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Friday, May 05, 2006

DVD Review - Hellbent


Starring: Dylan Fergus, Bryan Kirkwood, Hank Harris
Director: Paul Etheridge-Ouztis
Fax: 2005, thriller

We've had gay horror films before, but Hellbent has the distinction of being the first queer slasher movie, and Halloween just won't be the same again.

The film uses the annual West Hollywood Halloween Carnival as a backdrop.

Many of he scenes were shot during Carnival and the fact the film was shot on video and then transferred to film gives it all a cinema verite quality.

Hellbent Hellbent follows four very hot gay men as they set out for it big street party. There's solid and responsible Eddie (Dylan Fergus). Joey (Hank Harris) is a sweet innocent. The party animal is Chaz (Andrew Levitas) and Tobey (Matt Phillips) is our jaded village gay.

As they make their way through the crowds on the street they are harassed by a masked man who turns out to be a mad killer who has been terrorizing the neighborhood.

The four decide to stay together for safety but they end up separated and alone.

Needless to say, because this is a slasher movie, not all the guys will survive the night.

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True to the genre there are outlandishly gory death scenes.

And, there are some truly frightening scenes - enough to genuinely care about the characters. In fact, this is a far better picture than any of the "Friday the 13th" movies that came in a much higher budget.

Writer-director Paul Etheredge-Ouzts has not only done his homework on the genre, he has delivered a masterful blood and gore film.

"I reviewed the celebrated - and less celebrated- films of the slasher genre in preparation for writing the script; 'Psycho', 'Suspiria', 'Camp Sleepaway', 'Scream', 'Halloween,.'" says Etheredge-Ouzt.

"Not surprisingly, I found the most impressive slashers featured the better developed characters. I wanted to write a slasher film where the characters are essential to the story. I wanted the audience to hope - even assume - that no one will die. In our film, we pay homage to the recognizable slasher stereotypes - the bad boy, the sex addict, the virgin - but they're more fully formed characters."

And, did we mention there are some hot gay sex scenes? Well, there are. So, even if you aren't into the slashing, dicing and chopping - you can close your eyes in those scenes - you'll be begging for a sequel.

*Review by Brent Ko,


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