(director: Alister Grierson; screenwriter: Robert Benjamin; cinematographer: Brad Shield; editors: Robert Benjamin/Alister Grierson; music: Brian Cachia; cast: Ben O’Toole (Rex Coen), Meg Fraser (Alia), Caroline Craig (Mother, Mrs.Voorhees), Matthew Sunderland (Father, Mr.Voorhees), Jack Finsterer (Uncle), Travis Jeffery (Gael/Gideon), David Hill (Olli), Joshua Brennan (Pete), Ashlee Lollback (Maddy, bank teller); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Joshua Paul/Brett Thornquest; Eclectik Vision/Entertainment Squad; 2020-Australia/USA)
“It’s not for every viewer, but the mashup does manage to effortlessly blend together comedy and violence.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Bloody Hell, a comical and gruesome survival tale, played at the inaugural Nightstream festival, where it was one of its better films. It was directed by the Aussie Alister Grierson (“Kokoda”/”Sanctum”) and written by the New Yorker Robert Benjamin.
Rex Coen (Ben O’Toole) is an Army vet who becomes a national celebrity after foiling a bank hold-up by masked robbers in Boise, Idaho. But because he caused the death of an innocent youngster, even though the robbers were either killed or wounded by him, Ben is sent to prison for eight years. Bothered by all the attention from the press upon his release, Rex hopes for a fresh start and randomly flees to Finland where he believes no one knows him. Soon after arriving, Rex accepts a ride from Mr. and Mrs. Voorhees (Matthew Sunderland and Caroline Craig) and on the ride is knocked unconscious and taken to the basement of a remote house. Missing a leg and with no idea how he got that, he tries to escape from this mysterious place where he’s chained to a bed. The actor narrates his own adventure, which comes off as cheesy but funny.
In due time, it unfolds what’s the dark secret for the family holding Rex hostage.
Alia (Meg Fraser) is a sympathetic resident of the house who helps Ben escape. Which leads to a satisfying action-packed finale.
It’s a unique film told in a distinctive voice. Despite the bloody violence, the director still keeps it as a black comedy. Ben converses with an imaginary inner person throughout. That person is a wilder version than his real self.
It’s not for every viewer, but the genre mashup does manage to effortlessly blend together comedy and violence. If you like strange films that are interesting, this one fits the bill.
REVIEWED ON 1/2/2021 GRADE: B