Hellbenders [3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital HD]
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Before I begin this review, I must warn you up front: if movies like DOGMA offended you, then do not watch HELLBENDERS. The subject matter is slightly similar, as is the language and coarseness throughout. But if you found DOGMA hilarious like I did, then you’re in for a real treat; HELLBENDERS is a riotous blast with humorous characters and an intriguing plot.
The film is shot well and looks great, both from a 2D and 3D aspect. Many films use 3D in an attempt to draw an audience, regardless of whether it enhances the experience or not. But HELLBENDERS uses 3D to its advantage and creates a more immersive atmosphere for the viewer. As a result, the entertainment value skyrockets when you watch it in this format.
Likewise, the acting is excellent as well. I particularly enjoy seeing Clancy Brown onscreen; I’ve been a fan of his work since I first saw him way, way back in 1984, in THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION. Over the years, this guy has played so many different parts in so many different types of film and television that it’s hard to tie him to a specific genre. This diversity highlights his talent as an actor and brings more credibility to each role he undertakes. Clifton Collins Jr.Read more ›
The title “Hellbenders” refers to a Brooklyn-based group of interfaith ministers whose peculiar practice involves racking up sins. These are debauched exorcists on a suicide mission: misbehave enough to invite possession, then commit suicide, dragging the demon with them to the underworld.
There are some good lines. (“I’m a woman, and you’re a Catholic; everything I do is a sin to you.”) But this feature film, written and directed by J. T. Petty, opens unpromisingly. We’re introduced to the group in their squalid home base, where they broadcast each intended sin (“lust,” “wrath” or “sloth”) as they go about daily activities (looking at pornography, punching one another or wallowing in filth). Like failed sketch comedy, the gag becomes prescriptive and runs a little too long.
But the high-concept mission starts to jell, and it seems like a charming throwback to 1980s films, like “Ghostbusters” and “Police Academy,” that featured motley, sloppy brigades of justice.
The cast is put to good use to play the familiar types of this genre. Clancy Brown is terrific as the salty, foul-mouthed leader. His crew includes the schlump uttering non sequiturs, the note-taking nerd and the hot woman in a gang of boys. The crucial antagonist (their Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) is a Norse demon named Black Surtr, who is 30 years behind schedule of invading New York, so the ’80s influence is explicit in every way.
But rather than one of those big-budget films cited above, this movie has the humor and insouciant pileup of bizarre and disgustingly beautiful images of a cult classic on late-night cable. Even the nongore images are disturbing and unforgettable, like one involving a bunny, baby oil and a misplaced receipt.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Couldn't get into it. Characters not interesting or likeable enough.Published 3 months ago by eloisel
Not what I was expecting on the movie but it wasn't horrible. Solid b moviePublished 4 months ago by Ashley S.
This was very good horror film with some comedy thrown in for good measure. Clifton Collins Jr does a very good here, as does the rest of the cast. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Darkness
When I SAW that an average of 20% of the reviewers gave it split between five stars, i.e.:
20%=*... Read more
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