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Although the general premise was generic, the introduction of an all gay cast elevated this slasher movie to greater heights. All the characters are believable, well defined and are relatable to anyone in the gay community. However the movie does leave some unanswered questions, like why is this guy going around slaughtering gay men? What is the motive? Despite this the movie was pretty good.
It just wasn't fun to watch. I had thought that it entered the postmodern era where you can dissect the subgenre and the entire trope, but no, it was just boring.
HellBent (Paul Etheredge, 2004)
The world's first gay-themed slasher movie is... well, just another slasher movie, really. Which on the one hand was a really good idea; anyone who wanders into this can be certain of what they're getting. On the other hand, if you're going to break the mold by making every character in your movie gay (with the possible exception of the killer), you might as well bend a few other genders, right? Etheredge (Angel of Death) played it safe, instead.
Plot: You've seen slasher movies, right? Four pals-cop-with-a-desk-job Eddie (Come Away with Me's Dylan Fergus), his little brother Joey (Pumpkin's Hank Harris), horndog Chaz (The Box's Andrew Levitas), and drag queen Tobey (Champion's Matt Phillips), are getting ready for the town's big gay Halloween carnival. A killer murdered two gay men in a secluded parking lot just on the other side of the woods from the carnival grounds, and Chaz has the brilliant idea of parking in that same secluded lot and hiking through the woods to get to the carnival... which needless to say attracts said serial killer's attention. When they get there, Eddie, who's smitten with bad-boy biker Jake (The Absent's Bryan Kirkwood), tries to get some in what may be the most awkward, embarrassing attempt at a pickup scene ever filmed, while Jake makes a similarly inept attempt to get to know hunky jock fratboy Jared (Baron Rogers in his first feature appearance), who he's had a longtime crush on. Tobey, getting no action, finds himself sitting with another drag queen at the bar complaining about men, and Chaz, being Chaz, parties it up with anyone and everyone who comes his way. None of them know they're being stalked by a crazed killer-until it's too late...
The things I liked about this movie, I really, really liked. About half the soundtrack is amazing; I had no idea the homocore/queercore movement had produced artists of the caliber of Kent "Nick Name" James and Terri Laird, both of whom turn in top-notch tunes. And that pickup scene? So awkward, so awful, so real, and it is helped immensely by Etheredge (who also wrote the script) having Jake react to it so perfectly (and, of course, Fergus and Kirkwood having the acting ability to pull it off). It's the little bits like that that make this movie worth watching. On the flip side of this is the movie's predictability, the kinda-incoherent ending that will satisfy exactly no one, the fact that there's no way in hell Tobey was going to be the one of these guys who was going home alone (I mean, come on, he's hot as a woman)...just a little too much in here I couldn't buy to offset all the stuff I was willing to pay extra for. It's good, but it's not great; if gay-themed movies don't turn you off, this one is worth a shot. ***
(** 1/2): [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]
I liked the attempt more than the end result. Still, I've seen worse low-budget horror efforts.
Hellbent is filled with all the laughable cliches of the horror genre with added annoyingly entertaining queer elements. Neither recommended nor discouraged viewing.
Boring. But I like the topless men.
This was available on Netflix instant streaming and since it takes place in West Hollywood (WeHo) which is in Los Angeles I chose to watch it. It was amusing to see how West Hollywood celebrates Halloween, with plenty of scantily clad handsome men ogling at each other at the bars. There is a serial killer on the loose targeting this group of gay men that decide to celebrate Halloween WeHo style. I concur with critic John Monaghan who said: "A loyal gay audience may appreciate the novelty, but horror fans can find junk like this lining the shelves of any video store." The one aspect that makes this slasher/horror film different is the settting as most of them choose isolated, deserted, far away places but West Hollywood? Common that place is packed most evenings with nightclubs and restaurants galore that cater mostly to a gay clientele. I found a bit unusual to see a horror flick taking place there and yes it was filmed mostly in West Hollywood as I recognized some streets and establishments. Would I pay to rent it? NO. As I said its on Netflix so for a flat rate of $8 per month you cannot go wrong watching this one in HD.
It was actually kinda scary at some parts!!!!
Not scary bad acting . For a gay thriller u think there would be lots of gay sex and making out but no there was none. The death scenes where so bad and there was no plot come on gays you can make a better slasher film then this.
Interesting setting and characters. Terrible plot and serial killer. So a serial killer that stalks this group of gay friends and killing them one by one... No motivation what so ever. It's a melodramatic slasher with some gay twists.