine examines the contract and confirms that the words are fading away. When the last word fades, the contract is up. Anton contacted Jasmine and offered her her soul in return for the acetate. Jasmine has an address and Constantine says that he'll take care of it. He asks for a hug and slips one of two tracking nails into her pocket as he does.

Later, Constantine takes a taxi to the address, leaving Zed behind.

Julilah is listening to the acetate. Downstairs, Zed and the others hear it and run upstairs. They find Julilah's eyes glowing red and yank the needle off of the acetate.

Constantine enters the building at the address and finds a nervous Anton. He figures that he doesn't have the power to broker the kind of deal he made with Jasmine. When Constantine says Ian's name, Anton says that he blew the deal and a man laughs from the next room. Constantine goes in and finds an old "friend" there: Papa Midnite. Midnite thanks Constantine for telling him where he can find the acetate. Constantine has no intention of letting Midnite get his hands on the artifact. Two of Midnite's men come in and knock Constantine out.

When John wakes up, he finds himself tied with a copper wire to a grate in an abandoned factory. Midnite explains that he sent his men to get the acetate, and he can use the acetate as a get out of Hell free card. Constantine claims that he lied about Ian, and Midnite injects him with an anti-coagulant. He then cuts John's wrist and says that he has four hours if he stays very still. If his men don't find the acetate then he wants Constantine alive so he can question him for more info. He then puts a bottle of Vitamin K on a table nearby, saying that it will stop the bleeding if John can reach it in time.

At the mansion, Zed calls Chas and asks him to catch a flight to Chicago. As Jasmine comes down, Papa Midnite's men come in and demand the acetate. Jasmine directs them to the record and Zed warns them not to touch it with their bare hands. Once they leave, Zed figures that Constantine can handle himself and then notices Jasmine's coat and remembers Constantine hugging her.

As the two men wait, one of them takes out acetate and touches it. They hear voices and the inside of the car freezes as their eyes turn red.

The rats gather on Constantine's chest as he sings to himself. A homeless man comes in and starts to take his shoes, and then reveals that he's Manny. He says that he can't free Constantine and figures that the Devil's voice is on the acetate. The angel asks Constantine if he has the courage to do what it takes. Constantine screams at him to free him, but Manny says that he has it under control. The angel disappears and Constantine tells the homeless man to take the card out of his jacket. The man does so and sees it as a platinum card, but figures he'll have to kill Constantine to use it. However, Zed arrives and sends him along, and then frees Constantine. Constantine warns that Midnite's men won't be able to resist the record's compulsion and that it wants to be played.

The next morning, Zed and Constantine follow the sirens and discover that they took it to a club. The police are bringing out dozens of bodies. Chas arrives with headphones and a MP3 player, and says that he called in a few favors. Zed's fingerprints aren't in any law enforcement database. Zed calls Constantine and Chas over to talk to Freddy, a bus boy at the club. Constantine realizes that the man is deaf, and figures that the acetate will compel the thugs to play the record to the largest audience possible. Zed sees a white tiger in the back of the ambulance, and Chas notices a nearby poster for Scott University Tiger Radio.

As they drive to the radio station and listen to the broadcast, they hear Midnite's men break in. They pull up to the station and Constantine points out that they only have one MP3 player. He tells Chas and Zed to cut the power while he goes inside, playing music on the MP3 player to drown out the acetate.

When he can't get the outside generator door open, Chas rams the shack with his rental car.

Constantine struggles past the panicking students, but one of them rips the headphones away. He falls to the floor in agony, but Midnite comes in and shoots out the loudspeakers. He removes his own headphones and everyone else runs out. Constantine says that he can't let Midnite take the acetate. Midnite's thugs draw their guns, but Constantine casts a spell to seal the door. He tells Midnite that he drew on the acetate's own magic to send it to hell where it belongs. Furious, Midnite tries to get the door open but the men inside explode. The door opens and he goes inside to see a fiery chasm in the floor, while Constantine slips away.

After Constantine and Chas find Anton, they take him to the mansion. Constantine warns them that once they break the deal, Ian's cancer will come back. Ian assures Jasmine that he has a much better chance of surviving. Anton refuses to break the deal, but Constantine and Chas force him to eat it—literally.

Back in Atlanta, Zed contemplates her crucifix.

Midnite makes a voodoo doll of Constantine and tosses it into a brazier.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 17, 2015