A few weeks ago I was honored to receive an email from Steve Balderson. He invited me to screen Hell Town and write a review. It was one of the movies I had been waiting to see at the Colorado Horror Con on Halloween Night and things didn’t quite work out. So here it is, my review of Hell Town!
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I pushed play. What I got was a movie that isn’t really a movie, but is a movie. How is this possible? It’s done in the style of a soap opera with an ongoing story line. Brilliant! It has all the qualities one would expect from a soap opera. It’s a love story wrapped in a medical drama, meets high school angst, a gay guy and sibling rivalry! And not to state the obvious, but there is also a killer on the loose!
The movie drops the viewer in the middle of season two of a soap opera that doesn’t exist. So in lieu of the traditional character build up we get the ‘previously on Hell Town’ snippets. We have Momma Manly (Pleasant Gehman) with a secret to tell, but she is in a coma. Her quirky nurse (also played by Gehman) hears everything that happens in the house and is planning to take Momma Manly’s place if/when she wakes up. Jesse (Own Lawless) is a handsome track star that’s pretty sure he is gay, but he plays the straight guy by asking the lovely Trish (Krysten Day) to Prom. Trish is the spoiled bitch in the tale and has a list of guys waiting to take her to Prom. Chanel (Amanda Deibert) is the adopted daughter of Momma Manly that works endless jobs in order to help support the family. She hates Trish on so many levels it’s bound to blow up at some point. Is Chanel the killer? Hmm…..? I will say she was one of my favorite characters in the movie. Another notable role is Trish’s sister Laura (Jennifer Grace) and (Beckijo Neill). This chick has major issues. She is played by two different ladies. This really does happen in soap opera’s and I’m happy they put it in. Whether it was on purpose or due to something else it doesn’t matter. I thought it was damn funny! As was her death scene. Oh, did I just ruin that for you? My bad!! The killer isn’t just killing off the guys, there are a few female deaths as well. I won’t tell you how Laura dies, but I will say it spawned one of my favorite scenes in the movie. I’m not sure how Butch (Ben Windholz) delivered his lines without busting out laughing! I’m still laughing and I watched the movie a of couple hours ago!
All in all this movie was super funny, well acted on so many levels (watch it and you will know what I’m talking about) and is a must see! It comes with it’s own intro, snippets, and ‘next on Hell Town’ announcements that it truly makes the viewer feel like they stepped into the middle of a long running T.V. series. No wonder this movie has won so many awards and had such great reviews. Go see it people, just go see it!!!