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Hellbentr (Unrated)

Release Date: September 16th, 2005 (NYC-Village East Cinemas)
The Cast: Dylan Fergus, Bryan Kirkwood, Hank Harris, Andrew Levitas, Matt Phillips
Directed by Paul Etheredge-Ouzts

BASIC PREMISE: Eddie (Fergus) hunts for a masked serial killer on the loose in a gay Halloween party.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: What truly makes this movie a lot of fun is that it never takes itself too seriously. Of course, heads do roll, but so many scenes are filled with dark, tongue-in-cheek humor that it is impossible not to be entertained. For example, while a victim is receiving oral sex, the killer chops off head in a way that seems like a sexual reaction to the other guy. In another scene, the killer walks nonchalantly through the Hollywood party while he is carrying a victim's bloody head as if it were part of his costume. The plot is not as fresh and fun as the film's style and production values. The blood looks purposefully fake (80's style), but there are still plenty of cringe-worthy, gross-out scenes. Eddie is not a very interesting character except that he has one glass eye that serves a very surprising purpose at the end of the film. Although he is dresses in a police uniform, he just works at a desk in the police station and borrows the "costume" for the night. As Joey, one of Eddie's gay friends, Hank Harris gives a very lively performance that is similar to Macauley Culkin's in Party Monster. The most interesting character is actually the killer, despite that he never says a word throughout the film--which is what him so mysterious. As the killer plays a cat-and-mouse chase with Eddie in his apartment in the last 30 minutes, the suspense rises to its peak as this were a Wes Craven film.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: There is one contrived scene when one of the characters gets stabbed too many times to be able to survive his injuries and remain conscious, too. However, it's forgivable as long as you suspend your disbelief.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A stylish, darkly-humorous horror film along the veins of 80's slasher movies and with the tongue-in-cheek humor of Shawn of the Dead. Plenty of fun, lots of fake gore, and a killer ending--pun intended :).

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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